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UNEP Publishes 2020 Adaption Gap Report

The UNEP Adaptation Gap Report 2020, released on January 14, states that 72% of countries have adopted a climate adaption strategy or policy at the national level, while another 9% are in the process of developing one. However, additional financing is critical to enhance adaptation and limit losses, especially in the developing countries. More information can be found in the report viewed here


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President Biden Starts Process to Rejoin Paris Climate Accord

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden began the process of rejoining the Paris Climate Accord with a letter to the United Nations requesting U.S. membership. It will take 30 days for the U.S. to formally reenter the nonbinding global agreement to reduce emissions.


Biden has also laid out a series of actions he is going to take on Climate Change starting January 27. This includes initiating a series of regulatory actions to combat climate change domestically and elevating climate change to a national security priority. 


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Washington State Bill Would Require All New Buildings be Zero-Carbon by 2030

House Bill 1084, the Healthy Homes and Clean Buildings Act, would require all new buildings in Washington to be zero-carbon by 2030 and eliminate fossil fuel consumption in existing buildings by 2050. If passed, this would put Washington on track to become the first U.S. state to implement statewide restrictions on natural gas infrastructure in new construction, while simultaneously tackling retrofits in existing buildings. The legislation reflects recommendations from the draft state energy strategy, including requiring zero-energy, zero-carbon and all-electric construction in the state's 2027 energy code. This is important because if code updates stay on their current trajectory, they will not prompt fossil-fuel-free construction by 2030, which means buildings will not meet decarbonization targets until the mid-to-late 2030s. 


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ACEEE Releases Clean Energy Study of 30 U.S. Cities

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) conducted an analysis of clean energy efforts by 30 small cities. It found that several leaders are taking significant steps to cut energy waste and embrace clean energy. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy examined cities’ efforts to make homes and buildings more energy efficient, to scale up the use of renewable energy and to ensure community involvement in developing equitable clean-energy policies. The cities analyzed, with populations generally between 16,000 and 100,000, are in California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota and New Jersey. San Luis Obispo, California received the top score of the group for its policy incentivizing all-electric equipment and appliances in new buildings, and for participating in a program that offers carbon-free electricity to residents. The 30 cities volunteered to be evaluated as part of the Community Energy Challenge sponsored by ACEEE, the Sustainable States Network, Sustainable CT, Green Cities California, Sustainable Maryland, Minnesota GreenStep Cities and Sustainable Jersey. More on the Community Energy Challenge can be found here


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