Thursday’s Briefing: Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions Soar; California Becomes First State to Mandate Solar on New Homes

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Stories you shouldn’t miss for Dec. 6, 2018:

1. Global greenhouse gas emissions are soaring this year, putting the planet on course to experience dire conditions from climate change much faster than hoped, The New York Times$ reports, citing two new studies. “Scientists described the quickening rate of carbon dioxide emissions in stark terms, comparing it to a ‘speeding freight train’ and laying part of the blame on an unexpected surge in the appetite for oil as people around the world not only buy more cars but also drive them farther than in the past.” Overall, carbon emissions are expected to rise by 2.7 percent this year — 2.5 percent in the United States.

2. California has become the first state in the nation to mandate that new homes be outfitted with solar-rooftop panels, reports the Orange County Register (h/t Rough & Tumble). The new groundbreaking rules, which were quietly adopted Wednesday by the California Building Standards Commission, are scheduled to take effect in 2020. “The rules also allow for offsite solar production, so [housing] developments can build solar arrays feeding multiple homes or contract with utility-owned solar farms.”

3. The BART board of directors voted to award a 16-percent raise over four years to the agency’s police officers, reports Erin Baldassari of the East Bay Times$. BART hopes the pay raise will help the agency recruit and hire more police. Oakland police recently received a 12.5 percent pay bump over five years.

4. A 40-year-old man is in critical condition after being Tased by Alameda police when police said he attempted to grab a rifle from their patrol car, reports Peter Hegarty of the East Bay Times$. The man, who lives in San Jose and was believed to be visiting people in Alameda, went into cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital.

5. Bay Area transportation officials may ask the state to allow buses and carpools to drive on freeway shoulders during heavy commute hours in an effort to reduce the region’s nightmarish traffic conditions, reports Gary Richards of the Mercury News$.

6. And Oakland city officials backed off their plans to evict a female-run homeless encampment, known as Housing and Dignity Village, from public property after the village’s occupants refused to leave unless the city provides adequate shelter, reports Kimberly Veklerov of the San Francisco Chronicle. City officials and village leaders are expected to negotiate a solution in the coming days.

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