Sustainability Reads: November 16- November 22

The World Could Run Entirely On Wind, Solar, And Hydro Power By 2050
A new study by researchers from Stanford and the University of California demonstrates that it’s technically and economically feasible to change the world’s energy infrastructure and be completely powered by renewable energy by 2050. The researchers studied 139 countries, analyzing current energy matrices and projecting future energy mixes. The article contains a fun, interactive map the researchers developed to show this transition. Also outlined are the number of jobs that would be created from the renewable power supply, how much energy per kWh will cost in 2050, and how much consumers would save in energy, health and climate cost savings. By Adele Peters at Co.Exist

 Positive Policy Potential to Increase Greenhouse Gas Emission Cuts: New UNFCCC Report Released to Help Climate Policymakers
The new report captures best practice climate policies for policymakers and other actors to prepare for the upcoming international climate negotiations and beyond. According to the report, four main barriers hold back taking climate action to scale: lack of carbon pricing, inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, lack of finance and capacity building for developing countries, and appropriate institutional, regulatory and legal frameworks. Sounds tough, but climate change is one of the biggest issues the world has faced so no one said it was going to be easy! The report’s website also has an interactive map to explore the national climate action plans submitted by 170 countries.

This map shows which countries are squandering the most money on fossil fuel subsidies
This article sums up new research on how governments subsidize fossil fuels, which keeps price low and counteracts efforts for a low-carbon economy. Governments are subsidizing fossil fuels at an alarming rate and the map in the article lets you explore expenditure by country. According to the New Climate Economy report, one of the reports referenced in the article, countries are likely to spend $650 billion on fossil fuel subsidies in 2015. Furthermore, the phasing out of subsidies could cut global emissions 13% by 2050. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Venezuela, Egypt, and Uzbekistan even spend more on fossil fuel subsidies than healthcare. While that is depressing, the report offers guidance and case studies of governments trying to change their ways. One case study is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country heavily dependent on income from oil and gas. UAE recently raised the price of oil to increase efficiency, closed budget gaps, and is making effort to reduce electricity consumption. Article by Clayton Aldren on Grist; Reports by New Climate Economy, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and Oil Change International (OCI).

The world’s first solar-powered bike path is generating more energy than expected
A small Dutch company called Sola Road installed a solar-powered bike path that over the past year has generated 70 kilowatt-hours per square meter – enough to power about three houses. Of course the question of cost and scalability pops up, but we’ll keep an eye on this concept because it’s cool and has a lot of potential. By Katie Medlock on Inhabitat.

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