Automakers reach an emissions agreement with California, an F-150 that can tow a freight train, and a small village with big ambitions


Heatwaves sweep the planet

Not wanting to be outdone by June's record-smashing temperatures, July has shown the world a new meaning of the word "heatwave." France, the Netherlands and Germany are just a few of the countries to set new all-time temperature records, while parts of Canada cooked in 35C heat. And it's because of (you guessed it) climate change.

Climate change increases the likelihood of heatwaves. And with back-to-back record summers containing back-to-back record heatwaves, the connection is getting recognition. As this piece on climate change attribution in the Economist reads, "the danger posed by climate change is clear and present, not just something for future generations to worry about." The weather is serving more reminders of the importance of taking climate action.

An emissions middle ground

After a battle of wills over vehicle emission standards between President Trump's administration and more pollution-minded states like California, it looks like a compromise could be in order. Four of North America's largest automakers have agreed to a deal with the California Air Resources Board to reduce fuel consumption to 50 mpg by model year 2026—a year later than the since-repealed targets designed by the Obama administration which have been retained by California and Canada.

Some (non-weather-related) records

If you haven't yet watched the video of Ford's new electric F-150 literally towing a freight train, then you should. It's a great example of what's possible with electric vehicles and  demolishes the shiny-toys-for-city-slickers misconception—EVs can be workhorses too. And while we're on the subject of impressive EVs, did you know Tesla claims the Model 3 just outsold "all of its gas-powered equivalents combined"?

Small but mighty

I love to read about small communities making a big difference. Like this small village in Alaska that is replacing diesel with power from a local river. Or this town in Ontario which is trying to become Canada's first carbon-neutral community—complete with a town hall solar array and 40,000 trees. As one town resident said, “if we start something from the ground up, other people maybe will follow and maybe we will learn something along the way.”

Some of this week's clean energy progress

From small towns to large corporations to whole nations, all have a part to play in the clean transition. This week, oil-rich Saudi Arabia made tentative steps towards clean energy, by building its first wind-power plant. Meanwhile, mining giant BHP announced $400m in funding to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. And carbon-neutral mining in Canada is getting closer, with an investment in new carbon capture technology at a Canadian mine. 

Clean Energy Review is sponsored in part by Genus Capital Management, a leading provider of fossil-fuel-free investments. 
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