Tag: sustainability (page 2 of 6)

NYC 🫶 renewable energy

New York’s Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) demonstrates the strength of grassroots movements and the potential of publicly owned utilities to lead the way in the adoption of renewable energy.

This serves as a reminder that decentralised power structures can be more agile and responsive to the needs of the public. When communities have a say in decision-making processes, they can make bold moves towards a sustainable future, create new jobs, and ensure equitable access to clean, affordable energy. ✊

The skyline behind the Brooklyn Bridge in New York on 16 April.

New York state has passed legislation that will scale up the state’s renewable energy production and signals a major step toward moving utilities out of private hands to become publicly owned.


The Build Public Renewables Act (BPRA) will ensure that all state-owned properties that ordinarily receive power from the New York power authority (NYPA) are run on renewable energy by 2030. It will also require municipally owned properties – including many hospitals and schools, as well as public housing and public transit – to switch to renewable energy by 2035.


The passage of this first-of-its-kind law comes after years of grassroots campaigning by climate and environmental organizers in New York state.


Historically, when utilities are owned by investors, profits go to shareholders. But in publicly owned models, profits are reinvested in the utility’s operations. Rates on energy bills are also generally lower.


The newly passed law also ensures creation of union jobs for the renewable projects, guaranteeing pay rate protection, offering retraining, and making sure that new positions are filled with workers who have lost or would be losing employment in the non-renewable energy sector.

Source: New York takes big step toward renewable energy in ‘historic’ climate win | The Guardian

Reducing long-distance travel

I agree with what Simon Jenkins is saying here about focusing on the ‘reduce’ part of sustainable travel. However, it does sound a bit like victim-blaming to say that people outside of London travel mainly by car.

We travel primarily by car because of the lack of other options. Infrastructure is important, including outside of our capital city.

It is an uncomfortable fact that most people outside London do most of their motorised travel by car. The answer to CO2 emissions is not to shift passengers from one mode of transport to another. It is to attack demand head on by discouraging casual hyper-mobility. The external cost of such mobility to society and the climate is the real challenge. It cannot make sense to predict demand for transport and then supply its delivery. We must slowly move towards limiting it.

One constructive outcome of the Covid pandemic has been to radically revise the concept of a “journey to work”. Current predictions are that “hybrid” home-working may rise by as much as 20%, with consequent cuts in commuting travel. Rail use this month remains stubbornly at just 65% of its pre-lockdown level. Office blocks in city centres are still half-empty. Covid plus the digital revolution have at last liberated the rigid geography of labour.

Climate-sensitive transport policy should capitalise on this change. It should not pander to distance travel in any mode but discourage it. Fuel taxes are good. Road pricing is good. So are home-working, Zoom-meeting (however ghastly for some), staycationing, local high-street shopping, protecting local amenities and guarding all forms of communal activity.

Source: Train or plane? The climate crisis is forcing us to rethink all long-distance travel | The Guardian

Microcast #094 — Solarpunk vs technocratic pharaohs


A thematic look at sustainable futures, from equitable approaches to chimeric fetuses and phallic spaceships.

Show notes

See also: Bright green, blight green, and lean green futures (Open Thinkering)

Image: Solarpunk Flag by @Starwall@radical.town

Background music: Shimmers by Synth Soundscapes (aka Mentat)