Leave it to Berkeley, a liberal bastion in northern California that’s taken pioneering steps to tax sugary drinks and ban Styrofoam takeout containers. It’s now moving forward with a novel way to address climate change: make people feel guilty about driving. This week, in a 7-2 vote, its City Council approved a draft ordinance that would…

Sometime this century, people may be forced to live with less. Involuntary simplicity, new research says, may result as global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions end the era of cheap, abundant energy and prompt a “downshift” in consumption. The public needs to be prepared for this “energy descent,” says University of Michigan environmental psychologist…

Brazil is a vast country of abundant natural resources, and Brazilians are anxious both to preserve irreplaceable habitats and fulfill their potential to contribute significantly to global energy and food supply. Finding the right balance is crucial, not just to Brazil but to the world, and much rests on determining the right energy mix. In…

Chevrolet has made the first purchase in a U.S. government-backed carbon market that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect Midwestern grasslands, the Department of Agriculture announced Monday. The automaker’s purchase of carbon credits is helping to prevent 11,000 acres of prairies from becoming cropland. The idea is to fight climate change through conservation—the…

The indictment of a former coal mining CEO over safety violations Thursday sent a “strong message,” said the United Mine Workers of America. Don Blankenship faces four criminal counts and up to 31 years in prison for alleged safety violations at mines operated by Massey Energy, which he headed from 2000 until his retirement in…

Japan is now facing three major issues: the aging population, the decline of region’s economy, and the energy stability after the Tohoku earthquake. I worked on tackling these issues as part of a “smart city” project in Kashiwanoha, 15 miles (25 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo. (See related comments made by Mr. Nagata and others at…

With abundant sunlight and plenty of open space, deserts are an obvious place to put large solar arrays, but there’s a downside: lots of dust, and not enough rainfall to wash it off. A buildup on solar panels can reduce efficiency by anywhere from 7 to 40 percent, according to various research efforts. Cleaning them…

Legal skirmishes are mounting as more U.S. municipalities, including four in Tuesday’s midterm elections, ban the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Two lawsuits were filed Wednesday, only hours after 59% of voters in Denton, Texas, adopted the Lone Star state’s first fracking ban. The city, a 45-mile…

This November 8 will mark the one-year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda, the devastating storm that claimed at least 6,300 lives and displaced millions more. In Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit areas southeast of Manila, the destruction is still evident: A cement house lies partially submerged in the ocean. Large ships are grounded right next to…

As voters head to the polls Tuesday, new research finds a generation gap on energy issues as millennials show greater concern about climate change. Two-thirds of young adults (aged 18 to 34) say they’re inclined to vote for a political candidate who supports cutting greenhouse gas emissions and increasing financial incentives for renewable energy, according…