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EGEB: EU launches ‘right to repair’ rule for appliances, majority of Americans favor green energy, more

In today’s Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB):

  • The EU will require appliances to last longer and have spare parts for a decade — saving €20 billion on energy.
  • Majority of Americans, regardless of politics, favor green energy over fossil fuels, according to new polls.
  • Republic of Ireland to introduce a charge on new and imported petrol and diesel cars.
  • New campaign on 30 campuses urges US colleges and universities to adopt 100% green energy.

The Electrek Green Energy Brief (EGEB): A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

It never fails: Just as the warranty for your dishwasher/fridge/lighting/washing machine expires, it breaks down. It’s infuriating, it’s bad for the environment, and we all know manufacturers can do better.

So it’s great news — for Europeans, anyway — that from 2021, the EU is going to require the “right to repair.” As the BBC explains:

Firms will have to make appliances longer-lasting, and they will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to 10 years.

Owners are usually unable to repair the machines themselves — or find anyone else to do it at a decent price — so are forced to buy a replacement.

This creates waste and fuels global warming through the greenhouse gases created in the manufacturing process for new machines.

The move could directly save €20 billion on energy bills per year in Europe from 2030 onwards — equivalent to 5% of EU electricity consumption.

And the US has some momentum on this front, too: Around 20 states are working on “right to repair” legislation.

As I mentioned in the September 7 Climate Crisis Weekly column, my grandmother had a mixer that worked perfectly for 60 years. We have the technology for durable appliances. There’s no excuse.

Americans want renewables

A large majority of Americans want their country to go green, and that transcends political party affiliation, according to a new Insider poll of 1,090 adults (via Business Insider).

The Insider poll asked:

If cost were not an issue, which of the following types of power would you prefer to generate your area’s electricity? Rank them in order of preference.

Solar and wind were the top preferred energy sources, and coal got the booby prize. (Business Insider‘s article breaks down the results by political party and gives the full list of energy choices.)

This reinforces a March Gallup poll that found that 6 in 10 U.S. adults “support the general idea of dramatically reducing the country’s use of fossil fuels over the next two decades as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change.”

Ireland’s new tax on non-EV cars

The Irish Times reports that Paschal Donohoe, the Republic of Ireland’s finance minister, is expected to announce a new environmental health surcharge linked to nitrogen oxide (NOx) and other pollutants in the country’s 2020 budget. That means there will be a new charge on all new petrol and diesel cars, as well as on used imports.

Both Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin have said there will be climate change policies in next Tuesday’s no-deal Brexit budget, with a carbon tax increase of between €5 and €10 per tonne [metric ton] expected.

The exact rate at which such a charge will apply is not yet known, but the Irish Times makes an educated estimate based on a number of options floated last summer by the Department of Finance:

An average new diesel car, with an NOx level of 43mg/km, would face charges of €215, €323, and €430 respectively, while the average new petrol car would face €115, €173, and €230. The charge would likely be significantly higher for used imports.

College campuses go green

It’s October, which means it’s Campus Sustainability Month in the US. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education holds events such as “teach-ins, sustainability pledge drives, zero-energy concerts, waste audits, green sporting events, letter-writing campaigns, service projects, and much more.”

That’s why Environment America Research & Policy Center has chosen October to launch “30 campaigns in 11 states, pressing colleges and universities to generate 100% of their energy from renewable sources. The initiative aims to get 150 schools to commit by 2021 to exclusively using renewable energy.”

It includes petition drives and talks with administrations to advance this initiative.

In spring 2019, Vanderbilt University was the first university to commit to 100% green energy. 100% Renewable listed all the other universities and colleges who have made commitments here.

Photo credit: Liebherr

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.