Slicing Silicon Thinner to Cut the Price of Solar Cells, NY Times, Mar 13: The cost of silicon has been an important barrier to expanding the penetration of solar photovoltaic power. New manufacturing techniques using less silicon could help dramatically reduce the price of producing solar cells, potentially helping expand the industry and bringing down the cost of solar generation.
Kate Brash, Author at State of the Planet
A new study provides evidence that climate change may be affecting the northern hemisphere jet stream, which appears to be moving north and slowing down. The slowing of the jet stream could cause weather patterns to remain in place for longer, resulting in prolonged heat waves or cold snaps.
Just in case anyone you missed it, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is moving, albeit almost imperceptibly, toward regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It took one more step in January, published the emissions of 6700 facilities with annual emissions of more than 25,000 MtCO2e. This category of emitters was required to report these figures… read more
Three States to Require Insurers to Disclose Climate-Change Response Plans, New York Times 2/2 California, New York and Washington have announced a new requirement for insurance companies to disclose their plans for responding to climate change risks. The new regulation expands a requirement already in place for the largest insurers in those states. While insurance companies… read more
The Columbia Climate Center convened a workshop, “Carbon Management Education and Practice” at Columbia University on November 3-4, 2011. Over 30 participants from academia, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and government met to discuss the emergence and contours of carbon management as a new educational and professional field. Two days of panels and presentations provided… read more
In June, American Electric Power suspended its work on the world’s largest test of carbon capture and storage at a power plant in West Virginia, citing lack of regulatory certainty. At the successful conclusion of a two year validation phase, American Electric Power is indefinitely delaying the next step, commercial scale demonstration. The U.S. Department… read more
Results of a recent modeling exercise by the Columbia Climate Center in a collaborative project with Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors indicate that the combined impact of more than 350 energy and emissions policies in place across the world fails to reach, by 2020, an emission trajectory consistent with stabilizing atmospheric levels of CO2 at… read more
A lawsuit filed in April on behalf of citizens too young to vote takes a novel approach in seeking to force the United States government to mitigate the most serious impacts of human-induced climate change. The petitioners argue that, in failing to address climate change, the federal government has abandoned its fiduciary responsibility to affirmatively… read more
This week, China and India agreed to add their names to the list of countries officially “supporting” the Copenhagen Accord. Athough both countries had previously submitted emission reduction commitments to be included in the Accord, agreeing to be listed is a gesture of official endorsement. In their letters to the Secretariat both India and China… read more
As the Copenhagen talks enter their second week, you may be wondering: how does this work? This is not a dumb question. The UN climate treaty (the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or UNFCCC) lays out a set of fundamental principles to guide the development of an international set of rules for the governance of the global atmosphere. As the signatories […]