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, they have already declined by 35 percent and they are declining at an annual rate of around 20 percent.

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.

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.

Event - Responsible Business Summit Asia

This event will take place on May 17 and 18, 2016 at the Novotel Singapore Clarke Quay. Through a series of interactive round tables and intimate workshops the Responsible Business Summit (RBS) Asia will provide provide ideas and answers to help you overcome the latest challenges. Leverage value chain opportunities and minimise supplier risks to ensure business longevity.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Review of Extreme Weather in 2015 (Video)

Last year was a truly anomalous year for weather and it is part of a disturbing trend. While we must distinguish between a years worth of weather and a climate trend, as pointed out in a Scientific American article decades of extreme weather point to a changing climate.

"Every year has extreme stuff that goes on," says Jeff Weber, an atmospheric scientist at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "But 2015 was a highly unusual year."

Friday, January 8, 2016

Top Environmentally Innovative Companies of 2015

Lux research has assembled a list of the most innovative companies of 2015 that are poised to make a significant impact. Here is a subset of those companies that have an environmental focus. To assemble this list Lux Research profiled 1,189 companies across 20 different emerging technology domains during 2015. Each company is rated on a scale from "Strong Caution" to "Strong Positive." Some companies who are facing uncertainty have been given a "Wait and See" rating.

Organica Water (Positive – Water): In addition to providing significant reductions in energy consumption, sludge production, and overall footprint for wastewater treatment, Organica builds low-cost greenhouses around its treatment plants to reduce odor, allowing it to locate plants closer to wastewater sources and enabling cost-effective reuse within cities.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Vehicles Dominate Eco Technology at the 2016 CES

In addition to robotics and drones this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is focused on autonomous vehicles and electric vehicles. The Las Vegas Convention Center and the surrounding expo halls were opened to the public earlier this week and a huge assortment of the latest tech products were on display. Many of the technological innovations at the show are a function of the ongoing miniaturization of computers.

Unmanned technology is a futuristic theme that permeates some of the electronics on display this year. A joint effort from Ford and Google, as well as separate initiatives from Toyota and Kia showcase autonomous car tech. Self-driving vehicles are becoming a reality that promise to deliver safer and more efficient transportation. Autonomous vehicles from tiny drones to trucks will expedite transportation along with software-driven advances in logistics and warehousing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

SRI and Impact Investing to Combat Climate Change

If 2014 was a good year for socially responsible investing (SRI), and impact investing, 2015 was even better. Last year we saw significant growth in this new wave of value embedded capitol allocation. The world is changing and a growing number of investors realize that responsible investing is a world changing financial opportunity.

Both SRI and impact investing refers to investing capital with the intention of producing social and environmental benefits alongside financial returns. Strategies include things like incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decision making.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Investing in Energy and Sustainability in 2016 (Webinar)

Anyone interested in what we can expect in energy and sustainability this year should attend an upcoming webinar. Titled, Energy and sustainability: Learn the Smartest Investments for 2016, this online event will give insights into the market trends and opportunities for energy and sustainability management this year.

Information for this webinar was derived from the feedback of over 700 professionals. The key findings as well as predictions from Ecova form the basis of this webinar.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Was a Transformational Year for Energy

Buoyed by global and domestic climate policy shifts in the US and around the world 2015 was a revolutionary year for energy. Although oil prices dipped to below $40 a barrel in 2015, renewables are also getting cheaper. Green energy like wind and solar are rapidly approaching grid parity. As Jim Marston pointed out in an EDF post, "historians just might look back at 2015 as the year everything changed for clean energy."

Energy is at the center of global efforts to combat global warming and a number of articles have touted 2015 as a landmark year for climate action. In a Climate Progress article Joe Romm said, "it seems clear that 2014-2015 marks an inflection point in the CO2 emissions trend line." New York Magazine called 2015, "the year humans got serious about climate change."

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Event - IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training

IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training will take place on Friday February 5 to Sunday February 7, 2016, in Ottawa, Ontario. Young people care deeply about the fate of the planet, its people, and their future. Given the opportunity, youth have great power to influence positive change in their communities. The IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training program is a call to passionate, motivated youth who are looking for an opportunity to make a difference.

Change makers wanted

This is an incredible opportunity for youth across Canada who care about sustainability and want to make a difference in their community. Participants will deepen their sustainability understanding, enhance their confidence as leaders, and be empowered to develop or advance meaningful sustainability projects and social enterprises.

This inspiring program is a high-impact offering that builds the capacity of young leaders to act strategically to address the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing their communities. Through the program, youth develop and implement new initiatives, or take a leadership role to scale up existing initiatives, to effectively respond to these issues. Together, the participants will help build healthy and vibrant communities.

Event - Climate Adaptation Tools Workshop

The Climate Adaptation Tools Workshop will take place on January 14, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to Noon at Montclair State University, Center for Environmental & Life Sciences - Room 120, 1 Normal Ave, Montclair, New Jersey 07043.

Greater resilience requires more interdisciplinary and sustained planning for communities at risk. Now, more than three years into the process of redevelopment following Superstorm Sandy, there is both a need to share some of the lessons learned from these events as well to keep learning from other places.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 is the Hottest Year on Record and 2016 will be even Hotter (Video)

It is official, the global average temperature in 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history and this record is expected to be broken in 2016. Last year's temperature records beat the record set in 2014. According to Climate Central, the five-year period from 2011-15 has been the hottest such period ever recorded. Almost all of the global average temperature records have been set in recent years. We have seen decades of consistently above average temperatures. According to the World Meteorological Association, 2015 is the 39th consecutive year with an anomalously high annual global temperature and 2016 is destined to be the 40th such year and the hottest on record.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Thanks and Happy New Year!

At the start of 2015 we hoped for bold climate action in our New Year's greeting. Over the course of the last year we have made positive strides towards a more sustainable world.  Despite the pessimism of naysayers, we proved that we can muster the will to act on climate change. As 2015 wraps up we have much to be thankful for not the least of which is the ambitious climate deal achieved at COP21. The Paris deal ushers us into an era that will see the end of fossil fuels and unprecedented growth for clean energy.