WASHINGTON (JUNE 30, 2015)— China formally submitted its contribution to United Nations climate talks today. The pledge commits China to a peak in emissions by 2030, an increase in the share of non-fossil fuels in its energy mix by about 20 percent by 2030, and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% by 2030, from 2005 levels.
Like many other developing countries, not only do India’s cities face severe infrastructure bottlenecks and service level deficits that undercut economic performance, but poorly managed urban growth directly impacts health and quality of life. Worsening air pollution in Indian cities is estimated to have caused 620,000 premature deaths per year (WHO). Cities also add significantly to overall carbon emissions (close to half of India’s net greenhouse gas emission originate in urban areas). These costs are exacerbated by the ongoing real-estate boom in peri-urban areas fueled by demand from the IT and residential sectors that is not only unplanned, but almost entirely devoid of adequate public services (water, sewer, power) provision or reasonable access to transit infrastructure. This reinforces the vicious cycle of deeper and deeper reliance by firms and households on groundwater, private vehicular ownership, and polluting diesel power generation to meet basic needs. The costs of business-as-usual urban development are clearly unsustainable.
The core problem in climate policy design is that the costs and benefits of taking action are highly uncertain and have very different time dimensions. Costs are incurred in the short term while benefits are likely to be many decades into the future, writes Warwick McKibbin.
Today, the road towards an integrated grid is the one less traveled. But it is for this very reason that RMI is working with leaders in New York and elsewhere to collaboratively develop the solutions that will lead us down the road toward an integrated grid.
Former Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh believes the “cult” of unfettered economic growth has been ruinous for India’s environment. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he talks about his vision of “green growth,” which he says is essential for his nation’s future.
“Green bond issuance tripled globally last year to $36.6 billion – and that figure is expected to double by the end of this year,” GBCA chief executive Romilly Madew said. “It’s clear that the market is looking for guidance to determine energy-efficient and low-carbon assets that will be sustainable investments over the long term.”
As robots get smarter, cheaper and more versatile, they're taking on more challenges – including bricklaying. Engineers in Australia have created a fully working house-builder that can create the brick framework of a property in just two days, working about 20 times faster than a human bricklayer.
Three-dimensional imaging of plant branching structures is allowing researchers to see how exactly their internal tissues respond under stress, giving new insights into the design of potential new engineering materials, such as those used in aircraft and sports equipment.
Recent revelations about the firing of American tech workers and their replacement by temporary visa holders reveal, in the starkest way, why many Americans are wary of the impact of untrammeled immigration. Workers in American companies have been removed from their jobs not because they could not perform them, but because their replacements, largely from India, are simply cheaper and, likely, more malleable.
The H-1B temporary visa program was purportedly designed to help tech firms hire specialized talent to fill needs not adequately addressed by the U.S. labor market. But what it has really become is a way to lay off workers for cheaper ones.
While media attention continues to focus on the racial issues in America’s biggest cities and its most racially diverse regions, William H. Frey explains why newly released census data make plain why we need to expect a more racially diverse America everywhere.
One interesting development of the commercial solar industry boom that is currently under way in the U.S. is the numbers of professional investors getting involved with the sector. Over 60 percent of investors will invest in commercial solar and a staggering 83 percent of investors will make investment in solar a priority in the next fiveRead More
Gravity-assisted space travel is when you use the gravitational pull of one planet or other celestial body as a fuel-efficient way to "slingshot" yourself toward another, more distant goal, someplace you could not have reached without assistance, either in terms of your velocity or even your basic direction.
A Conversation with Hiroshi Amano In 1879, Thomas Edison invented the light bulb. For nearly a hundred years, the incandescent bulb—which worked mainly by electricity passing through a filament and heating it to incandescent temperatures in a glass globe—lit up the world. It was effective in terms of turning night into daylight, but most inefficientRead More
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