Meet climate champion, Betsy Nicholas, plus President Biden’s $6B program to save nuclear power in America. Germany’s Klima, and China on track to install record wind and solar in 2022.
Climate Champ–Betsy Nicholas, Biden’s $6B Program to Save Nuclear Power in America, Germany’s Klima, China on Track to Install Record Wind and Solar in 2022
MEET CLIMATE CHAMPION, BETSY NICHOLAS
Betsy Nicholas is the Executive Director of WATERKEEPERS® Chesapeake, the regional coalition of 19 Waterkeeper Organizations protecting the rivers and streams of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays Watersheds. She has been leading this organization since 2012.
She is also the founder of the Fair Farms campaign – building a movement of Marylanders of all stripes, working together for a new food system — one that is fair to farmers, invests in homegrown healthy foods and restores our waterways instead of polluting them.
Previously, Ms. Nicholas worked as a trial attorney in the Environmental and Natural Resources Division of U.S. Department of Justice for several years. Prior to that, she was the General Counsel for Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in Atlanta, Georgia for more than five years.
Ms. Nicholas has also been an environmental associate for law firms in New York and Washington, DC. Her experience includes all types of stormwater pollution, industrial agriculture, regenerative agriculture, clean water act litigation, legislative advocacy, endangered species act conservation, hydropower licensing and a host of other issues that come with 20 years of environmental work. Like most clean water advocates, she also loves to get out on the water when she can.
She’s also an avid listener of The Climate Daily, sometimes contributing important stories to it, too.
DEEPER DIVE: WATERKEEPERS CHESAPEAKE
GERMANY’S KLIMA: THE APP FOR CLIMATE GOOD
Klima was founded in 2019 by Markus Gilles, Jonas Brandau, and Andreas Pursian-Ehrlich. They first met 10 years ago while working for different sustainable development NGOs and have since founded several tech-for-good companies, aimed at promoting civil discourse, quality journalism, and women’s empowerment. They started Klima to commit their resources to the most important challenge of our lifetime — and empower others to do so as well.
What is it and why does it matter to us? Klima is a downloadable app which allows individuals to contribute to climate change projects of Klima’s choosing. So far, more than 75,000 contributions from Klima users in over 70 countries have helped neutralize 70,000 tons of carbon emissions by supporting the Klima projects.
And what exactly are Klima projects? Well they come in three types: Reviving ecosystems through massive tree planting projects; pushing green innovation through investment in green tech and biotech; and supporting hyper rural, developing nation communities.
One example of ecosystem revival in which Klima is involved is the Panama Reforestation Project. This project mixes 20 local tree species with farmed cocoa trees and sustainable timber, alongside dedicated conservation areas. Both create value for the local population and its farmers by fostering a resilient ecosystem as well as a stable source of income from harvest. This long-term community value is the best assurance for the protection of these forests — long beyond the formal project lifetime.
An example of a successful Klima tech project is The Mauritania Solar Power Project is the largest of its kind in the region, with 156,000 solar panels stretching 600,000 square meters across the Sahara.
And in support of local communities, Klima’s cookstove project in Ghana stands out. This project protects forests in Ghana by addressing a root cause of deforestation: The heavy use of firewood for daily cooking. By providing families with the “Gyapa” cookstove, this project measurably reduces carbon emissions and makes homes safer.
DEEPER DIVE: Klima
BIDEN’S $6B PROGRAM TO SAVE NUCLEAR IN AMERICA
The Biden administration last week opened applications for a $6 billion program to help nuclear power plants struggling with rising costs as it seeks to stop the generators from shutting down under its goal of transitioning to clean energy.
Civil Nuclear Credit (CNC) Program aimed at preserving the existing U.S. fleet of nuclear power reactors and the low carbon power they produce. The CNC Program was established in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (Infrastructure Act or the Act), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said the administration is “using every tool available” to get the country powered by clean energy by 2035, a goal of President Joe Biden’s, including by prioritizing the existing nuclear power fleet.
The $6 billion in funding is designed to be distributed gradually. The DOE can appropriate $1.2 billion over the next four years with the last four-year period ending in 2035. Officials said in February they hope the program can begin to help one or more plants this year.
Why does this matter to us?
CHINA TO INSTALL RECORD AMOUNT OF WIND AND SOLAR IN 2022
China is set to install a record amount of wind and solar power capacity this year. The nation will add 140 gigawatts of capacity from the clean energy sources, the country’s top economic planning agency said. That’s more than the rest of the world combined in 2020, according to clean energy researchers at BloombergNEF. Part of that will come from a mega-project in the desert, for which the government has started releasing more detailed plans.
The forecast is the latest sign that China is racing ahead of its official target for renewable adoption as local governments, wind and solar equipment producers and state-owned utility giants continue to push ambitious plans. China is aiming for 1,200 gigawatts of wind and solar generation capacity by 2030, and had 678 gigawatts by the end of last year, according to BloombergNEF.
China could hit its 2030 renewables target at least five years early if local governments meet the ambitious goals they’ve laid out. Development plans from 22 of China’s 34 regional governments are aiming for more than 600 gigawatts of renewable capacity combined to be added from 2021 through 2025. That would more than double the 535 gigawatts of wind and solar capacity in place at the END of 2020 and approach President Xi Jinping’s target of having 1,200 gigawatts of renewables in place by the end of the decade.