Earlier this month, 13 U.S. government agencies (NOAA, NASA, DOE, etc.) concluded that climate change is real and caused mainly by human activity. There is no question that this is happening... The only question now is: what do we do about it?
PETER DIAMANDIS — This blog looks at four options
Let’s dive in.
1. Government Regulation and Top-Down Incentives
We’ve seen many government debates, laws passed and treaties signed. We’ve heard a lot about the efficacy of cap and trade, taxing carbon, and other regulations that incentivize carbon abatement.
While we should rally behind policies that can assist in slowing the rise of global temperatures, forgive me if I don’t depend on this option to handle the problem.
Many special interests and scientifically ignorant members of the electorate make this option unlikely and risky to baseline as our primary strategy.
The time for radical action is now.
2. Make Renewables so Cheap that they KILL Fossil Fuels
Society faced a similar environmental crisis 120 years ago...
At the end of the 19th century, London was becoming uninhabitable because of the accumulation of horse manure.
As citizens moved from the rural countryside to the urban cities, they brought with them their motive force, the horse, and the piles of horse manure piled up rapidly, bringing disease. People were absolutely panicked. Because of their anchoring bias, they couldn’t imagine any other possible solutions. No one had any idea that a disruptive technology — the automobile — was coming.
What is today’s equivalent transformative technology? Clearly, it’s the mass adoption of renewal energy: solar, wind, geothermal and nuclear.
Let’s look at solar alone. Few people have any idea that 8,000x more energy from the sun hits the surface of the Earth in a day than we consume as a human race.
All the energy we could ever need is literally raining down from above. A squanderable abundance of energy.
These staggering numbers, in combination with an exponential decline in photovoltaic solar energy costs ($ per watt price of solar cells), put us on track to meet between 50 percent and 100 percent of the world’s energy production from solar (and other renewables) in the next 20 years.
Even better, the poorest countries in the world are the sunniest.
At the same time that renewable energy sources are on the rise, the demise of the internal combustion car is synergistically bringing about the end of the era of fossil fuels.
India, France, Britain and Norway have already completely ditched gas and diesel cars in favor of cleaner electric vehicles. At least 10 other countries (including China and India) have set sales targets for electric cars.
In the last year alone, every manufacturer has announced aggressive plans for electric vehicles. Ford Motor Company, for example, is investing $4.5 billion in electric cars, adding 13 electric cars and hybrids by 2020, making more than 40 percent of its lines electrified.
An EV market of two models in 2010 has climbed to more than 25 models today.
At the same time, many automotive companies (e.g. Volvo) have announced the end of the internal combustion car altogether.
Batteries: It’s next reasonable to ask whether the required battery technology will advance fast enough to give us the storage capacity needed for an “all-electric economy.”
Battery performance pricing ($/kWh) is dropping 2x faster than even the optimists projected.
The bottom line: Our second option for combating climate change is to make renewable energy so cheap, such a ‘no-brainer’, that fossil fuels disappear for the same reason the Stone Age vanished: Not for a lack of stones, but for a 10x better option.
Abundance-minded entrepreneurs have the option to make solar and renewables easier, cheaper, and better, putting the petroleum, natural gas and coal industries out of business.
3. Adapting to a Warmer World
The Earth’s environment has been continuously changing for more than 4 billion years.
When life first emerged on Earth, our atmosphere was a deadly combination of carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane. Then, about 3 billion years ago, a poisonous and corrosive gas called oxygen came about from a process called “photosynthesis,” a process that transformed the climate and killed much of the existing life forms.
Ultimately life, whether it is microbial or homo sapiens, changes the environment. Our challenge today is the speed with which humanity’s use of fossil fuels has destabilized our ecosystem.
So, the question is, in parallel with items 1, 2 and 4 in this blog, do we accelerate our efforts to adopt to these changes as well?
One such example comes from China, where a team of scientists have successfully modified rice to grow in saltwater, which will allow them to feed their populace as sea levels rise. Cornell University projects that 2 billion people – around 20% of the world’s population – are at risk of being displaced by rising sea levels.
4. Geoscale Engineering: A Solution in Space
I recently had a conversation with a billionaire friend of mine from Silicon Valley who is committing his wealth and intellect to solving our climate problem. He’s tired of all the inaction and sees the climate crisis as one of humanity’s greatest existential threats today.
One solution that I discussed with him that I find compelling and elegant is called a “sunshade.”
Imagine a large, deployable mega-structure that sits between the Earth and the Sun, and blocks out very small (<0.1 percent) (variable) fraction of the photons coming from the sun to the Earth.
The preferred location for such a sunshade is near the Earth-Sun inner Lagrange point (L1) in an orbit with the same 1-year period as the Earth, and in-line with the Sun at a distance ≥ 1,500,000 kilometers from Earth.
While researching the idea, I found three well documented write-ups:
In 1989, James Early (from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory) proposed putting a giant, 2000 km-wide glass deflector at L1.
A 1992 NASA report suggested lifting 55,000 “solar sails” into orbit at L1, each with an area of 100 km2, blocking about 1 percent of sunlight.
In 2007, Roger Angel (an astronomer from the University of Arizona), suggested creating a “cloud” of tiny sunshades at L1, each weighing about 1.2g and measuring 60cm in diameter.
All of these proposals have their respective limitations, whether it be cost, technical feasibility, and so on.
Roger Angel’s solution, which proposed millions of micro-shades rather than one large, expensive structure, has various pros and cons. It’s estimated that his concept could be developed and deployed in 25 years at a cost of a few trillion dollars, <0.5 percent of the world’s GDP over that time.
This is just one example of many geoscale engineering projects worth exploring.
Others (which I don’t like as much, because they may not be as easily reversible and controllable) include documented ideas like seeding our oceans with iron to increase the growth of plankton, or deliberately injecting the stratosphere with sulphur compounds to increase the Earth’s reflectivity.
Clearly, I can’t put forth this option without acknowledging that we can’t fully know the secondary effects of these efforts. As Jim Haywood, professor of Atmospheric Science at University of Exeter said in an interview, “…there’s a healthy fear surrounding a technique that, without being hyperbolic, would aim to hack the planet’s climate and block out the sun.”
We can either wait for climate change to continue to decimate elements of our society, or we can begin focusing aggressively on solutions.
Given our access to exponential technologies, I am far more hopeful about our ability to address the climate crisis today, rather than 50, or even 20, years ago.
We can fix the problem — we just need to focus our intellect, resources and technology, and focus it fast.
Over the next decade, as climate change becomes more devastating and visible, great thinkers and entrepreneurs will emerge with even more surprising solutions to help tackle this grand challenge.
As I have often said, the world’s biggest problems are the world’s biggest business opportunities.
It seems the industry's future propulsion method is sealed: electric cars will begin to take priority over the internal combustion engine. While some automakers buy time and green credentials with hybrid systems, Rolls-Royce has zero plans for such a stop-gap.
MOTOR AUTHORITY -- Autocar reports that Rolls-Royce is not looking into expanding its portfolio of vehicles with hybrid technology. Instead, the marque will pursue electric cars.
“Electrification is the way forward—and there will be no in between steps for us like hybridization,” Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Otvös told the British publication. “It is the propulsion system for the future, make no error. There is a time—nobody can predict when—when there will be no combustion engines. That will take a long, long time, but it will happen.”
But, even speaking of electric powertrains, Müller-Otvös said only when the technology is suitably developed will Rolls-Royce swap out V-12 engines for batteries and electric motors. Recall, Rolls-Royce in 2011 tested the waters with an electric Phantom concept but found the lack of range and charging infrastructure to be too much of a shortcoming. Even with today's battery technology, it's not quite up to Rolls-Royce standards.
“The Rolls-Royce brand is not, in a way, a game-changer when it comes to revolutionary technology. Our customers are doing so for reasons of utmost luxury, so there can be no imperfections."
He did state access to the BMW Group's electric powertrains will be an asset when Rolls-Royce does finally introduce such technology. In the meantime, however, the focus will be on opulence and delivering a luxurious driving experience.
Homebuyers and sellers are becoming more aware of the value of rooftop solar panels — not just for ecological reasons, but for energy savings as well — and now there is a quick and easy way to estimate that value.
INMAN -- Zillow has partnered with two startups, Sun Number and Wave Solar, to include Sun Number’s proprietary rooftop solar scoring system on 84 million properties on Zillow nationwide as of today.
That’s up from 40 million buildings on Zillow that had a Sun Number listed as of last year.
Sun Number’s methodology is complex, but the idea is simple. The tech startup has developed a 1-100 scoring system that provides homeowners with a measurement of how good their rooftop is for solar.
Sun Number already makes solar scoring available to anyone who enters most U.S. addresses into the Sun Number website. The problem is that until now, the score only informs people who visit the website because they are already interested in the potential value of rooftop solar.
The Zillow partnership represents a quantum leap forward in public awareness. By expanding to another 44 million home entries on its website, Zillow is introducing the idea of rooftop solar to millions of consumers and real estate professionals who might otherwise be unaware of its value. The Sun Number is available on Zillow if you scroll down on a property page.
That broad public awareness angle is the raison d’être for Sun Number. The start-up launched in 2012, in collaboration with the US Department of Energy’s “SunShot” program, which was designed to help lower the cost of installing solar power. The initial aim of solar scoring was to help urban planners understand the impact of rooftop solar on a citywide basis.
In an interview with Inman, Sun Number co-founder David Hermann explained why the company expanded its mission to include the general public:
“Once we started analyzing roofs, we also recognized that homeowners needed to be educated on whether they should explore solar for their home and developed the Sun Number score as an easy-to-understand rating between 1 and 100.
“I hope that Sun Number can contribute to a national movement by home and building owners to combat climate change and invest in our world’s future by installing solar on their roofs.
“We need to recognize that individually one solar installation may not seem like much, but when we all install solar it can make a difference in the world. When we all work together toward the collective good, we are a powerful force.”
Keep an eye out for further developments. Hermann has big plans for engaging the public in clean energy:
“Our goal was always national coverage, but there were many obstacles in our path and it was never a given that we would reach our goal. Today, far from resting on our accomplishments we have a long list of enhancements that we want to implement in the future.”
Governor Jerry Brown signed a law in 2015 that gave the state until 2030 to have 50 percent of its electricity come from renewable energy. A new report released this month shows the state may reach or surpass this goal by 2020.
FUTURISM -- In 2015, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a law that would see the state committing to renewable energy. The law gave California until 2030 to ensure 50 percent of its electricity came from renewable sources like the Sun and wind. At the time, Brown made it clear that fossil fuels are taking humanity down a dangerous path, despite their impact on getting us this far.
“We’ve got to realize that we are here today because of oil — oil and gas, [and] to a lesser extent, coal,” SFGate reported Brown saying. “What has been the source of our prosperity has become the source of our ultimate destruction, if we don’t get off of it.”
Now, only two years later, California is seemingly ahead of its own schedule. A recently released annual report from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reveals the state is on track to meet its goal by 2020 — a full 10 years before the established deadline.
CALIFORNIA EXCEEDS EXPECTATIONS
According to the Renewables Portfolio Standard report, California’s three biggest utility providers — Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) — all surpassed the 25 percent requirement for 2016. Renewables accounted for 32.9 percent of PG&E’s electricity; SCE reached 28.2 percent, while SDG&E reached 43.2 percent. Going forward, all three companies predict “they will meet or exceed their 2020 RPS compliance period requirements.”
As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, California has been pushing renewable energy since 2002, with both Governor Brown and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger steadily raising the requirements over the years. Since 2008, California’s emissions have been on a decline, and it’s only expected to continue. It helps that the prices of both solar and wind contracts have dropped considerably, making it cheaper for companies to invest in renewables.
“The RPS program has helped achieve large reductions in cost for renewable electricity: between 2008 and 2016, the price of utility scale solar contracts reported to the CPUC have gone down 77%, and between 2007 and 2015 reported prices of wind contracts have gone down 47%.” In 2008, solar contracts were $135.90, but as of 2016 they’re priced at $29.17; in 2007, wind contracts were $97.11, but were as low as $50.99 as of 2015.
California’s efforts are beginning to pay off in big ways, and the state continues to show its commitment to reducing its impact on climate change and global warming. It wants to use 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, and is considering a ban on non-electric vehicles. At the rate its progressing, California is due to get everything it wants.
Tesla's long-awaited electric tractor-trailer truck will debut on Thursday night.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has promised a big, powerful truck he has nicknamed "The Beast." A teaser image Tesla has released, showing the truck heavily backlit, reveals a tall silhouette with futuristic angular headlights.
At an event that will take place at 8pm tonight in California, Tesla will unveil the new truck.
Electric delivery trucks are already on the market, delivering goods on local routes. Those sorts of trips, involving relatively short routes at slow speeds that start and end at the same location, are well suited to a battery-powered truck. Power demands are relatively low and the trucks can easily be recharged before each shift.
That's why many analysts have suggested that Tesla's semi truck would be best used to move cargo from ports to other relatively nearby locations such as rail yards, warehouses or distribution centers. As with smaller delivery trucks, this would involve short trips that would have the truck back at a base location for charging.
Toyota announced last month that it started a program at the Port of Los Angeles to put hydrogen-powered semi-trucks to just this sort of use.
Tesla has also said it's working to apply its semi-autonomous driving technologies to the semi-truck. Other companies are also working to build self-driving semis, including Freightliner, which announced it was testing an autonomously-driven semi-truck back in 2015.
Pharrell Williams is making a big statement with his latest song.
MSN — The 44-year-old singer has recorded a track that will not be released for 100 years -- until 2117.
Williams has partnered with LOUIS XIII Cognac on the song, which was created to shine a light on environmental issues. "100 Years" was recorded onto a record made of clay from the chalky soil of the Cognac region, and stored in the cellars of LOUIS XIII in a state-of-the-art safe specially designed by Fichet-Bauche that is only destructible when submerged in water.
According to a press release, LOUIS VIII and Williams hope to motivate the population to take action against global warming, as scientists have projected that a significant portion of the world's land (including Williams' song) will be underwater in the next century.
The singer premiered "100 years" during a private listening party in Shanghai, China, for 100 lucky guests -- the party is the only time the song will be heard until 2117.
"I love the fact that LOUIS XIII thinks a century ahead," Williams said in a statement. "We should all do the same for the planet. We have a common interest in preserving nature for the future. Each bottle is the life achievement of generations of men and women. It's all about legacy and transmission."
If you buy a new home in Oregon in the next few years it might already be "solar ready.
KGW-TV — Last week, Gov. Kate Brown signed an executive order saying in about three years, all new homes must be built wired and ready to install solar panels.
Currently, homes in Oregon are not necessarily designed to have solar panels put on top of them.
hat means if a homeowner wants to add the panels, they often have to pay to retrofit their homes. That may mean, among other things, adding new wiring inside.
The governor's executive order would require all homes built after September 2020 to have that wiring set up. All the homeowner would have to do is purchase whatever solar panel system they choose.
The Oregon Environmental Council, which helped work on the executive order, says it will give homeowners an incentive to put in the cleaner energy solar panels.
"It gets your home set up and ready for solar panels so if you choose them in the future, half your work is already done," said Jana Gastellum, climate program director at Oregon Environmental Council.
Gastellum also said the homeowners would be able to recoup the added upfront costs with lower energy bills down the road.
She also said it will give homeowners an incentive to put in the cleaner energy alternative.
"If you make it easier to install solar panels it means more solar panels will be installed," she said.
But those who support the executive order say the technology is there and thanks to Gov. Brown, pretty soon "solar ready homes" will be
The governor's executive order also calls for all commercial buildings be built solar ready by October of 2022.
Rooftop solar installers are reaching ‘major milestone’
BLOOMBERG — There’s long been a Catch-22 about residential solar: despite staggering market demand, it’s been hard to make money doing it. Until now.
Sunrun Inc. said Wednesday that it’s cash-flow positive. And Blackstone Group LP-backed Vivint Solar Inc. expects to hit that mark next year.
Rooftop solar installers have chased growth in recent years, investing revenue into marketing and installations. The model helped fuel the expansion of residential power systems in the U.S., driven by leases and power-purchase agreements that require little to no upfront cash from consumers.
“It’s a major milestone if both of these companies can demonstrate that they can fund their continuing operations and continue to create new leases and generate money,” said Joseph Osha, a San Francisco-based analyst at JMP Securities LLC.
Sunrun expects to generate about $40 million of normalized cash flow this year. “We are very clearly profitable,” Chairman Ed Fenster said in an interview Wednesday. The shares gained 7.8 percent to $6.35 at 10:02 a.m. in New York.
Vivint is pushing to be cash-flow positive in 2018, Chief Executive Officer David Bywater said in an interview Wednesday. The Lehi, Utah-based company has prioritized profitability under Bywater, who became CEO last year, over a single-minded focus on installation growth.
“Others were leading this charge on growth, growth, growth,” Bywater said. “But growth is only great with strong unit economics.”
Though rooftop power was once the fastest-growing part of the U.S. solar industry, installations have slowed this year as some states revised incentive programs. Cash flow and profitability became leading industry buzzwords. Investors began focusing on companies’ marketing and unit costs, while debating the financial merits of long-term leases versus sales, either paid with cash or funded with loans.
Vivint and market-leader Tesla Inc. have pivoted. Tesla is prioritizing sales, ceased door-to-door marketing and has ceded market-share to rivals including Sunrun, which expects to boost installations by 15 percent this year. Vivint last year decided it needed to right-size and diversify itself following its failed acquisition by now-bankrupt clean-energy giant SunEdison Inc., and stopped chasing growth for the sake of growth.
Rooftop-solar companies “haven’t pedaled their product as hard as past years. Why? Investors’ patience was wearing thin,” said Hugh Bromley, a New York-based analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “They wanted a path to profitability and the easiest way to do that was to cut marketing spend at the expense of growth.”
Vivint and Sunrun have pursued partnerships, partly to boost value and to reduce marketing expenses. Vivint is collaborating with sister company Vivint Smart Home on solar-and-energy-management bundles, and with Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz Energy unit on power-storage systems. Sunrun has arrangements with Comcast Corp., National Grid Plc and Engie SA; Comcast will market Sunrun’s panels to its customers over the next 40 months.
“We’re gaining share, we’re increasing our cash balance,” said Sunrun CEO Lynn Jurich in the interview. “This is a big step.”
It’s not every day a titan of industry predicts the demise of his own. But Bob Lutz, the former chairman of General Motors, believes the auto industry is not long for this world.
MSN — “It saddens me to say it, but we are approaching the end of the automotive era,” he writes this month for Automotive News. Our daily travel, he predicts, will migrate to standardized passenger modules as the demolition of the traditional auto industry accelerates.
Within five years, he expects, people will start selling their cars for scrap or trade them in for autonomous passenger modules as self-driving cars take over transportation. Within 20 years, human-driven vehicles will be legislated off highways. Companies like Lyft, Uber, Google and other technology companies will take charge of an industry now centered in Detroit, Germany, and Japan.
“The end state will be the fully autonomous module with no capability for the driver to exercise command,” he writes. “You will call for it, it will arrive at your location, you’ll get in, input your destination and go to the freeway.”
Fleet owners like FedEx and UPS will be the first to defect to self-driving vehicles. Cost savings from autonomous (likely electric) vehicles are just too great. Others have predicted the same thing: RethinkX, a Bay Area think tank, expects shared autonomous electric vehicles will account for almost all road travel by 2030 thanks to their low maintenance and fuel costs, as well as their ability to work around the clock.
Lutz started his automotive career at GM in 1963, then went on to have senior leadership roles with BMW, Ford, and Chrysler until retiring in 2010. His view of legacy car companies is nothing short of apocalyptic.
He predicts the companies that actually manufacture cars will become less valuable as the importance of those that own fully autonomous fleets grows. Expect the relationship between companies like Ford and Uber to resemble the one between Foxconn and Apple: manufacturing companies make products in obscurity, while technology companies grab most of the visibility and profits. Premium-car makers and dealerships are doomed. As transportation is commodified into an on-demand service, the market for individually owned cars will shrink, and be kept afloat by only a few car fanatics.
This death sentence could be premature, argues Sven Beiker, who spent 13 years at BMW before joining Stanford University. The auto industry that has anchored the US economy for generations with about 4 million jobs from manufacturing to retail in the US, and as much as $953 billion in economic activity. Its transformation will not happen overnight.
“Typically, we extrapolate a lot: I know what an automobile is, therefore I know what an autonomous car is,” he says. “That’s just not true.” Silicon Valley’s tech giants, while adept at bits and bytes, have not yet proven themselves as successful at rearranging atoms for something as large and sophisticated as a car. Even Tesla, Silicon Valley’s standout in the industry, has only manufactured about 250,000 vehicles during its 14-year lifetime. Volkswagen, Toyota, and GM each sell about 10 million cars per year.
Syria’s decision means America will be the only country outside the landmark deal if it follows through with Donald Trump’s vow to leave.
THE GUARDIAN — Syria has decided to sign the Paris agreement on climate change, the world’s final functioning state to do so. The surprise decision, taken amid a brutal civil war in the country, will leave the US as the only country outside the agreement if it follows through on President Donald Trump’s vow to leave.
Syria’s decision brings to 197 the number of nations signed up to the landmark 2015 pact on global warming, the first in more than 20 years of UN negotiations to bind both developed and developing countries to a clear limit on temperature rises.
President Barack Obama signed the accord and it was ratified before his term of office ended, but this summer Donald Trump began the process of withdrawingfrom it. Withdrawal will take several years under UN rules, so the US officially remains a party until 4 November 2020, the day after its next presidential election. The US is the only country to renege on the agreement.
Civil society groups said the US, the world’s largest economy and second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, was now isolated on the world stage.
Paula Caballero, global director of the climate programme at the World Resources Institute, said: “Now the entire world is resolutely committed to advancing climate action – all save one country. This should make the Trump administration pause and reflect on their ill-advised announcement about withdrawing from the Paris agreement.”
Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club environmental group, said: “As if it wasn’t already crystal clear, every single other country is moving forward together to tackle the climate crisis, while Trump has isolated the US in an embarrassing and dangerous position. Trump’s desperate moves to help corporate polluters by refusing to acknowledge the climate crisis shows he neither cares about leadership nor does he understand it.”
Observers said that although the White House could withdraw the federal government from the pact, cities and states in the US would continue to take action on climate change, for instance by investing in renewable energy.
The French government, according to reports, said Trump had been excluded from the invitations to more than 100 world leaders to meet in Paris for a climate conference next month, to follow on from the Paris agreement.
The US delegation in Bonn, where two weeks of UN climate negotiations are in their second day, did not respond to the Guardian’s request for comment.
The US is participating in the Bonn talks, according to the UN climate chief Patricia Esposito, but its contributions so far have been low-key. Under UN rules, it will continue to be allowed to do so until the formal withdrawal can be completed in 2020.
At the Bonn talks, called COP23 in the UN jargon, countries are hoping to come up with a roadmap to meet the goals set out in the Paris agreement. In 2015, countries agreed to hold rising temperatures to no more than 2C, which scientists say is the limit of safety, beyond which the ravages of climate change are likely to become catastrophic and irreversible.
Such a roadmap must include ways to toughen the promises on curbing greenhouse gas emissions that countries made in Paris. The Paris pledges are not in themselves enough to satisfy the 2C limit, and if left unchanged would lead to a 3C rise in temperatures, according to studies. A 3C rise would mean far higher sea level rises, heatwaves and droughts afflicting large swaths of the globe and making agriculture impossible in those areas, while devastating floods would increase in other areas.
To meet the Paris goals, countries will have to ratchet up their commitments on emissions reductions, which will be a difficult negotiation. Scientific advice at the Bonn conference has been clear, however: this year is likely to be the third warmest on record, confirming a warming trend that bears the fingerprints of human activity affecting the global climate.
Syria’s decision was largely symbolic, given the country’s disarray, and follows a similar announcement before the Bonn talks by the only other holdout on the Paris accord, Nicaragua.
Also at Bonn, the Vatican Pontifical Academy of Sciences warned in unusually strong terms that unchecked climate change and air pollution would put “the very fabric of life on Earth, including that of humans, at grave risk”. The Pope warned in a preface to the Vatican report that “transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilisers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in general” were risks to millions, with the poor at particular hazard, and warned that technology from the business sector might not be the answer. The Pope has been increasingly outspoken on environmental issues, sending out an encyclical on climate change ahead of the Paris agreement.
The European Environment Agency reported that the EU was on track to meet its goals on reducing emissions by 2020, with a slight fall in greenhouse gas output last year, but would require more effort to meet its 2030 targets under the Paris agreement.
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