Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the U.S.'s coal leasing program is on hold for up to three years.

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1/22/2016 3:05:48 PM

Good News Friday {Transitioning to Clean Energy}

It's good news Friday—the day we take a positive perspective on what's happening for polar bears and their sea ice habitat. Since the greatest threat to polar bears comes from climate change, we've rounded up some of the good news in the effort to mitigate global warming and make our planet a better place for polar bears and people.

In his final State of the Union address earlier this month, President Obama made climate change one of the major themes of the evening.

"Now we've got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy," President Obama urged. "Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future—especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That's why I'm going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system."

Just a few days later, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the Obama Administration will be compiling a Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement on coal leasing on public lands and putting an immediate suspension on all future and modified coal leases, according to a Sierra Club release. The AP reported, "The coal leasing program is on hold for up to three years while the Interior Department reviews fees paid by mining companies and the environmental effect of burning coal, agency Secretary Sally Jewell said."

Just in time to make up for the loss in coal energy, investment in clean energy soared in 2015. It jumped 4 percent from 2014 figures to hit a record-breaking $329 billion, according to new data released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

It looks like more and more companies are transitioning to clean energy. RE100 companies are on average half way towards meeting their 100% renewable electricity goals, a new RE100 report published by The Climate Group and CDP shows. RE100 is a global campaign working with the world's most influential businesses on their journeys to becoming 100% powered by renewables. 

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