Saturday, April 30, 2016

Extracting Value from Recycling - Apple's e-waste Management (Video)

Apple has mined a small fortune from its own waste in both dollars and social capital. While Apple has only recently become a sustainability leader, they have been focused on recycling for many years dating back to the time when Steve Jobs was still at the helm. The problem of waste is increasingly serious but Apple is ahead of the curve and leading the way forward.

The volume of waste keeps increasing while many landfills are rapidly nearing capacity. Smart businesses need to follow Apple's lead as we anticipate a more stringent regulatory regimes in the form of Extended Provider Responsibility regulations.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mainstream Media's Failed Climate Coverage

The popular media has failed to communicate the science behind climate change. Combating climate change is not a priority issue for most people because because they don't understand anthropogenic global warming and the urgent need for climate action. We can't expect people to support mitigation and adaptation efforts if they do not have access to accurate information.

Shoddy climate reporting has been an issue for a number of years. As reported by Grist, a study by the University of Colorado’s Center for Science & Technology Research indicated that climate reporting declined in 2013 compared to 2012.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Apple's Growth Streak Has Ended but its Sustainability Leadership is Still Going Strong

Apple's growth streak may have come to an end but as a mature company its sustainability leadership is going stronger than ever. In fact Apple is poised to double down on sustainability. Every product has a life cycle and Apple's products are no different. Smartphones may have reached market saturation as the global smartphone market has shrunk for the first time. Despite the dropping demand for its premiere product line,  this corporate giant will continue to be a powerful sustainability leader for years to come.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Promise of Electric Buses for Low Carbon Mass Transit

A new generation of fully electric buses is on the way making low carbon transport a reality. If we are to keep temperatures from rising more than 2C above preindustrial times we must find efficient, emissions-free solutions to mass transportation. The new generation of electric buses are a critical piece of the zero emissions puzzle. Electric buses will also reduce the air pollution that is plaguing urban environments.

Electric buses are not new, the Chinese automaker BYD introduced an electric bus in 2010. It is called the K9 and it is powered with an Iron-phosphate battery, that has a range of 155 miles or 250 kilometers on one single charge. Newer e-buses have quadrupled that range.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Business and the Paris Climate Agreement

The politicians have secured a climate deal and now it is up to the business community to do the heavy lifting. Less than five months after the conclusion of COP21 we have seen nations sign the Paris Climate Accord at a signing ceremony at UN headquarters in New York. Now we must pivot from diplomacy to implementation. A whole new economy is being born and the opportunities are endless. Fortunes await those who can secure emissions free growth.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Investor Warning: Fossil Fuels and the Risk of Stranded Assets

It is becoming increasingly apparent that fossil fuels represent a substantial risk that should make investors wary. Fossil fuel reserves, including oil, gas and coal will be rendered obsolete in the coming decades, leaving investors holding valueless investments. A plethora of peer reviewed science tells us the curbing fossil fuel use is key to climate mitigation.

From widespread calamitous coastal flooding to devastating extreme weather events the need to urgently act on climate change has finally been accepted by every nation on earth. The economics of climate action is sound. A cost benefit analysis reveals the overwhelming logic. We must the eradication of fossil fuels as soon as possible. The impetus to act on climate change, once dismissed by some, is now a fact of life for all thinking people.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Event - Renewable Energy Workshop

This workshop will take place on Saturday, April 30, 2016 in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. It is a widely held dream of many people to live a life powered by renewable energy. But it can be difficult to know how best to proceed with making this dream a reality.

This workshop is the perfect introduction to the world of renewable energy, designed to help you figure out the best path to finding yourself living a renewable energy lifestyle. Instructor Sean Flanagan has been designing and installing renewable energy systems for over a decade, and unlike many renewable energy teachers he lives off-grid himself, giving him an intimate knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.

The workshop covers all aspects of renewable energy:

Event - AWEA Windpower Conference

This event will take place on May 23 - 26 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The American Wind Energy Association's annual Windpower Conference & Exhibition is recognized as one of the world's premier wind energy trade shows, bringing together attendees and exhibitors from every aspect of the industry. Exhibitors at Windpwoer display the latest industry products and services from manufacturing leaders, component suppliers, and other wind energy organizations. Windpwoer combines education, exhibition, and networking creating a perfect venue for business development.

Event - Solar 2016: ASES National Solar Conference

This ASES Solar Conference event will take place on July 10 - 14, 2016 at the Intercontinental Hotel, in San Francisco. At Solar 2016 you will find out about cutting-edge research & trends that are driving us towards the shift to 100 percent renewables.


Sessions for discussing pre-publication research at the forefront of renewable energy and related fields.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Earth Day Signing Ceremony for the Paris Climate Agreement

On Earth Day Friday April 22, world leaders from 175 countries formally signed the Paris Agreement. The leaders gathered at a signing ceremony that took place at the UN General Assembly hall in New York. This was the largest number of nations to ever sign a formal agreement at a signing ceremony. The event in New York follows the historic agreement achieved at COP21 in Paris last December. This made Earth Day 2016 the most hopeful such event in its 45 year history.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Planting 8 Billion Trees: An Earth Day 2016 Initiative

Forests are important for a multitude of reasons not the least of which is their capacity to combat climate change. The theme behind Earth Day celebrations in 2016 is "Trees for the Earth." The organizers at the Earth Day Network are asking for help to achieve their ambitious goal of planting 7.8 billion trees. Over the next five years each successive Earth Day will focus on a different action theme counting down to the 50th anniversary of the iconic event. The purpose is to foster interest around actions that, "have a significant and measurable impact on the Earth."

We have known for some time that trees are important to life on the planet. Tees help combat climate change by absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Two acres of mature trees can absorb the same amount of CO2 as the average car produces every year.

Earth Day 2016 is the Most Hopeful Ever

This is an Earth Day unlike any that have preceded it. After almost five decades of grass roots activism, the festivities in 2016 finally have something to celebrate. This year we are driving a stake into the heart of climate pessimism. We are challenging those that doubt our resolve and we are breathing hope into a new climate narrative. 

We are seeing tremendous momentum in renewable energy and corporate sustainability. There is clear evidence that the fossil fuel industry is in decline. The Paris Climate Agreement offers the strongest reason yet to be optimistic this Earth Day. For the first time in history the human race has come together to collectively resolve to take on the greatest threat modern humans have ever known.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

President Obama Outmaneuvers Deniers to Protect the Paris Climate Deal

US President Barack Obama will sign the Paris Climate Agreement on April 22nd in an Earth Day ceremony at UN headquarters in New York City. However he has to contend with some serious opposition including a powerful fossil fuel industry and their climate denying Republican minions.

Earth Day and the Call for Action Post Paris

As many as 155 countries have sent representatives and dozens of world leaders are assembling on Earth Day to sign the Paris Climate Agreement at a ceremony taking place at UN headquarters in New York City.

World leaders must act now to address climate change. This includes President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and all world leaders who approved the COP21 Agreement.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

US China and Others to Sign the Paris Climate Agreement on Earth Day Suggesting an Early Start to Implementation

The US and China, the world's leading carbon emitters have agreed to sign the historic Paris Climate Agreement at a signing ceremony on Earth Day. The signing of the agreement on Friday April 22nd at UN headquarters is more than just a symbolic gesture.

Of the 196 countries on-board at COP21 in Paris last December, as many as 155 other nations, including India, are expected to sign the agreement on Earth Day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Why Corporations are Embracing Sustainability

Never before has there been more interest in corporate sustainability. While this trend is already huge we are only at the beginning of what is sure to be one of the largest economic opportunities the world has ever seen.

There was a time in the recent past when sustainability was a great way to reduce costs and stand out from the competition with distinctive branding. Now sustainability is a matter of keeping up with the competition and preventing your brand from falling behind.

Almost every corporation on earth has embraced sustainability. They are flocking to sustainability to reap the savings from efficiencies, preserve reputations, best the competition and get ahead of forthcoming regulation. They realize that sustainability is a megatrend that is here to stay.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Green Finance Goes Mainstream in 2016

The world is embracing green finance as never before and all expectations are that this will increase as we move towards a low carbon economy. Financial systems should play an important role in the green economic transition said, Zhou Xiaochuan, the Governor of the People's Bank of China. Zhou was speaking at the Green Finance Symposium which took place on Saturday, April 15th in Washington.

After years of volatility, green finance is emerging as a central part of our efforts to address climate change and transform our energy infrastructure. Green finance is preoccupied with adapting to the impacts of climate change and/or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is the means by which we can stream tremendous amounts of needed capital into emissions free sources of power.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Event - Ottawa Riverkeeper Gala

The 4th annual Ottawa Riverkeeper Gala will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 on Lemieux Island in Ontario. This will be a wonderful evening in support of Ottawa Riverkeeper. Canada's first lady, Madame Sophie Grégoire Trudeau will be celebrated as our 2016 Honorary Riverkeeper and Evan Soloman will be the Master of Ceremonies.

This year's Riverkeeper Gala will be held on Lemieux Island in the middle of the Ottawa River! Lemieux Island is the perfect location for this event as it is the home to the City of Ottawa's main water purification plant and it is nestled in the splendor of the beautiful Ottawa River. Enjoy the cachet of being among the first to experience this fresh perspective of our Capital region.

Event - Earth Day Summit (Free & Online)

This event will take place on Earth Day, April 22, 2016. At this event you will discover inspired sctions for a healthy, sustainable and thriving planet. We’re at a critical turning point... one where EACH OF US is called to meet the global crises we all face today with innovation and ingenuity.

It’s time to come together and use the miraculous collective power of our hearts and minds, to stretch our creative capacities beyond what we’ve known. And it’s time to be fearless and to expand our consciousness to include our WHOLE planet with ALL of its majestic inhabitants!

Event - Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE)

This event will take place on May 23 - 27, 2016 at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi, Kenya. The 6th Sustainable Innovation Expo (SIE)is being launched by Climate Action. SIE will grants 25 leading private sector organizations the exclusive opportunity to showcase their sustainable solutions at the world’s most important global meeting on the environment.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Democracy Awakening - Calls to Reform America's Faltering Democracy (Videos)

More than 200 organizations and hundreds of thousands of people will come together on April 16-18 in Washington D.C. to demand a representative democracy. That means an inclusive systems where all votes matter and money does not buy you access to power. The egregious interference of special interest, redistricting and legislation like the Citizens United Supreme Court decision are undermining America's democracy.

This broad coalition of organizations is calling for a democracy that is "of and by the people." This famous line from the Gettysburg address was delivered by US President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Climate Focus at the April 14th Democratic Debate

Climate related issues were a major part of the Democratic Presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Brooklyn, New York, on April 14, 2016. While the two candidates agree that climate change is an urgent issue, there are important distinctions between their respective policy positions.  Regardless of who wins the nomination, this debate establishes the Democratic party as the only choice for environmentally conscious voters.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Green Bonds Emerging as a Major Force in Green Finance

The momentum driving green bonds is growing and they have emerged as a major instrument of green finance. Green bonds generate funding for sustainable development and clean energy technology. They attract debt investment capital and drive innovation in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, forests and other environmental causes. At COP21 green bonds were touted as being one of the vehicles that could help deliver $100 billion annually by 2020 to support of climate action.

The IMF Supports Taxes for Fossil Fuels that Reflect Environmental Damage

The International Monetary Fund has been a leader in the fiscal side of green finance but in 2016 they have expanded their approach. The IMF is a key supporter of the Green Climate Fund and carbon taxes for fossil fuels. At a London meeting in 2014, International Monetary Fund leader Christine Lagarde warned that the planet is “perilously close” to a climate change tipping point, and requires urgent cooperation between countries, cities and business. Lagarde went on to describe the consequences of climate change as “merciless” and she called for a “new multilateralism”.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

IDB to Double Climate Related Projects

In October last year Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced that it is going to double its climate related projects by increasing financing by between 25 and 30 percent by 2020. The IDB was established in 1959, it offers long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Allure of Low Carbon Investment Opportunities

Investors are waking up to the opportunities afforded by the low carbon economy. The benefits of emissions reduction extend far beyond averting a climate catastrophe. Decreasing our GHG emissions will help create jobs, alleviate poverty, improve public health and even provide greater food security.

The math supports climate action and the economics are becoming harder to refute. Market forces are driving a steady flow of capital and investors are finding it impossible to ignore the return potential of low carbon technologies.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Green Climate Fund Comes of Age

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a United Nations climate finance mechanism designed to assist the developing mobilizing funding for mitigation and adaptation. The GCF mission is to expand collective human action to respond to climate change. It will do this in large part  through the transfer cutting-edge climate technologies. This includes things like smart-grid technologies, electric vehicles and components used in solar electricity generation.

Monday, April 11, 2016

World Bank to Finance More Renewables in the Developing World

After being called out for hypocrisy, the World Bank is working to redeem itself through massive investments in renewable energy. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group are holding their annual "Spring Meetings events" in Washington, DC, on April 12-17, 2016. It will be attended by thousands of government officials, journalists, civil society organizations, and participants from the academia and private sectors. The meetings will feature seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world's financial markets.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Event - InREC: India's Renewable Energy Congress

This fact based high level conference will take place on April 26-27, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency, New Delhi, India. InREC - India’s Renewable Energy Congress - is THE place to meet investors, IPPs, developers and policy power players to hear candid perspectives and innovative case studies

The conference is a business focused event to build new partnerships. It will offert candid perspectives and innovative international case studies and highlight project development and acquisition prospects in renewables. InREC will also cover a global perspective for transferable learning to the Indian renewable energy market and include strategy updates from private equity and financiers into renewable energy.

Event - 2016 Climate Leadership Gala (Earth Day Network)

This event will take place on Tuesday, May 10 at 6:30 PM, at the Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC. Hundreds of the world's leaders on climate, energy and the economy will be attending and together they will be celebrating the Paris climate accord. This Earth Day Network event will review how we will forge a path to a post-carbon future and honor Mindy Lubber and Rachel Kyte.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Death of the Great Barrier Reef Draws Attention to the Fate of Coral Reefs Around the World (Videos)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of the Great Barrier Reef, the world's largest living ecosystem and a Unesco World Heritage site. After a protracted battle with climate change, a 622 mile long sector of the reef has succumbed to bleaching due to warming seas.

The passing of the reef is a tragedy for everyone but this is particularly true for the diverse array of species who have been rendered homeless. This includes 15,000 different types of fish, as well as whales and dolphins.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Help Make Sustainable Development a Reality

I am honored to announce my participation in a project called, "Making Sustainable Development a Reality," This initiative was created by my colleague and friend, Thomas Schueneman, the editor, and publisher of and the TDS Environmental Media Network. Please take a moment to review this post and kindly consider supporting this important work.

Richard Matthews, Owner and principle writer at the Green Market Oracle.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Tackling Climate Change by Riding the Fossil Fuel Industry into the Ground

We can address climate change by slowly, willfully and deliberately killing the fossil fuel industry. The only way we can transition away from our currently perilous course towards a more sustainable economy is by weaning ourselves off of fossil fuels and massively adopting renewable sources of energy.

Last year we began to see game changing transformations in the energy sector. We seeing how fossil fuels are being replaced by renewables and market forces are already doing a great job of killing the industry. However if we are to seriously reduce our emissions in a timely fashion we must quickly ramp-up this transition.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Economics of Climate Action

The imperative to act on climate change may be a moral call for us to act on behalf of future generations but it is also a pragmatic present day matter of fiscal responsibility. A slew of reports corroborate the simple math that there is a multi-trillion dollar benefit from acting on climate change. These reports show that if we act to reduce the impacts of climate change we could significantly diminish the financial losses, while failing to act will cost us trillions. 

March Heat and the Trend of Earlier Springs & Later Winters

In 2016 we experienced the hottest month of February in recorded history and now satellite data suggests that this was followed by the hottest month of March ever. The heat in the Arctic is being described by scientists as "crazy". Europe is also suffering from the warmest March on record.

As reported in National Geographic, a study published in Nature indicates that summer is now coming much earlier in many pats of Europe. On average summer like weather conditions arrive 10 days earlier than four decades ago. In the absence of major emissions reductions, spring may arrive 20 days earlier by the end of the century.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Massive Demand for the Tesla 3

The recent launch of the Tesla 3 proves that there is strong demand for a reasonably priced EV. As of the end of March people could preorder the Tesla 3 and judging by the number of people who lined up the car is being well received. Tesla's newest offering is among the first wave of affordable EVs with better range. The car costs around $35,000, and has a range of more than 215 miles. Considering that Tesla's Roadster cost 100k and the Model S costs $70K, the sticker price of the Tesla 3 is a bargain. The car will be available to the public in 2017 but interested buyers were already lining up and paying $1000 to order.

TransCanada's Keystone is Spewing Crude Adding Fuel to Pipeline Protests

The little brother of the canceled Keystone XL has sprung a leak giving fuel to those who are opposed fossil fuels pipelines including the Dakota Access and the Energy East. Calgary based TransCanada Corp., is the owner of the 30-inch Keystone l pipeline. As of yet the company has offered no explanation as to the cause or the source of the leak. The spill is estimated to have leaked 187 gallons of crude oil. The pipeline was shut down after the leak was detected in South Dakota near its Freeman pump station in Hutchinson County on the afternoon of Saturday April 2, 2016.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Garland Has Green Cred and was Previously Lauded by the GOP

In the wake of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia President Obama has nominated Merrick Garland for the vacant Supreme Court position. Garland is being opposed by the GOP even though he is a widely respected centrist. While Garland is anything but progressive he would be a substantial improvement over Scalia on the environmental front. The latter regularly opposed the EPA and championed increased corporate power. His was the deciding vote that ultimately approved the Citizens United decision which gave corporations the right to provide unlimited funding to political advocacy that advances their own interests (ie buy politicians).

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Event - Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells + Batteries

This event will take place on April 25-29, 2016 at the Exhibition Grounds Hall 27, C 66, in Hannover, Germany. This is Europe's largest trade fair platform for hydrogen, fuel cells and stationary batteries. More than 150 international exhibitors from 25 countries will showcase their latest products and services. The focal point of the Group Exhibit will be the storage of renewable energy by hydrogen generation or in stationary batteries directly. Numerous energy topics include Wind, solar, hydro and geothermal power, energy storage, power plant efficiency and many more! The Exhibit is part of HANNOVER MESSE the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology.

Event - Next-Generation Energy Storage 2016

Knowledge Foundation's 6th Annual energy storage conference will start on Monday, April 18, 2016 and end on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. It will take place in San Diego Marriott La Jolla, San Diego, CA, United States. Breakthroughs in new battery chemistries, novel electrode and electrolyte materials, as well as system integration for mobile, portable, and stationary applications have paved the road toward an emerging market with unlimited potential. Will lithium-ion and alternative-chemistry batteries deliver on the promise of power, energy, cost and safety in commercially available energy storage systems?

Event - IRENA Innovation Week: The Age of Renewable Power

This event will take place on May 10-13, 2016 in Bonn, Germany. Government and industry have agreed on the need for a clean energy revolution to keep climate change in check. But what technologies should we focus on? And what still hinders key technological breakthroughs? IRENA Innovation Week aims to develop a unified vision, along with sector-specific strategies, to find innovative solutions and accelerate renewable energy deployment.

The theme for 2016 is “The Age of Renewable Power: Centralised, Distributed or Supergrids?”. This is the first of what is intended to be an annual event; each year, a different theme will be chosen.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Nuclear Power Combats Climate Change (Video)

Despite the public's mistrust, nuclear power may be our only hope to meet our demand for emissions free energy. Tragic accidents and well warranted fears about nuclear proliferation undermined the public's confidence. Just last week President Obama hosted a summit where he met with world leaders to discuss nuclear security. The concerns expressed at this summit bleed into more general concerns about nuclear power.

In addition to concerns about meltdowns and proliferation, there are issues associated with mining the uranium used to power nuclear plants, spent fuel storage and high cost.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Mobile Phones with the Smallest Environmental Impact

Mobile phones are ubiquitous and they are a central part of modern life, but they come with varying degrees of eco-friendliness. Collectively, the billions of phones in the world today have a massive environmental footprint. Manufacturers are responding to growing consumer interest in greener phones.

In the last two decades, smartphones have gone way beyond being simply mobile communication devices. For many of us, they are our primary conduit to the digital world. There is no denying the importance of cell phones in our world today and this is a trend that shows no signs of slowing down.