climate action alerts

A regional resource for climate advocates
October 21, 2022
Net Zero 2022 Conference Agenda
Climate Collaborative Releases Net Zero 2022

The Climate Collaborative is pleased to release the agenda for next Friday's NZ-22 virtual conference. With climate, energy, and policy experts from around the globe, nation, state and region, we're sure you'll find our program enlightening and inspiring.

Please check out our Agenda at a Glance, and look for the full Program Agenda on our website or in our newsletter next week!

And if you've not yet registered for NZ-22, please sign up here.
The conference is free and virtual! And if you can't attend the day of, register anyway and we'll send you a recording ANZ (After Net Zero)!

Upcoming Events
Eastham Climate Action Network Presents
Meet Your Town's Climate Action Committee!

Thursday, November 3, 2022
Eastham Public Library
190 Samoset Rd, Eastham, MA 02642

Join the Eastham Climate Action Committee to learn about opportunities to reduce your carbon footprint by leveraging new technologies to reduce emissions and save both energy and money. The discussion topics will include how towns should engage in climate action, and adapt to climate change. We hope to see you there!
Cape & Islands Climate News
Cape Cod Commission To Create Floodplain Regulatory Tools
The Cape Cod Enterprise, Oct 18, 2022 | Image: Cape Cod Commission

The Cape Cod Commission has received funding through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs to create new regulatory tools for development in the floodplain.

The $148,534 awarded to the Commission is part of more than $1.2 million in Planning Assistance Grant Program funds awarded recently by the Baker-Polito Administration... Nineteen percent of the Cape Cod region is in the Federal Emergency Management Agency Special Flood Hazard Area. Today, flooding threatens more than 13,000 single-family homes within the hazard area, worth a combined $9 billion. With the increased risk of climate change and rising sea levels, even more is at stake. Read more.
Vineyard Wind project making progress in Barnstable
By Heather McCarron, The Cape Cod Times, Oct 17, 2022

On a recent morning in Charlestown, state Rep. Jeffrey Roy stood, amazed, as he watched a giant wind turbine paddle put through the paces at the Wind Technology Testing Center."They were testing the blades that are going to be used in the Vineyard Wind project," he said...

As House chairman of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, Roy has been at the front of Massachusetts' pioneering off-shore wind wagon train. He has long been an advocate for sustainable, clean energy, and is excited to see Massachusetts taking the lead with Vineyard Wind, the nation's first commercial-scale, off-shore wind project. Read More.
Solar Canopy Will Power Nauset Regional Middle School
The newly-built solar canopy outside Nauset Regional Middle School is expected to go online later this fall. The canopy will provide enough energy to fully power the middle school. 
By Ryan Bray, Cape Cod Chronicle, Sept 21, 2022

ORLEANS – In the parking lot between the Nauset school administration building and Nauset Regional Middle School, a large solar canopy stands covering a fleet of school buses. By year's end, the structure will start saving the school district considerably on its energy costs.

After fits and starts, the canopy is expected to go live by Thanksgiving, if not sooner, according to Jim Nowack, assistant director of finance and operations for the Nauset Regional School District. Read more.
Buildings and Energy
CityLab Daily: Builders, Architects Ride a Renovation Wave in US
By Amelia Pollard, Bloomberg News, October 19, 2022
Image: Patrick L. Pyszka/City of Chicago

The fixing-up of older buildings recently hit a record high in US cities. As of spring 2022, the majority of architecture firm billings came from renovation work, not new construction, according to the American Institute of Architects. The last time the market for design services was so heavily weighted toward renovations was likely during the Great Depression.

Businesses are upgrading offices and cities are looking to adaptively reuse historic structures, which has significant climate implications. More homeowners are also taking up home-improvement projects. But the lag in new construction has its drawbacks: Housing experts, for example, say the renovation boom could keep homeownership and affordable rents out of reach, contributor Zach Mortice reports. Read more.
Amsterdam’s Development Boom Runs Up Against Rising Seas
Climate change poses new challenges to a city that’s already below sea level.
By Linda Poon, Bloomberg News, Oct 14, 2022
Image: Robin van Lonkhuijsen, AFP/Getty Image

The Netherlands’ network of barriers, dams and wind-powered pumps has long enabled Dutch city-dwellers to build and live on the water. But even the most advanced flood control system has its limits as sea levels continue to rise, spelling uncertainty for the future of development in Amsterdam over the next century — in particular, its waterfronts. Read more.
Nick Falkoff is constructing climate change solutions
By Janelle Nanos, The Boston Globe, October 20, 2022

Nick Falkoff believes that climate activists can come in many forms. As the general manager of Auburndale Builders, he’s helping construct a path forward for tradespeople to learn the skills they’ll need to build the homes of tomorrow.

By some estimates, buildings account for 40 percent of all energy related carbon emissions globally, when factoring in the carbon released in the creation of buildings and the lighting, heating, and cooling of them once they’re completed.

That’s why Falkoff is among the region’s leaders in pushing for high performance techniques in homebuilding, and why he’s creating educational opportunities for people to learn how construct buildings in ways that are better for the planet. Read more.
The Consumer Environment
A very hot topic: Everything you need to know about induction cooktops
Induction gets high marks for energy efficiency, as well as performance and safety
By Lisa Zwirn, Boston Globe, Sept 27, 2022

If you’re embarking on a kitchen remodel or just swapping out your cooktop or range, you’ve likely been introduced to induction. It acts like the new kid on the block, but it’s not — it’s just finally getting the attention it deserves. Induction gets high marks for energy efficiency, as well as performance and safety.

First, some definitions because cooking equipment vocabulary can be confusing: A range (also called a stove) is a one-piece unit including a cooking surface and an oven (for baking, roasting, and broiling) that gets slid into a space, typically 30 or 36 inches wide, in your kitchen. A cooktop (or stovetop) is inserted into the countertop and the (electric or induction) elements or (gas) burners and controls/knobs are on the surface. Read more.
Trouble brewing in the power grid as officials warn of possible electricity shortages in N.E this winter
By Sabrina Shankman, The Boston Globe, Sept. 27, 2022
Image: Jackie Lombardi

The prospect is alarming: rolling blackouts across New England as temperatures plummet below freezing for days on end, the result of a power grid that can’t keep up. Energy officials here are issuing unusually strident warnings about the potential for shortages if this winter turns out to be especially cold.

The concern is great enough that earlier this month, the five commissioners of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission made a rare visit to New England to hold a daylong meeting in Burlington to come to grips with just how serious the problem is. Read more.
Navigator: All Aboard Amsterdam’s Autonomous Trash Boat
At the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, researchers develop urban innovations like 3D printing with organic waste and self-driving sanitation boats.
By Sarah Holder, Bloomberg News, Oct 15, 2022

A 3D printer whirred, depositing layer upon layer of a solution made primarily of crushed up olive pits until it became a solid cube.

Here in the makerspace at the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, people have been experimenting with reusing organic waste materials to create eco-friendly products. Read more.
Food waste solutions
By Clare Toeniskoetter, New York Times, Oct 14, 2022 | Image: Anna Watts, New York Times

I recently hosted a backyard barbecue at my apartment in Brooklyn. I put out three containers for waste: A trash can, a recycling bin and a compost bin. As my friends helped me clean up at the end of the night, I learned that we had very different ideas of what was compostable. Vegetable scraps? Definitely compostable. But what about meat? Used paper plates? Paper towels?

When I checked the rules, I found out that a lot of stuff was in the wrong bin. So, I re-sorted everything the next morning.

As my colleague Somini Sengupta reported this week, states across the country are passing laws to divert food waste from landfills. Read more.
Climate Across the Country
Maine program aims to help small towns electrify heat in public buildings
Efficiency Maine announced the availability of $4 million in grants to help communities with fewer than 5,000 residents install heat pumps and other energy saving measures in public buildings.
By Sarah Shemkus, Energy News Network, Oct. 4 2022

A new grant program in Maine aims to help accelerate the transition to electric heat pumps in the state’s smallest towns. In August, Efficiency Maine announced a $4 million program to help towns with fewer than 5,000 residents cut energy use in public buildings.

The program, funded through the federal American Rescue Plan, is part of a recent focus by Efficiency Maine on helping underserved communities access the benefits of energy efficiency and clean energy technology. This summer, the agency announced an $8 million initiative to help pay for electric vehicle chargers in rural areas. Read more.
Meet the House Republican who could lead a key environmental committee
By Maxine Joselow, The Washington Post, October 11, 2022
Image: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

If Republicans regain control of the House in November's midterm elections, Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) would become chair of the Natural Resources Committee, one of the most consequential panels for environmental policy. In that role, Westerman would be tasked with helping to carve out a Republican agenda on climate and environmental issues, even as some GOP lawmakers continue to reject the scientific consensus on global warming.

Westerman, who received a master's degree in forestry from Yale University and is Congress's only licensed forester, has introduced legislation aimed at planting 1 trillion trees and has long argued that “conservation is conservative.” Read more.
MI Healthy Climate Plan Saves Taxpayers $53 Million, Lowers State Building Energy Consumption by 59%, October 13, 2022
Image: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

As part of Energy Awareness Month, MI Environment highlights energy efficiency improvements in state buildings. Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) has reduced energy consumption in state buildings by 59% to date. The reduction has saved taxpayers $53 million in potential energy costs in state buildings alone. 

“By taking action to implement the goals of the MI Healthy Climate Plan, we have saved taxpayers $53 million and reduced energy consumption of state buildings by 60%,” said Governor Whitmer. Read more.

“Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for.”

– Ernest Hemingway
Image Credit: PBS
Environmental Justice
Green trucking offers a bigger climate justice bump than green buildings
A new study shows how tweaking details of climate change strategies can redress environmental injustices.
By Sarah DeWeerdt, Anthropocene Magazine, Oct 18, 2022
Image: National Renewable Energy Lab via Flickr

Prioritizing the rollout of electric and hydrogen fuel cell trucks for moving goods around California would benefit disadvantaged communities even more than decarbonizing building operations with clean energy, according to a new analysis.

Disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution. Decarbonization means cleaner air, less air pollution, and better health for all. But there are lots of different technologies that could contribute to decarbonization, and few studies have evaluated how different decarbonization strategies will specifically affect disadvantaged communities. That leaves untapped a major opportunity for environmental justice.  Read here.
DOE-funded project investigates climate change effects on low-income housing
By Pamela Krewson- Wertz, Penn State News, Oct 13, 2022
Image: Brian Reed

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Coastal cities such as Baltimore expect to see increased impacts of climate change, such as severe flooding, heat stress and increased energy consumption, particularly in low-income communities. Researchers from Penn State’s Hamer Center for Community Design are part of a Department of Energy (DOE)-funded effort to study the effects of climate change on the built environment and how American cities can equitably mitigate these events.

The Hamer Center for Community Design, which is housed in the College of Arts and Architecture’s Stuckeman School, serves as a laboratory for community partnerships that integrate socio-economic and environmental conscious resolution to design and planning problems. Read more.
Around the Globe
COP27: Delivering for people and the planet:
Race to Zero Campaign
By The United Nations, Climate Change

From 6 to 18 November, Heads of State, ministers and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs will meet in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the largest annual gathering on climate action.

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP27 – will build on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries. 

Race To Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth. Read more.
Can China’s leader deliver?
The world’s most important non-change in leadership is happening right now in China.
By Raymond Zhong, New York Times, October 18, 2022
Image: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

At a Communist Party congress this week, Xi Jinping, the country’s top leader for the last 10 years, is all but certain to secure another five years in the job. Xi’s recent predecessors each left office after about a decade to protect China from abuses of power like those during the chaotic Mao era. Xi is expected to cast this precedent aside, taking the country down a more authoritarian path as economic growth teeters and tensions flare with the West.

My colleagues in and around China are covering this pivotal moment. I’m going to focus on what it might mean for the climate. Read More.
What a 'Sponge City' Designed to Withstand Extreme Flooding Looks Like
By Lisa Abend, TIME News, October 20, 2022
Image: Ingmar Björn Nolting for TIME

By themselves, the young trees lining a still barren boulevard in Vienna’s newest neighborhood hardly look like climate warriors. Planted earlier in the year, the American ash and Bosnian maples were still scraggly enough by late July that they didn’t make a dent in the near-100º F temperatures. But as the visible part of the Austrian capital’s first “sponge city,” those trees, and the ingenious underground planters in which they grow, will soon play an important role in mitigating some of climate change’s worst effects. Read more.
Action & Activism

Climate Collaborative executive director Rich Delaney recently presented on the impacts of climate change on vulnerable coastal areas at the Eastham Public Library. He discussed how individual and community action are vital in making a tangible difference as we tackle climate change on all fronts. A special thanks to the Eastham Climate Action Committee for sponsoring this event!
Image: Roberta Longley of the Eastham Climate Action Committee, and Rich Delaney, executive director of the Cape Cod Climate Change Collaborative.
Beyond the Beltway, Civilian Climate Corps programs are flourishing in states across the country
By Maxine Joselow, The Washington Post, Oct. 14 2022

President Biden took office with grand plans to launch the first-ever Civilian Climate Corps, a federally funded initiative aimed at employing tens of thousands of young people to fight climate change.

But those plans face an uncertain path forward on Capitol Hill after the program was dropped from Democrats' landmark climate bill this summer, as The Climate 202 previously reported.

Regardless of the gridlock in Washington, states across the country have already launched similar programs to hire young people to tackle climate issues within their borders. These state programs could eventually provide a powerful model for a Civilian Climate Corps at the federal level, advocates say. Read more.
Additional Events
CoastSWEEP Clean Up
See a full list of Cape Cod clean-ups here.

The Baker-Polito Administration announced the 2022 COASTSWEEP beach cleanup program, and members of the public are encouraged to volunteer at one of the many cleanup events planned along the coast this fall. Organized by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affair’s (EEA) Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM), COASTWEEP cleanups will be held throughout the month of September and into early November. Since 1987, thousands of COASTSWEEP volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of marine debris and other trash from Massachusetts beaches, lakes, rivers and the seafloor. Read more.


We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is reduce the Cape & Islands' contributions to climate change and protect our region from its potentially devastating impacts. We depend upon the generosity of our stakeholders to conduct our work. All donations are tax deductible as allowed by law.
Follow Us!
The Climate Collaborative's Climate Action Alerts newsletter is curated and edited by Fran Schofield with production assistance by Lauren Gottlieb. We welcome climate news from your home, school, business, town, faith community, or organization. Please submit your news, events, or article ideas to