Thursday, February 11, 2016

Obama Proposes Oil Tax and Clean Energy Infrastructure Investments

President Obama has recently proposed an oil tax and a clean energy infrastructure investment plan that would create a “more integrated, sophisticated and sustainable transportation sector." The proposal is part of a budget request that calls for annual spending of $32 billion and it will be paid for with a $10 a barrel oil tax. The ten year 320 billion is designed to finance a 21st century clean energy infrastructure in the US. This includes annual spending of $20 billion for national transportation initiatives, $10 billion in for cities and states and $2.4 billion for green vehicle research.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Empowering Women is Synonymous with Combating Climate Change

If we want to address climate change around the world and in the developing world in particular we need to see more women in leadership roles. There is good evidence to support the idea that when women lead communities are more sustainable.

Climate change is a critical issue for everyone, but it is especially hard on women. Happily women are also an essential part of the solution, not only because they make up half (48.1), but because women tend to be more green in their lifestyle choices and women in the workforce tend to more sustainable.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Green Sports Alliance: Making Athletics more Sustainable

With 344 members, 300 teams, 172 venues and 20 leagues, in 14 different countries the Green Sports Alliance is a major force in sustainable athletics. Created by executive Director Martin Tull the Green Sports Alliance helps sports leagues to be more sustainable.

Sports are an incredibly powerful activity that garner the attention and interest of billions of people around the world. With this is mind the Green Sports Alliance strives to leverage the cultural and market influence of sports to promote healthy, sustainable communities.

They inspire sports leagues, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, species preservation, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Event - National Conference on Microgrids

The fourth National Conference on Microgrids will take place on April 13 - 15, 2016 in Kansas City, MO. This three-day conference will focus on capitalizing on Microgrids for improved system energy efficiency, reliability and providing enabling technologies for grid independence.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Event - Clean Energy Finance Europe Conference

This event will take place on February 24th and 25th 2016 in London, United Kingdom. ACI’s Clean Energy Finance Europe conference will bring together the leading executives and experts from across the entire value chain (Investors, CEO’s, Finance Directors, and Technology Experts,) for two days of informative presentations, interactive discussion & excellent networking opportunities.

Game to Make Super Bowl 50 a Net Positive Event

This year there is a campaign to make this the most healthy, sustainable, shared, and socially responsible Super Bowl ever. An initiative called "Play Your Part" is trying to make Super Bowl 50 a net positive event. Play Your Part arises organically from the fact that Super Bowl 50 is being played in San Francisco Bay, an area well known for its leadership in innovation, sustainability, and technology.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Germany Continues its Green Dominance in 2015 (Video)

Europe has the highest concentration of national sustainability efforts in the world. In 2015 Nordic countries once again assumed a leadership role along with France. In addition to being an economic giant Germany is also an environmental titan. Germany is ranked fourth in the Global Green Economy Index.and seventh in a RobecoSAM study. Germany has distinguished itself as an early adopter of clean power and it has a secure place in history as a renewable energy pioneer.

Friday, February 5, 2016

France: One of the Most Sustainable Countries in 2015

In 2015 France stood out as one of the most sustainable countries in the world due to the scope of their national efforts and the wider economic implications of their actions. While Nordic countries and their neighbor Germany have ranked very highly on a number of national sustainability assessments, France must be including on any list of the greenest European countries in 2015. France is listed among the top ten countries in the Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranking of 180 nations. 

As hosts of the COP21 climate talks last December French leadership was essential. This is particularly true in light of the Paris terror attacks that took place just prior to the start of the final round of negotiations. Under the leadership of Francois Hollande France has been a global climate leader. In addition to being the host of the most important climate conference in human history, France introduced a number of sustainability measures in 2015. From managing food waste to supporting renewable energy France showed that it is walking the talk last year.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Diminishing Profits Signal the Beginning of the End of Oil

Oil is dying. Low oil prices are erasing profits and setting into motion a death spiral from which fossil fuels will not recover. Big Oil is cutting costs, and scaling back production, this results in smaller returns and diminished investor confidence. The addition of carbon pricing schemes and the elimination of subsidies will ultimately inflate prices and reduce demand.
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lessons Learned from Volkswagen's Epic Greenwash

Volkswagen's emissions test deception has turned the world's second largest car brand into a liar, a cheat and a fraud. At issue is the falsification of nitrogen oxide and CO2 emissions data for 11 million VW cars globally including about 500,000 in the U.S. The automaker is guilty of emissions that were as much as 40 times above the official estimates. This translates into the concealment of about a million tonnes of air and climate pollution.

From design to manufacturing and recycling, Volkswagen was once considered to be a sustainability leader. Now the German automaker is a global disgrace.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Thank You for Your Climate Leadership Mr. O'Malley

Martin O'Malley, the greenest candidate to ever throw his hat in the ring to be president of the United States, has decided to call it quits after coming in a distant third in the Iowa Democratic primary. O'Malley has had a distinguished political career and he will surely continue to meaningfully contribute to ongoing discussions about climate and other issues.

Nordic Countries are the Most (and Least) Sustainable: Spotlight on Sweden and Denmark

There has been a surge in government action to address environmental degradation and Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland) are leading the way. In Europe France and Germany are dominant green nations, but they still rank behind their northern neighbors. Two separate authoritative rankings consider Sweden and Denmark as being among the most sustainable countries in the world.

According to a RobecoSAM study, Sweden was ranked as the most sustainable country in 2015. The study assessed green metrics like the country's response to environmental threats, and government metrics like support for "liberty and equality," investments in its education system. The RobecoSAM study analysis ranked countries based on a total of 17 indicators including ESG factors.

Monday, February 1, 2016

COP21 Energy Implications for Your Business (Webinar)

Do you want to know how the COP21 agreement will impact how your businesses uses energy? Check out the webinar on Thursday, February 4th at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern. Titled, A New Energy Landscape: What COP21 Means for Your Business, this 30 minute webinar will also feature an extensive question and answer session.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Event - 6th Energy Storage Summit

Analysing business models for successful developments in energy storage Event will be held on February 03-04, 2016 in Paris, France. This two-day conference will bring together key industry stakeholders to address the current challenges in the energy storage market and discuss the latest developments.

Event - Utility Solar Conference and Expo

This event will take place from Monday, April 11, 2016 to Thursday, April 14, 2016 at the Grand Hyatt, Denver, Colorado, United States. The Utility Solar Conference (USC) provides an exclusive forum for utilities to share their experiences, exchange ideas, and talk through various strategies and business models in an intimate environment free of outside influences. USC brings together utilities interested in improving, expanding or developing a viable long-term solar strategy.

Event - Responsible Business Summit USA 2016

This Ethical Corporation event will take place on April 12 - 13 2016, in Manhattan NYC, an Affinia Hotel, New York. Navigate the changing landscape and become a leading sustainable business. The Responsible Business Summit USA is America's premier CSR and sustainability conference. Through workshops, roundtable debates and case study sessions delving into the key issues you will learn from, and network with, senior leaders from the leading sustainable brands.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Indonesian Fires of 2015 the worst Environmental Crime of the 21st Century (Video)

The fires in Indonesia were one of the biggest environmental and climate stories of 2015. These fires have been variously described as a "crime against humanity," and the "biggest environmental crime of the 21st century." Despite their devastating global impact this perennial story receives little attention. In 2015 the fires were worse than ever. They started in July and continued to burn for many months throughout Indonesia with the highest concentrations in Borneo and western Sumatra.

Massive amounts of land are being lost to slash and burn agriculture every year in Indonesia. As reported by the Washington Post, a Climate Advisers analysis of data from WRI, the European Union and other sources, indicates that between 2004 and 2014 about 1 percent of Indonesia’s tree cover or 3.7 million acres, is removed every year.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Liberals to Address the Conservative's Illegitimate Pipeline Oversight

A new report reaffirms the failure of oil industry oversight under the former Conservative government led by Stephen Harper. According to a report by the federal commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, the National Energy Board (NEB) has failed to assess whether pipeline companies are in compliance with environmental, safety and other conditions. The new audit was tabled in the Canadian Parliament on Tuesday, January 26, 2015.

"Overall, we found that the National Energy Board’s tracking of company compliance with pipeline approval conditions was inadequate," the report said.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Influence Customer Behaviour through Integrated Marketing and Sustainability (Webinar)

A live webinar on customer behaviour change will take place on  Tuesday, February 2, 2016 at 10am GMT. It will feature directors from AkzoNobel, HP and Kellogg’s. Over 500 people are already scheduled to attend. This webinar titled  Influence Customer Behaviour through Integrated Marketing and Sustainability

The webinar will specifically cover:
  • What a successful integrated marketing and sustainability strategy looks like
  • How to engage with marketing departments to see where sustainability fits in communications
  • When to link sustainability more to brand messaging to influence behaviour change
  • How to simplify messages to create consistency.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Hilary Maintains her Climate Silence as O'Malley Pushes his Green Agenda (Iowa Democratic Presidential Town Hall)

Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley are the three remaining candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. On January 25th they fielded a barrage of questions from voters in a town hall meeting at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, The moderator was CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

O'Malley emerged from the Iowa Town Hall as the greenest of the three candidates with Sanders trailing some distance behind. O'Malley bluntly stated that "this planet is worth saving," and Sanders reaffirmed his commitment to tackle climate change. Hilary remained silent on climate and clean energy and let her rivals steal the green thunder.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Porter Ranch Methane Leak Could be a Catalyst for Change

 The invisible methane leak in California is a great opportunity to open a discussion about the future of natural gas in America. The Porter Ranch disaster is one of the biggest environmental disasters in US history and it is happening right now in southern California. The methane leak at the SoCalGas Aliso Canyon Storage Facility, located in the Porter Ranch neighborhood of northwest Los Angeles, is already the largest such leak in U.S. history and it is far from over. The leak started in October and SoCalGas has indicated that it does not expect to be able to cap the leak until March.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Event - ECO-BIO 2016

This event will take place on March 6 - 9, 2016 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. A biobased Economy focuses on developing industrial viable, safe and ecologically friendly biobased (renewable biological sources) solutions to build a sustainable society, involving food, chemicals, energy and materials.

Event - Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit

This event will take place on February 9 - 11, 2016, at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, California. This event is the leading wind industry networking and deal making event of the year. Wind Power Finance & Investment Summit offers unique opportunities to connect with the entire spectrum of the wind industry, at the highest levels—developers, yieldcos and yield-oriented vehicles, tax equity investors, lenders, private equity funds and other investors, turbine suppliers, PPA offtakers, customer and more.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Summary of Fossil Fuel Spills in 2015 (Videos)

Oil spills continued to be a problem in 2015 with a number of major incidents in North America. These spills contaminated both land and waterways and prompted the evacuation of local citizens. Whether by pipe, ship, rail or truck, there are well founded concerns about the safety of transporting fossil fuels. These concerns add weight to the argument that we need to expedite the shift away from fossil fuels. Many consecutive years with substantial numbers of spills illustrate the dangers associated with transporting fossil fuels.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Leading Climate Focused and Sustainable Companies of 2015

Last year was a big year for sustainability focused companies, in fact many have suggested that 2015 was a turning point for sustainable business. Here are some of the best corporate brands in the world as determined by two leading organizations, the CDP and RobecoSAM. The CDP Global Climate Change Report 2015 includes an "A List" and RobecoSAM’s Sustainability Yearbook 2016 includes a list of Industry Leaders.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Oil is a Bad Investment

Iinvestors can no longer avoid the realization that their fossil fuel holdings are fraught with risks. While there are many factors at play, the 18 month slide and low price forecasts combine to make the point that investing in oil makes no economic sense.

In the short term China's slowing growth and the glut of oil are driving down the price. The situation will be exacerbated by the lifting of sanctions allowing Iran to sell its oil. High production and lower than expected demand mean that oil prices will continue to fall well into 2016.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Climate Focus at The World Economic Forum in Davos

The World Economic Forum (WEF)in Davos is once again bringing its considerable resources to bear on the problem of climate change. This annual meeting has become a grand event that attracts some of the most powerful people and organizations in the world. This is a far cry from it origins in 1971 when it was billed as a management conference by its creator academic Klaus Schwab. The small Swiss ski resort community has a population of only 11,000, but receives 30,000 guests during this period. More than 1,000 of these guests are CEOs or Chairmen and more than 40 world leaders are also in attendance. No matter how you slice it the meetings in Davos are a high profile, high powered affair.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Climate and Energy Excerpts from the Fourth Democratic Primary Debate

Three candidates met for the fourth Democratic debate hosted by NBC News and YouTube and moderated by anchor Lester Holt. The debate took place in Charleston, South Carolina, on Sunday January 17th. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley were present for the debate. However, except for a passing reference to renewables ("I would work quickly to present to the congress my plans for creating more...clean and renewable energy...") Clinton did not address climate change or energy issues. Hilary's silence on these importance issues in the fourth debate mirrors her strategy in the preceding debate.

Here are the climate and energy remarks made by Sanders and O'Malley during the fourth debate:

Dr. King and the Nexus Between Civil Rights and the Environment

Yesterday we celebrated the life of one of the greatest people ever to walk on American soil. Decades after his untimely murder, Martin Luther King continues to breathe life into a new civil rights movement. that includes the right to a healthy environment. Americans should claim their right to basic things like clean air and clean water.

The situation in Michigan where people do not have access to safe water reminds us that we still have a ways to go before we realize Dr. King's dream. As does the Republican's pernicious efforts to kill the clean power plan in support of dirty energy.  

Monday, January 18, 2016

Republican Climate Avoidance and the Sixth GOP Debate


Republican candidates for president seem to think that if you ignore the climate crisis American voters won't notice. During the sixth Republican debate there was no mention of climate change or global warming, the COP21 deal, renewable energy, cleantech, or the low carbon economy, and of course nary a word was uttered on emissions or greenhouse gases.

Climate change was a no show in the first Republican debate, the CNBC presidential debate and in the November debate they made their opposition to climate action clear. Republican presidential candidates have stated that they do not believe we should not do anything to combat climate change.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Event - Solar Power Finance and Investment Summit 2016

This years summit features two events over three days. Solar Power Executive Briefing will take place on March 22, 2016 and the Summit will take place on March 23 and 24, 2016 in San Diego, California.

Event - 2016 Investor Summit on Climate Risk: Advancing the Clean Trillion

This event will take place on January 27, 2016.  World leaders recently reached a historic climate change agreement at the UN Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris. It’s the low-carbon policy signal we’ve all been waiting for – but what does it mean for investor funds and portfolios in the months and years ahead?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

EV Batteries: Declining Cost and Improving Energy Density (Videos)

The declining cost of batteries used to power electric vehicles (EVs) is critical to their widespread adoption. Battery price points are declining rapidly and 2015 was a groundbreaking year for stationary batteries and EV battery price points hit a new low in 2015. Batteries are the most expensive component of an EV. Battery cost and energy density (range) are closely connected to adoption rates. Each gallon of gas creates 20 pounds of CO2 so EVs are an essential part of the transition away from fossil fuels and reducing global emission. While we are already seeing falling costs, in the wake of the COP21 agreement governments are expected to create new incentives and regulations that will further augment the sales of EVs.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Declining Costs of Stationary Energy Storage

Last year was a big year for battery storage and 2016 promises to be even bigger. Energy storage is an integral part of strategic efforts to reduce costs and cut carbon emissions. They also improve the security and resiliency of power supplies. Better energy storage is crucial to the growth of the low carbon economy both in terms of renewables. Renewables are the future of energy but storage is key if we are to efficiently address the problems of intermittency. To harness the power of the sun which only shines during the day and the wind which blows hardest at night, we need to see advances in energy storage.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Optimistic Predictions for Climate Action in the Wake of the COP21 Deal

Last year was a breakthrough year for environmental action and the future looks bright for the coming year. In 2015, we saw a slate of bold carbon reduction efforts from President Obama and other world leaders. However, the crowning achievement of 2015 was the signing of the COP21 climate agreement, which has set the stage for even more ambitious action in 2016.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Climate and Energy Excerpts from President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address

In less than half an hour President Obama made it clear that combating climate change is both a legacy issue and an unavoidable issue for future Presidents. As expected his final State of the Union Address was anything but timid. Here are some climate and energy excerpts from the speech as well as related sections on leadership, the dangers of corporate influence and government.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Best of Green in 2015: Products, Projects, Leaders, Corporations, CEOs and Chemistry

Here are some of the best of the best in the green economy from 2015. This includes the best products and projects of the year, the top sustainability leaders and corporate citizens, leading innovative bioeconomy CEOs and the best green chemistry companies. These lists are derived from Energy Manager Today, edie, Corporate Responsiblity (CR) Magazine, Il Bioeconomista and the EPA.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Business of Sustainability Reaches a Turning Point

Sustainability is now a key component of a shrewd business strategy that mitigates risk and enhances competitiveness. Last year was the most important year ever for environmental action and leading actors in the business community were an integral part of that progress. The corporate world has been steadily increasing their efforts to be more sustainable and they are ready to play an even larger role now that a momentous deal was signed at COP21 in Paris.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Event - IRENA Legislators Forum

The First IRENA Legislators Forum will take place on January 15, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. This event takes place ahead of the sixth session of its annual Assembly. As the agreement at COP21 in Paris clearly shows, renewable energy is an integral part of addressing the challenges of climate change.

Over the past years, the business case for renewable energy has been strengthened, and as levels of investment in the field rise and technology deployment costs decline, industry structures are witnessing a dramatic transformation, especially with the changes in policy frameworks that continue to stimulate the deployment of renewables.

Event - International Renewable Energy Agency assembly

The sixth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly will take place on Saturday, January 16, 2016 to Sunday, January 17, 2016 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The Assembly is IRENA’s ultimate decision-making authority and is made up of one representative from each Member. It convenes annually to discuss and decide upon issues such as the work programme, the budget, the adoption of reports, applications for membership and potential amendments to Agency activities.