Eric Holst, director of EDF's working lands program
Eric Holst, senior director of Environmental Defense Fund’s working lands program, has been reappointed to the California State Board of Food and Agriculture by Governor Jerry Brown.
Holst has served on the board – a fifteen-member state board appointed by the governor to represent a range of agricultural commodities, geographic regions and academic systems – since 2012. The board encourages public participation and input in all matters concerning agriculture and food policy within the state, from hunger and malnutrition to climate change and environmental markets. But the dominant focus over the last year has been drought and how to mitigate impacts on California agriculture.
A natural choice
Holst has been a leader in developing innovative partnerships with farmers, ranchers and foresters to improve environmental and economic performance on working lands for more than a decade, both in California and elsewhere across the country.
Since he arrived at EDF in 2006 (based in Sacramento), Holst has worked with landowners to develop conservation tools like habitat exchanges that benefit agriculture and the environment. He is an expert in developing strategies that improve livelihoods and environmental conditions on working forests, farms and ranches. Read More
El 15 de enero, el Fondo de Defensa Ambiental (EDF por sus siglas en inglés) publicó el segundo informe en una serie que explora cómo una de las políticas climáticas y de energía limpia de California – nuestro programa de topes y comercio de emisiones – está funcionando. Hoy, el EDF proporciona esta información en español – puede encontrar el Resumen de los expertos y nuestro comunicado de prensa. El informe ha generado gran interés, dada la creciente urgencia del problema y el aumento en el número de estados y regiones interesadas en iniciar políticas climáticas más enérgicas. ¿Qué queremos decir con que el programa de topes y comercio está “funcionando” y qué significa esto para los latinos en nuestro estado?
Así es cómo el EDF analizó si el programa está funcionando. Para empezar, el informe examina la información del objetivo crítico de reducir emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero dañinas. Estas son las emisiones que conducen al cambio climático, contaminan nuestro aire y empeoran los patrones de clima extremos. Pero también hay otros objetivos importantes. Uno es permitir que el estado mantenga un crecimiento económico sólido mientras se implementa un sistema de políticas que frene el cambio climático al limitar la contaminación del carbono. ¿Y cómo asegurar que el programa de topes y comercio de emisiones beneficie a todas las comunidades, incluso aquellas que ya sufren de los peores efectos del cambio climático?
Hay buenas noticias en todos los frentes. El informe concluye que después de dos años de funcionamiento, las emisiones limitadas por el programa están bajando. Al mismo tiempo, el progreso económico del estado también sigue marcha adelante, especialmente cuando se trata del crecimiento de empleos verdes. Read More
On January 15, Environmental Defense Fund released the second report in a series that explores how one of California’s signature climate and clean energy policies – our cap-and-trade program – is working. Today, EDF is making this information available in Spanish – you can find the Executive Summary here along with our press release. The report has generated a large amount of interest, given the increased urgency of the issue, and the growing number of states and regions looking at initiating more robust climate policies. So, what do we mean when we say the cap-and-trade program is “working,” and what does this mean for Latinos in the Golden State?
Here’s how EDF looked at whether the program is working. For starters, the report examines the data on the critical goal of reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. These are the emissions that drive climate change, pollute our air, and exacerbate extreme weather patterns. But there are other important goals in the mix, too. One is allowing the state to maintain healthy economic growth while implementing a system of policies that curbs climate change by limiting carbon pollution. And what about making sure the cap-and-trade program benefits all communities, including those already suffering the worst effects of climate change?
Good news on all fronts. The report concludes that after two years of operation, emissions capped by the program are going down. At the same time, the state’s economic progress continues to march forward, especially when it comes to the growth of green jobs. Read More
Growing up can be tough. But we all remember how good it felt to pass an important exam or achieve one of our major goals – whether it be getting a driver’s license or graduating from middle school. California’s landmark cap-and-trade program was just recently put to the test after undergoing a substantial growth spurt, more than doubling in size to include transportation fuels, California’s biggest source of greenhouse gas pollution. To account for this increase in the number of businesses and emissions capped by the program, more than three times the amount of allowances were offered in the cap-and-trade auction held last week as compared to the one before it. This was also the second auction since California began holding joint auctions with Quebec, the Canadian province that has a similar cap-and-trade program in place.
Auction results released earlier today indicate that the strong foundation built over the first two years of the program allowed the market to easily pass this important growth test, remaining stable and strong even in the face of a considerable change in allowance supply and shifting market dynamics.
So what happened in this auction?
Of the 73.6 million current vintage allowances offered in this auction, 100% were purchased at a price of $12.21. This is 11 cents above the floor price and the settlement price at the previous auction, and is consistent with historical trends of prices slightly above the floor. In the advanced auction for 2018 vintage allowances, over 10.4 million allowances were offered and 100% of these were purchased at the floor price of $12.10. These allowances can only be used starting in 2018 and the fact that there was a high level of demand for them once again reflects confidence in the future strength of the market. These companies are making financial investments that are consistent with the belief that the market will be in existence well into the future, as was strongly signaled through the Governor’s and the Legislature’s prioritization of long-term emission reductions. Read More
Apple and Google have changed our lives forever, both because of their technological innovations and sheer size as global corporations. Now, they’re aiming to reshape the energy landscape.
This month, Apple announced plans to spend nearly $2 billion on European data centers set to run entirely on renewable energy, and invested $848 million to secure power from 130MW of First Solar’s California Flats Solar Project under a 25-year power purchase agreement. Google also agreed to replace 370 wind turbines installed in the 1980s with 24 new, more efficient and bird-friendly turbines at the Altamont Pass in the San Francisco Bay Area. Moreover, there has been recent speculation Apple may be working on an electric vehicle to challenge Tesla’s dominance in that market.
These developments are impressive on their own, but they are also part of a new trend among major corporations – whose primary focus is not energy generation – proactively pursuing clean energy projects. So, why are they doing this?
For corporations whose businesses do not rely on fossil fuels, aligning themselves with clean power is proving a prudent move both financially and for public relations. Read More
We need to have “the talk” about solar power and equity, because ignoring uncomfortable questions will invite misinformation and bad decisions. We need an informed dialogue about how local solar power can impact low-income communities and communities of color in the U.S. We need to talk about “all the good things, and the bad things, that may be.”
First things first: the price of solar panels has fallen by 80 percent since 2008. This significant decrease in cost, coupled with incentives such as net metering which allow customers to send the energy they produce from their solar systems back to the grid and receive a credit on their bill, and the emergence of new financing models like solar “leasing” programs, has led to an explosion of local solar in the U.S.
We now boast an estimated 20 gigawatts of solar energy nationwide (enough to power more than four million U.S. homes), and the United States added more solar capacity in the past two years than in the previous 30 years combined. In fact, as President Obama highlighted in his State of the Union address, “every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008.” Read More