Polar Bears International

5/16/2014 12:29:51 PM

Good News Friday {U.S. Power Plants, Green Energy Jobs, German Milestone, Endangered Species Day}

It's Friday—and that means it's time for our weekly roundup of encouraging news related to polar bear conservation and action on climate change.

We start with a look forward to June 2. That's the day the EPA will propose new carbon standards for U.S. power plants, according to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. How big is this? Carbon emissions from existing plants account for roughly one-third of the total climate pollution in the U.S., so addressing these pollutants is important. The news builds on President Obama's renewed commitment to leadership on addressing climate change. 

We're also heartened by the fact that green energy jobs topped 6.5 million worldwide in 2013, according to new figures from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). This represents a 14% increase over 2012 jobs, signaling a strong shift to a renewable future. China remains the world's largest renewable energy employer, accounting for more than 2.6 million jobs in its booming solar and wind sectors.

Good news arrived from Germany this week, too: last Sunday, the nation reached a green energy milestone, with renewables meeting almost 75% of the day's electricity demands. The country has set of goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. Already, in the first quarter of this year, it reached 27%--twice that of the sunnier U.S. 

And, finally, we give a nod to all of the participants in our Pedal for Polar Bears Challenge in honor of Endangered Species Day, which is today! Take a moment to pat yourselves on the back. By joining us in biking, walking, or using mass transit—on Endangered Species Day and every day—you're helping polar bears and countless other species.

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