There’s so much that’s been happening in clean energy and climate news in the past few weeks, some good, some bad and some ugly.

On one hand it seems that the climate action tipping point is finally here. The disruptive impact of green energy on companies and industries around the world can no longer be ignored. Clean technologies are becoming widely available; government policies are becoming more ambitious and demand for clean energy is approaching critical mass.

On the other hand, it seems that the climate reality tipping point is also here. The latest science does not look good. And then there’s Trump.

In case you missed it, here’s a round-up of recent and ground-breaking climate and clean energy news, some reasons to be hopeful and imperatives to act.

Starting with “The Ugly” 


President Trump announced on Thursday that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, weakening efforts to combat global warming and has global ramifications on the environment, the economy and the international effort to decrease carbon emissions and keep raising temperatures under (some sort of) control. Trump said 19 false things in his speech on the Paris climate accord. Check out the Toronto Star’s running tally of all 281 false things the president of the United States of America has said, so far.

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The Bad - Update on Climate Science 


As if the actions of President Trump are not enough, the Arctic and Antarctic are seeing an accelerated collapse of both sea and land ice, ultimately culminating in what could potentially lead to societal collapse.

On Tuesday, Trump named Jeffrey Bossert Clark, a lawyer who not only was part of the legal team representing BP after the USA’s worst oil spill - the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster - but has repeatedly challenged the scientific foundations of climate change, as the Justice Department's top environmental lawyer.

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 The Polar Paradox: As global warming from burning fossil fuels and other human activities causes sea ice to shrink, it helps open the Arctic to offshore fossil fuel exploration. The burning of Arctic fossil fuel resources made accessible by continued warming—would likely put the 2 degree Celsius limit well out of reach.

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The Good 

Solar eclipses fossil fuels 

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Meanwhile in India, with solar energy prices in freefall, the government has cancelled plans to build 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power-stations. For the first time, solar is cheaper than coal in India setting the stage for the global energy market to be rapidly transformed. India plans for nearly 60% of electricity capacity to be from non-fossil fuels by 2027, exceeding their Paris Climate Accord pledge of 40% by 2030.

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solar china.jpgThe world’s largest floating solar pv power plant, located in Huainan, China has officially been connected to the power grid thanks to Sungrow. 

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The world’s largest investment firm is demanding action 



BlackRock, the world's largest investment firm, with $5.1 trillion in assets under management, and several major global investors—including State Street, Aviva, and Legal & General—have signaled that they want more transparency on climate change risk. BlackRock's first vote against corporate management on climate came this year against Occidental, where it was the largest institutional investor.

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Clean capitalism is here

Last month, chief executives from 27 large international corporations pledged to adopt the new climate disclosure rules. The Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders includes a number of banks, insurers and consulting firms, as well as cement manufacturer LafargeHolcim, consumer goods giant Unilever and battery and electronics producer Johnson Controls. Together, they have a collective greenhouse gas footprint of 458 million metric tons carbon dioxide, equivalent to the 15th largest emitting country.

Renewables take the lead

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The USA’s share of electricity being generated from renewable sources is eclipsing previous predictions. Renewable energy’s share of total domestic electrical generation nearly doubled in the past seven years – it has reached a level of output that EIA, just five years ago, did not anticipate happening for another four decades.

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Big oil gets a wake-up call


After 28 years of activism, the shareholders of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil & gas company, voted to require disclosure of the effects of climate change on the company. Not only does the vote acknowledge the implications of shrinking fossil fuel reliance in response to climate change

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Stepping Up 

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The rest of the world has reacted to Trump’s withdrawal from Paris with a furious resurgence of commitments to uphold the Accord. China and India, who many feared would follow Trump’s lead or water down commitments are doing the exact opposite. US state and municipal governments are stepping up, promising to do their part to meet the US’ commitments.

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hawaii.jpgWhen politics fails to represents the citizens, the citizens will take matters into their own hands. Michael Bloomberg has offered $15 million to UN efforts to address climate change following President Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. Similarly, Hawaii has become the first US state to adopt the Paris Climate Accord as President Trump moves to withdraw the United States in order to address “the overriding challenge of the 21st century".

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Last week’s announcement may be discouraging, but the actions of one don’t outweigh the actions of us all. Where we at CoPower find hope is in the collective power individuals have to make the low carbon transition a reality using our investment portfolios to directly finance clean energy.

Tags: Paris Accord - Clean Energy Economy - Trump - Capitalism 2.0