Clear all

105 results found

reorder grid_view

Fact Sheet | Climate Jobs (2024)

March 4, 2024

U.S. efforts to confront the climate crisis have propelled a demand for jobs that will help the country mitigate and adapt to climate change. These climate jobs have been steadily on the rise in the United States. The energy sector as a whole has regained 71% of the jobs lost due to the pandemic in 2020. With a 3.9% growth rate, clean energy job creation outpaced overall job growth in 2022. In total, there were more than 4.2 million climate jobs in 2022.

Fact Sheet | Proposals to Reduce Fossil Fuel Subsidies (January 2024)

January 30, 2024

In 2022, fossil fuel subsidies in the United States totaled $757 billion, according to the International Monetary Fund. This includes $3 billion in explicit subsidies and $754 billion in implicit subsidies, which are costs like negative health impacts and environmental degradation that are borne by society at large rather than producers (i.e., negative externalities).

Building Sustainably: Mass Timber (September 2023)

September 29, 2023

Mass timber is an umbrella term for a class of engineered wood building materials, including those created by layering and bonding wood. The best-known example of mass timber is cross-laminated timber, which can be made from small-diameter or diseased trees to create a strong, lightweight building material. Unlike lumber, which is typically used in traditional stick-frame construction of houses and low-rise buildings, mass timber is strong enough to construct much larger structures. Builders are turning to mass timber because of its multiple benefits. In addition to having a lower carbon footprint than traditional steel and concrete, it is often cost-competitive with them.

Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation at U.S. Ports

February 1, 2022

With 90 percent of the world's goods transported by ship, disruptions to ports can ripple across the global economy and supply chains. As a result, ports need to increase their resilience to climate change—one of the most significant threats facing operations. In its Climate Adaptation and Coastal Resiliency Plan, the Port of Long Beach notes that "climate change and extreme storms are already impacting the Southern California coast. Sea levels will continue to rise, and the frequency and magnitude of extreme storm events are likely to increase. The Port and its tenants will experience storm events with a greater potential to impact Port operations." The Port of Long Beach is not alone—all ports will increasingly be impacted by bigger storms and other climate impacts, such as sea level rise and extreme heat.At the same time, ports themselves are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach—which together handle 40 percent of containers entering the United States—produce 100 tons of smog every day, more than the daily emissions of the six million cars in the Southern California region. These emissions and pollutants do not only impact the climate, but they also harm the health and environment of near-port communities, many of which are already overburdened with multiple sources of pollution. To help advance environmental justice, efforts must be made to reduce the emissions and pollutants from ports.This issue brief outlines ways in which ports can mitigate and adapt to climate change through examples from U.S. ports already facing these challenges and capitalizing on the opportunity to become cleaner and more sustainable.

Fact Sheet | Climate, Environmental, and Health Impacts of Fossil Fuels (2021)

December 17, 2021

The use of fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—results in significant climate, environmental, and health costs that are not reflected in market prices. These costs are known as externalities. Each stage of the fossil fuel supply chain, from extraction and transportation to refining and burning, generates externalities. This fact sheet provides a survey of some of the externalities associated with fossil fuels.

Closing the Digital Divide: How Rural Broadband Benefits Communities and the Climate

October 12, 2021

In 2019, at least 14.5 million Americans lacked broadband (or high-speed internet) access, with rural communities and tribal lands bearing a disproportionate share of the burden. The inaccessibility or unaffordability of broadband leads to the "digital divide" phenomenon—the socioeconomic gaps that arise between communities that have reliable access to high-speed internet and those that do not. A lack of broadband access often exacerbates the pre-existing burdens of underserved communities by impacting services that increasingly depend on the internet, including education and healthcare. Broadband also facilitates many energy-efficiency technologies that reduce carbon emissions and save customers money. In other words, broadband expansion is essential to a successful transition to a clean energy economy. This issue brief will explore the current state of U.S. internet access, how more broadband deployment could improve the equity and well-being of communities, the potential for broadband to unlock greater energy efficiency, and what the United States has accomplished so far in closing the digital divide.

Fact Sheet | Climate Jobs (2021)

September 24, 2021

Responding to the climate crisis provides an immense opportunity for job creation. Those jobs—jobs that help mitigate and adapt to climate change—are climate jobs. In recent years, climate jobs have been on the rise in the United States. However, the economy-wide impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic affected climate employment: eight percent of climate jobs were shed in 2020. Despite this, employment in some climate industries increased in 2020, and many climate jobs are expected to recover in 2021. In total, there were well over 4.1 million climate jobs in 2020.

Autonomous Vehicles: State of the Technology and Potential Role as a Climate Solution

June 24, 2021

Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are an emerging technology in surface transportation with tremendous potential to change the way individuals and communities interact with the built environment. The widespread use of AVs could also have a substantial impact on greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, which is responsible for the largest share of emissions in the United States at 28 percent. The vast majority of those transportation emissions—82 percent—are from cars and trucks, many of which could be replaced with AVs. A recent study suggests that half of new vehicles could be autonomous by 2050, and half of the entire vehicle fleet by the 2060s. Another, related key trend in transportation is electrification: more than half of all new passenger vehicles will be electric by 2040, according to a BloombergNEF study, and most AVs are expected to be electric. Whether AVs increase or reduce greenhouse gas emissions could help make or break efforts at keeping climate change in check. This issue brief reviews the projected environmental impacts of AVs, the benefits AVs could provide as a form of mass transit, and an overview of AV development, testing, and policies in the United States as well as internationally.

Conservation Corps: Pairing Climate Action with Economic Opportunity

February 23, 2021

As policymakers consider how to revive the economy after the pandemic, make our communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change, and accelerate the transition to sustainable, clean energy, many have taken a closer look at a program with a long, inspiring pedigree: conservation corps. Conservation corps are work programs that employ youths, veterans, seniors, and others in conservation, resilience, and sustainability efforts throughout the United States.

Climate Change FAQ

February 11, 2021

Answers to frequently asked questions about climate change and climate action.

How Can Revolving Loan Funds Make Our Coasts More Resilient?

January 21, 2021

A revolving loan fund (RLF) is a self-replenishing financing mechanism that can be used to fund a variety of programs, ranging from small business development to clean water infrastructure. For example, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revolving loans have for years helped states fund clean-water and drinking-water infrastructure projects. Though RLFs can vary greatly depending on their mission and scope, they all share the same basic structure. RLFs start with a base level of capital, often consisting of private investment or grants from the federal government or state. This capital is then loaned out to several borrowers. Over time, as these borrowers make repayments and pay interest on their loans, the capital is replenished. When enough repayments are made, the fund uses its reaccumulated capital to issue new loans.RLFs are often employed by states, municipalities, and nonprofits as a means for property owners to overcome financial barriers to undertaking environmental improvements. The self-sustaining nature of RLFs allows them to operate for decades with little to no additional investment if designed correctly. By providing low-interest loans with long repayment periods, RLFs can help those who may not have funds available to pay for improvements up front. In this way, RLFs can be used as a tool for building community resilience to environmental hazards.

Issue Brief: How Coal Country Can Adapt to the Energy Transition

November 19, 2020

From international bodies to town halls, focus has been increasingly directed toward deploying clean energy and decarbonizing the economy following reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that countries must drastically cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within the next decade to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5°C (2.7°F). While widespread, rapid decarbonization is essential, communities that have developed with the coal industry as their backbone are already feeling the burden of the energy and economic transition. Policymakers at all levels of government are interested in mitigating harm to coal-dependent communities. This issue brief characterizes broad issues for communities in transition and surveys federal and regional policies, programs, and proposals intended to provide workforce development opportunities, diversify local economies, and alleviate economic hardship.