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Esri, UN, and GEO Blue Planet Release Water Health Tool

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Partnership Will Provide Coastal Nations with Data to Help Improve Ocean Quality

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, today announced a new free and open tool it is making available for countries seeking to improve their coastal waters. The tool uses real-time analysis enabling countries to monitor coastal water quality and use that information to guide policy and reduce pollution from land sources.

A team from Esri, the United Nations Environment Programme, and GEO Blue Planet partnered to develop this new statistical approach using satellite data and geospatial technology in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds by 2025. The team received the 2020 GEO (Group on Earth Observations) SDG Award for the Special Category, Collaboration in recognition of the new tool they built.

“We believe open science is good science, and a way to reassert science as a global public good,” said Dawn Wright, Esri chief scientist. “This collaboration demonstrates that philosophy by sharing the jointly developed methodology and the resulting data in an accessible way.”

Many countries depend on the health of their coastal ecosystems to drive their economies (tourism, fisheries, natural resources) and provide sustainable food sources to their populations. The use of fertilizers and other chemicals that run off the land and into the coastal ocean have been shown to cause blooms in marine algae that can disrupt ecosystems and human health. By measuring above-normal concentrations of marine algae, this new analysis provides a starting point to achieve the SDG target of limiting marine pollution.

This project empowers countries, especially developing nations, with the information they need to understand potential impacts on coastal water quality, address those impacts, and have routinely updated data to understand and report their progress to the United Nations as part of the SDG initiative. While governments and organizations around the world are already able to conduct these analyses, this project transforms the raw global data into actionable information to make it easier for them to make better-informed decisions.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the United Nations, require timely and objective reporting, and metrics are typically self-reported by each country. However, many nations do not have the capacity or capability to conduct ongoing environmental analyses. This collaboration provides automated analysis for every coastal country in the world.

The GEO SDG awards program, which honored this collaboration, recognizes excellence in sustainable development practices, analysis, and reporting through the use of Earth observations. The awards recognize productivity, ingenuity, proficiency, novelty, and exemplary communications of results and experiences in the use of Earth observations for the SDGs.

This partnership’s methodology, now included in the UN’s Global Manual for Ocean Statistics, can also be applied in other environments where it is needed and modified to work on many geographic scales. To see the initial analysis results and information products, visit the hub site at chlorophyll-esrioceans.hub.arcgis.com.

The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.

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California Does Not Need to Choose Between Post-Pandemic Economic Growth and Reducing Carbon Emissions, New Analysis Finds

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State Has Demonstrated The Ability To Generate Green Jobs…; And If Current Trends Hold, Green Jobs In CA Will Outpace Nation By End Of Decade

Surprisingly, environmental leader California has a smaller ‘green economy’ than the average U.S. state and would need to add many thousands of environmentally friendly jobs to catch up. The good news is it’s on track to do just that, according to a new analysis released today by the UCR School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

The study projects that California will outpace the United States as a whole in its concentration of green jobs by 2030. Moreover, the state will be close to attaining a specialty in green jobs by the end of the decade, a workforce condition that is key to attracting investment, innovation, and further job creation.

While a greener economy will require phasing out employment in traditional energy industries such as oil and gas, an analysis of the entire labor force indicates that replacing those jobs with green energy jobs can be a net-positive, adding to California’s total employment and improving average wages.

“The transition to a greener, cleaner economy is not at odds with job creation,” said Dr. Patrick Adler, Research Manager at the Center for Economic Forecasting, and one of the report’s authors. “This is critical to understand because California is facing dual generational challenges right now – ensuring economic resilience following the shocks set in motion by the pandemic and decarbonizing the economy.” The state needs to reduce carbon emissions 40% below 1990 levels in order to meet its own mandated reduction targets by 2030.

The study’s authors estimate that California’s current green labor force includes an impressive 372,984 workers but the state would need to add over 58,000 more green jobs by decade’s end to reach the U.S. state average in terms of concentration. However, if current trends, which show employment curving upwards in key green industries such as Motor Vehicles, hold, the state will realistically achieve that and more. The Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs) industry in particular could bring more than 63,000 jobs to California.

Additional Key Findings:

  • California already has the advantage of being a leader in green jobs, allowing it to build from a position of strength. The state has added a full 44,000 green jobs since 2010.
  • While other states seek to attract high-tech green firms, more of these companies are already headquartered in California than anywhere else in the world. The analysis recommends that the state focus on growing the labor force of innovative firms already based here, but with an important caveat: average employment at these firms is low because they tend to focus on research more than prototyping and small-run manufacturing. California leaders should work to scale-up those operations.
  • Due to technological and efficiency advances, solar and wind generation will increasingly downshift into a less reliable source of green employment even as these industries expand. To grow its Green Economy, California needs to create green jobs outside of energy. Sectors showing strong future job growth include Transmission, Distribution, and Storage; Fuels; Energy Efficient Manufacturing; and Motor Vehicles.
  • The state has a burgeoning ZEV cluster in Southern California that could potentially employ hundreds of thousands of blue-collar workers.
  • The state’s ‘Circular Economy’, a sector that attempts to shrink reliance on global supply chains through waste diversion, could add tens of thousands of jobs over the decade.
  • The analysis introduces the idea that California will have to forge its own unique green jobs strategy given the state’s unusually high cost of living. For one, operations that are viable elsewhere, may not be here, and secondly, many traditional engines of the Green Economy, such as solar energy, have already reached a level of maturity in California, significantly diminishing returns. But according to Adler and his co-authors, this presents an opportunity to expand the scope of the state’s green labor force into new areas.

“The green jobs agenda has captured the imagination of many California policymakers because, in theory, it allows workers to benefit from a green energy transition,” says Adler. “This analysis suggests that mission is anything but naive.”

The full report, Greening the Golden Workforce: Progress and Pathways Toward Green Jobs Leadership, is available here.

This research was generously supported by Next 10. The analysis was authored by Adler, Research Associate Andrew Yu and Senior Research Associate Brady Allardice.

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City Council sets goal to become the most environmentally, forward-thinking city in California

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Fontana’s air quality outperforms federal standards, and the City’s air-toxic cancer risk has dropped by 76% over the past two decades, new research findings show.

Fontana City Council remains committed to its goal to Preserve the Local Environment, as such Council instructed staff to conduct a thorough examination of the state of Fontana’s Air Quality.

Staff and representatives from consulting firm Ramboll presented the findings on September 14.

Key takeaways include:

  • Ozone exposure, nitrogen dioxide concentration, and particulate matter in Fontana are below the federal standards
  • Air toxic cancer risk has decreased by 76% from 1998 to 2018 and is expected to decrease by an additional 20% by 2023
  • Though the California Air Resource Board (CARB) 2005 Guidance is referenced by many agencies, it was deemed outdated as it relies on air quality data from 1995-2005, rather than the most recent 10-year time frame.

“One of the City Council’s most important goals is to preserve the local environment for generations to come and to create a healthy economic and environmental future,” stated Mayor Acquanetta Warren. “In an effort to not only preserve, but strengthen the local environment, staff brought in a world-renowned consultancy to assess our air. The study shows that air quality in the last 20 years has improved drastically.”

Staff identified and retained Ramboll Consulting Firm. Dr. Laksmi Jayaram, Senior Management Consultant, Joseph Hower, PE, DEE, Principal and Vice-President, Mechanical Engineering and Dr. Julia Lester, PhD Chemical Engineer, led the comprehensive analysis. Their combined 78 years of air quality experience brought the necessary in-depth examination of compliance, air dispersion modeling and health risk assessments.

As a part of the analysis Ramboll made several recommendations to ensure air quality best practices. Recommendations will be considered by Council at a later date. If the recommendations are accepted and ultimately adopted, Fontana will solidify its position as the most progressive environmentally friendly developing community in Southern California.

“As Fontana moves forward, we will ensure that warehouses adhere to a rigorous environmentally-friendly ordinance that will be the first of its kind in California,” said Deputy City Manager Phil Burum.

To learn more, visit https://www.fontana.org/Economic-Development

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GreenPower Announces Launch of EV Star CC for Cargo and Delivery Market

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Poised to meet strong demand from logistics companies responding to surging transport and delivery needs

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 – GreenPower Motor Company Inc. (TSX-V: GPV) (OTCQB: GPVRF) (“GreenPower”) a leading designer, manufacturer and distributor of a diverse line of electric powered medium and heavy duty vehicles serving the cargo and delivery, transit, shuttle, tourist and school sectors today announced the launch of its new EV Star CC Model.

The EV Star CC is a purpose built, battery electric, multi utility cab and chassis that can be used by cargo and delivery companies who wish to use their body design while transitioning to a zero emissions fleet. The 25′ chassis has a payload of up to 6,000lbs and can be configured with a range of options including a lift gate, wireless charging, and autonomous capabilities. This approach allows operators to buy a “future proof” blank canvas with maximum flexibility and configuration options.

Brendan Riley, President of GreenPower commented, “This is an incredibly exciting product launch for GreenPower and the potential is unparalleled. While this initiative has been in place for more than a year, we certainly find ourselves in the right spot at the right time as we roll out our new EV Star CC. Given the change in consumer needs where goods delivery is now ubiquitous, demand is exceptionally strong for cargo and delivery vehicles that are environmentally friendly. The EV Star CC represents an especially large market opportunity over the immediate and near term given our ability to build produce and deliver these units in large quantities. As the only purpose built, all electric cab and chassis on the market, GreenPower is ideally positioned to meet these urgent needs of our customers.”

The all-electric zero emission EV Star Platform can be used for multiple applications: It is used for a 25-foot bus that seats up to 19 passengers, a Plus version that seats up to 24 passengers, a cargo/delivery van and the CC bare chassis. All EV Stars have an industry best 118kWh battery pack with an operational range of up to 150 miles coming with a standard J1772 level 2 and CCS DC level 3 fast combo charge system, allowing for optimal flexibility in route planning for any duty cycle.

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