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Washington State Commits To Running Entirely On Clean Energy By 2045

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: On Thursday, the Washington state legislature officially passed one of the most ambitious clean energy bills in the nation. Washington is now committed to making the state’s electricity supply carbon neutral by 2030 and 100 percent carbon-free by 2045. The bill makes the fourth state to commit to 100 percent clean energy and adds a feather to the cap of Governor Jay Inslee who requested the bill be introduced. Inslee is running as a climate candidate for president that can get things done in the District if elected, and this bill is a very tangible accomplishment he can now point to.

The bill previously passed the state senate 28-19. After passing the house 56-42 on Thursday, the legislation goes back to the senate for a final vote. Once signed into law, Washington will join, Hawaii, California, and New Mexico as the fourth state committed to 100 percent clean energy. Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico have also made similar commitment as well as more than 90 cities, according to tracking by the Sierra Club. The bill shuts the door on coal, saying it “is the policy of the state to eliminate coal-fired electricity.” By calling for energy to come from carbon-free sources by 2045, it leaves the door open for nuclear power. […] In addition to committing to cutting emissions, the bill is also designed to ensure the transition to renewables and any bumps in energy prices aren’t shouldered by the poor. The bill calls says utilities “must make funding available for energy assistance to low-income households.”

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Africa: Greener, Longer Life – More Trees Reduce Premature Deaths in Cities

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Tbilisi — City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighbourhoods, according to a study that links green areas to lower rates of premature death

City dwellers tend to live longer if they are in leafy neighbourhoods, according to a study published on Wednesday that linked green areas to lower rates of premature death.

Trees in cities are already credited with cooling and cleaning the air and absorbing planet-warming gases, now researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health have found they also keep death at bay.

“More green space is better for health,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, director of the institute’s urban planning, environment and health initiative. “People actually live longer if there is more green space around.”

The research, which pulled data from nine other studies involving more than eight million people in seven countries from China to Canada, was the largest ever conducted on the subject, the authors said.

Researchers used satellite images to quantify how much vegetation, including trees, grass and shrubs, was within 500 meters (550 yards) of people’s homes.

Levels of vegetation were ranked on a scale under a system known as normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI).

Those involved in the study were followed for several years. Any premature deaths caused by health conditions such as heart or respiratory diseases were factored in.

The study, published in The Lancet Planetary Health journal, found that in cities from Barcelona to Perth, a 10% increase in greenery led to an average 4% reduction in premature mortality.