Sustainability Reads: February 9- February 15

What the massive snowfall in Boston tells us about global warming
More snow and climate change isn’t contradictory. And although many still wish to feign ignorance, this type of snowfall will become the norm in a warming world. This snow, as well as other extreme precipitation in certain parts of the world, is just one of the effects of climate change. By

A Wedge-Based Approach to Estimating Health Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation Activities in the United States
This new study monetizes the health benefits of policy that reduces greenhouse gas emissions. And the benefits are clear:

  • In 2020, between $6 and $14 billion could be saved in healthcare costs, depending on how the reductions are achieved.
  • This would equal a health care savings of between $40 and $93 for every metric ton of carbon dioxide reduced.
  • Extremely aggressive strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could yield between $10 to $24 billion worth of savings.
  • Fewer health problems related to greenhouse gas emissions—and thus lower health care costs—could help offset the price of implementing climate change policies. Research by a handful of scientists published in Climate Change.

“Spirit of Lima has transformed into spirit of Geneva, en route to Paris”: Christiana Figueres
Climate negotiations this week moved the 38-page skeleton text on the books from Lima into a 86-page negotiating draft text. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is the UN body in charge of developing the protocol to be signed at COP21 Paris. The text approved in December will bind all the parties to take immediate climate actions to keep the increase of global warming below 2 Celsius degrees and avoid the catastrophic effects of the climate disruption. Parties will meet again in June in Bonn, Germany to streamline the text. The Climate Group.

“We’ll give you €10,000 if you swap that old diesel for a plug-in vehicle, says France govt”
In order to reduce pollution from transportation and incentivize use of electric vehicles, the French government is offering money to those that swap their old diesel cars that are older than 13 years for fully electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. These older diesel cars have horrible health impacts and emit high levels of black carbon and soot. If these old diesel cars are replaced with a vehicle that meets specifications and emits less than 110gCO2/km, certain households could even receive an additional €500. By Michael Graham Richard at

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