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Austin City Council adopted a resolution on April 10, 2014 to become carbon neutral as soon as feasible, but no later than 2050. This is one of the most ambitious goals ever set by a city in the world and we are going to help with the development of the framework how to get there, and write up sector plan on what energy, waste, transportation and manufacturing sectors have to offer to make this a reality.

Netzerocitywide2050.1

FEAT, the Faith based Energy Action Team is bringing together houses of worship to promote climate stewardship and advocacy at their facilities, with their members and other organizations around town. FEAT meets every second Monday of the month at 7pm. Look for the invites on the FEAT page

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    Our mission: Climate Buddies is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that wants to empower people to include climate change considerations into every decision they make. We focus on live interaction with groups of people, for-profits, spiritual groups, public and academia. We focus on people, inspiration, guidance and are result driven. Anyone who wants to start to integrate climate considerations in decision making is welcome to join us or invite us for collaboration.

    Our invitation to you: meeting the global energy and climate challenges

    • If you could work on meeting the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced, would you?
    • Would it surprise you to know that the climate and oceanic systems have been so perturbed by the massive burning of fossil fuels that the very continuation of human civilization is threatened?
    • Do you yearn to be able to say to your grandchildren, and theirs – and everyone else’s – that you did your part to leave the earth in a healthier condition than when you were born into it?
    • Many suspect that the time left to return the earth to a healthy, resilient condition capable of sustaining human civilization is short. The climate recovery challenge is in fact an energy issue, a challenge to increase both the energy available to power essential services and to make affordable, renewable energy accessible to all.
    • We must and can increase the supply of energy available while reducing the total greenhouse gas emissions associated with energy generation to near-zero rates.

    Understanding these premises, we must have the courage to yearn for a credible possibility that each of us, and billions of others like us from all over the world, will become true caretakers for the earth – our planet that has given life to our kind; the creation which protects and nourishes us even in its injured state.

    We believe in a world where if we take care of the earth, we can take care of the people. The economy is facilitating in this, not the starting point, just the result.

    The administration’s Clean Power Plan will put a price on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. States that outperform the goals will be able to sell their excess to other states, effectively making money and putting a price on emissions.

    Adding 600MW of solar to the Austin Energy portfolio will reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from Austin Energy by 35 to 55% mostly depending on how much the output from our coal-fired power plant Fayette is ramped down. The cost: minus $5 per metric ton of greehouse gasses. We will actually save money doing this.

    City council is expected to make a decision on the 600MW solar deal later this month.
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    City Council will hold a press conference about the proposed EPA Clean Power Plan this coming Wednesday. We tried to put the upcoming decision of 600MW of new solar into perspective by sending the following letter:

    Dear Mayor, Mayor Pro Tem and City Council members,
    Many of you will be part of a press conference on Wednesday morning related to the Clean Power Plan from the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA. This letter highlights the key features of the proposed plan. I will try to use these to put the pending decision to contract for up to 600MW of solar into the perspective. Frankly, this is a very exciting opportunity.

    The Clean Power Plan calls for:

    - A total of 28% of our electricity to come from renewable resources; adding 600MW of solar to the Austin Energy portfolio will add about 12% of renewable energy to the overall mix of wind, solar, coal, gas, nuclear and market purchases. It is a relevant and sizeable step.

    - Greenhouse gas reductions up to 32% by 2030 from emissions in 2005; adding 600MW of solar to the Austin Energy portfolio will lead to changes in the portfolio because we need less electricity from other sources. This will lead to a lower need for a mix of market purchases, the use of our natural gas-fired power plant, or our coal-fired power plant. Scenarios for this show a range in greenhouse gas reduction from Austin Energy from 35% to 64% by 2017 handily beating the proposed requirements in time and size. A scenario with the maximum economic performance (read = lower cost) would lead to a reduction in greenhouse gasses from Austin Energy of about 35% by 2017. A mid-case scenario where all three are dialed back evenly would lead to a reduction in greenhouse gasses of about 50% by 2017. The most environmental beneficial scenario would lead to a reduction of 64% by 2017. These scenarios are based on calculations using projected changes the Power Supply Adjustment, PSA, which is only part of the total cost of generation. If the total cost of generation is considered, the economic case improves further and would put all the above mentioned scenarios at a lower cost than Austin Energy ‘s performance in 2014. You can decide to weigh what is most important to you, but all scenarios will show a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. When choosing the mid-case scenario, the greenhouse gas emissions for the City as a whole would be lowered by about 18%. This would represent a significant step in realizing the NET-ZERO climate goals that you set for the community earlier this year.

    - A price on greenhouse gas emissions, allowing states that move faster to sell excess savings to other states; adding 600MW of solar to the Austin Energy portfolio will add to Austin Energy’s potential to leverage the positive economic benefits.

    In conclusion, the EPA Clean Power Plan confirms and validates the renewable energy and climate goals we have set as a community for our municipal utility. I am available to go through the background and approach that have led to the above conclusions with you.

    Joep Meijer
    Co-Chair of the Austin Community Climate Plan steering committee
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    1 day ago  ·  

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    A Carbon Diet program for individuals and households

    Do you and your family want “to lose 5000 pounds in 30 days”? Join our Carbon Diet and find out how easy it is to lose 10% of your carbon footprint. Read more about this program >>

      Organizing for a Texas Climate Alliance

      We are developing an alliance of Austin and Texas organizations and businesses that have dedicated programs for climate change. The purpose of this alliance is to:

      • Understand how large the local climate change movement has grown and who the participants are.
      • Develop camaraderie among the participants.
      • Share information, resources, skills and programmatic synergy.
      • Support each others climate change causes.

      Read more here >>

      Are you in?

      For those who are ready to hope and to implement action initiatives, we invite you to join us in helping to lead on climate solutions. A lot of work will be involved, as will a lot of joy. That’s right: It’s serious business, but as long as it is joyful and fulfilling in the doing, a lot of people all over the world will want to get in on it!

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