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S1 BLOG

Key Takeaways from COP27

The United Nations held its annual Climate Conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt over the past few weeks, and while it wasn’t easy, in the end 200 countries signed on to a breakthrough agreement that addressed one of the most persistent sticking points: the disparity between the nations responsible for most of the pollution that is driving climate change, and those that have contributed the least emissions but are suffering some of the most extreme effects.

The new 12-page agreement established a compensation fund to address losses and damages for countries with the lowest carbon footprints, including smaller island nations like Vanuatu and less industrialized nations in Africa.

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Environmental Bond Act Passes in New York on Election Day

Should New York issue $4.2 billion in new bonds to pay for projects related to greenhouse gas emissions, flood risk, clean water, land conservation, and other climate-related matters? That is one of the things that New Yorkers were asked to decide in this year’s elections.

The “Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act” has already passed in the legislature, and last year New York voters approved a new statewide referendum guaranteeing a constitutional right to clean air and water, and a healthy environment.

This week, New Yorkers approved the Bond Act with a clear majority voting “yes” on Proposition 1.

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For Many Voters, Climate Change Is a Top Concern

This year we’ve once again seen record-breaking temperatures, droughts, destructive storms and climate-related fatalities across the U.S. Increasingly, the belief that human industrial activity is driving extreme weather events is becoming more mainstream. And while Democratic voters are still the most motivated to vote based on climate concerns, every year they are joined by more independents and Republicans. In the upcoming midterm elections, half of registered voters have indicated that climate change anxiety will impact their vote for Congress, according to a recent Washington Post- ABC News poll.

In the past, younger voters have been more worried about climate change than older generations, but this year voters of all ages expressed similar concerns when it comes to the environment. Communities of color, who face disparate effects of climate change, including inferior air quality, unsafe drinking water and other environmental hazards, express greater concerns than white Americans. And while climate concerns lag behind economic ones for most voters, the number who say that addressing climate change is “one of the most important issues” in their vote is similar to the number who cite crime and immigration as most important.

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Monday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Last year, President Biden officially recognized the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day, celebrating the cultures and contributions of Native Americans in the US. Formerly known as Columbus Day, the move toward celebrating Indigenous people and culture rather than European colonialism began when South Dakota began observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in 1989.

On a planet faced with catastrophic climate change, Indigenous people around the world are faced with some of the most extreme challenges (while contributing the least emissions), and have much to offer when it comes to time-tested ways to conserve resources and protect the environment.

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Puerto Rico Needs Support After Hurricane Fiona

It’s been a relatively quiet hurricane season in the Atlantic so far this year, but Mother Nature walloped Puerto Rico with a Category 1 hurricane that caused island-wide blackouts on Sunday. As in 2017, organizations are working to send solar equipment and technical expertise (and Solar One is participating in those efforts; see details below), there are things that individuals can do to help.

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