Friday, December 14, 2018

What are Businesses Doing at COP24

Members of the business community were present at 24th Conference of Parties (COP24). The UN climate talks in Katowice, Poland showcased a wide range of private sector accomplishments. They also supported a number of studies which indicate that adopting less environmentally harmful practices is good for business.

The business community is vulnerable to climate change. As explained by ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO., "a failure to address climate change will hurt us all."

Business is present because climate change is a very real and ominous threat to commerce of all kinds. The experience and expertise that the business community also brings the experience necessary to craft solutions. They are also present because they also know they have a lot to gain.

Shattering myths

One of the themes to surface at COP24 is that business leaders do not need to chose between profits and the health of the planet. All sectors, even those that are viewed as major producers of greenhouse gases are deriving value from new technologies and new business models. This fact shatters the myth that climate action is incompatible with economic growth.  The businesses cases are piling up proving that sustainability benefits the bottom line.

The biggest single detractor to climate action is the United States and like other nations the ruling government uses an economic argument to justify inaction. The argument that the cost is too high is a ruse that is not supported by factual analysis. A number of cost benefit studies make it clear that the benefits of action far outweigh the costs. In simple language we cannot afford to ignore the costs of climate change.  Yet the ruling US government refuses to consider math that factors the costs.

Climate change is a serious threat but it can also be a tremendous opportunity. The UN report indicated that by 2030 there will be $26 trillion in economic benefits associated with climate action. The costs of climate inaction will be much greater.

Solar Impulse Foundation

In an effort to bridge the gap between ecology and economy, the NGO Solar Impulse Foundation has put together 1,000 climate solutions. The idea is to assess their environmental impacts and their profitability.

As explained by the organizations founder Bertrand Piccard, "This is where can make a big difference for the protection of the environment… showing that it is profitable, that people can create jobs and make money with it". Picard is first person ever to circumnavigate the globe in a solar powered airplane. More than 1,500 companies have joined the initiative and there are 600 projects in the pipeline.

Some of the solutions include carbon-neutral homes, cleaner cooling systems, and more efficient and economical production of stainless steel.

Paris Rulebook

The primary goal of COP24 is the so called Paris Rulebook. This is a framework that is intended to provide businesses and others with a way forward that is capable of meeting the Paris objectives. Other objectives involve ratcheting up ambitions and encouraging progressive policy decisions by government.

In many respects these objectives are interrelated. Widespread adoption of the Paris Rulebook would support long-term climate policies and much needed investments. Companies have a vested interest as climate policies affect companies’ domestic and international operations, supply chains, planning and investments. For businesses this translates to increasing investments in innovation, research, infrastructure and new tech.


The ICC sees business as a key agent of change and they have supported the inclusion of business in developing climate change policy.
"While business is participating in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the dialogue could be much more effective. In the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue – the Fijian tradition of inclusive, participatory and transparent decision-making – ICC urges Parties to include business in developing climate change policy, to accelerate and encourage private sector innovation in game-changing technologies through appropriate fiscal policies and de-risking flows of private capital into climate change adaptation and mitigation investment opportunities."
The ICC has recently launched a new paper setting out the global business community’s principles for a just transition. This is an approach that safeguards the economic and social viability of communities as we shift tow zero net emissions.

Global Compact

Representatives of the Global Compact were also at COP24 and they encourage business to adopt science based targets. This network of 9,500 small and large private companies are committed to investing in sustainable development. They lead by example and encourage other businesses to reduce emissions and adopt transparent reporting practices to align with the Paris accord and the SDGs. "We are calling on all companies across sectors and regions, to set their science-based targets to a new level of ambition, one that aligns with the 1.5°C target," said Lise Kingo, who heads the UN Global Compact. "This is the only way we can reach the ambition of the Paris Agreement and the UN sustainable goals by 2030" Kingo said.

At COP24, science based targets enjoyed the public support of Danish shipping giant Maersk, confectionery king Mars and French waste management conglomerate Suez. Almost half of Fortune 500 companies have set clear climate targets according to the Global Compact and in 2016 the efforts of 190 companies this resulted in a US$3.7 billion in savings.


Another sustainability initiative for COP24 comes from World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). On December 3, 2018, WBCSD released key policy recommendations for COP24 negotiators on behalf of nearly 200 global businesses.

"If we want to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, we have no choice: we must limit global warming to well-below 2°C, with 1.5°C as the new North Star. There’s no room for complacency. The science is clear: If we don’t act now, the world will surpass 3°C as early as 2100,with devastating consequences," the opening statement of the policy document reads.

This document acknowledges that while technologies and business models exist but it calls for urgent action as their uptake is far too slow to keep the planet from warming above the upper threshold limits. The WBCSD is calling for companies to commit to sustainability and summon the political will to address the climate crisis.

There are three key themes increased ambition, clear rules and strong enablers – which include effective carbon pricing mechanisms and ambitious resilience efforts.

Since the signing of the Paris Agreement over 800 companies with USD $16.9 trillion in market capital have made over 1,300 commitments to address global warming through the climate challenge which is part of the We Mean Business Take Action platform which is also calling for strong climate policies.

"Business is at the forefront," said María Mendiluce, Managing Director of Climate and Energy at WBCSD, adding we are, "calling on policymakers to step up".

Through the WBCSD’s Low Carbon Technology Partnerships initiative (LCTPi), hundreds of businesses are taking concrete action to implement their climate commitments on the ground.

As explained by the WBCSD, "Key businesses believe it’s time to go further, faster and stand ready to support global leaders in demonstrating the will to accelerate [reductions in] greenhouse gas emissions."

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Economic Arguments as a Pretext to Torpedo Climate Action

National governments and conservative commentators commonly invoke economic arguments to justify climate inaction. However, a slew of studies flatly contradict the contention that the cost of climate action outweighs the benefits. Upon closer inspection it becomes clear that the economic argument is a ruse. There are a couple of factors driving this fraudulent economic argument. The first is the politics of conservative governments, the second is industry, particularly fossil fuels.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Resistance from Oil Producing States is Killing Climate Talks

Fossil fuel producing states are making progress very difficult at COP24.  Instead of climate action the world's leading oil producers are opting to defend their oil interests.   Member states are falling far short of the objectives laid out for the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP24).  The scientific report that was meant to inform these proceeding is being resisted by the world's three largest oil producers, the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia.  Even Poland, the host nation for COP24 is putting the brakes on climate action in an effort to protect its coal industry.

Monday, December 10, 2018

COP24 Goals and Objectives

The 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24) will be held in Katowice, Poland, it runs from December 3 - 14. This meeting hosts representatives from United Nations member states, including government ministers and subnational leaders. There will also be CEOs, the leaders of nonprofits, and faith-based organizations. The goal of the meeting is to hammer out a framework for implementing the Paris Agreement, which was reached in 2015 at the 21st conference.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Event - Conference on Sustainability in Engineering 2019

Conference on Sustainability in Engineering (CSE) will take place February 22nd - 25th, 2019 at the University of Northern British Columbia. The theme "Triple Bottom Line", will provide a foundation of knowledge on sustainability, while considering social, economic, and environmental implications. CSE 2019 will equip students with the knowledge required to tackle challenges related to sustainability. The Conference on Sustainability in Engineering is the CFES' newest conference, ratified at PM 2018. The conference aims to raise awareness about issues in sustainability and environmental engineering, and encourage students to discuss and design solutions to counter them. The Conference on Sustainability in Engineering (CSE) is a three-day national conference to educate and engage engineering students on issues of sustainability and how they can tackle it within their engineering career and everyday life.

Event - 2019 Shareholder Activism Summit

The 2019 Shareholder Activism Summit will take place on January 24th 2019. The Summit will once again unite activists, board directors and corporate management to discuss the state of play in activist engagement and what to expect in the upcoming shareholder season.

A full day of interviews, panel discussions, and presentations by practice experts, strategists, advisors, activists and investors makes this one-day program an invaluable gathering, needed to effectively manage through the ever-evolving landscape of proxy fights and settlements. Share views and practices on the evolution and current state of shareholder activism in the US and abroad, with a focus on how engagements continue to shape efforts between directors, public company management and activist investors, all seeking positive outcomes.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Life and Funeral of George H.W. Bush Defines Leadership for a Nation that has Lost its Way

The funeral for George H.W. Bush takes place at a time when the nation's values are under siege from within. The Bush funeral calls us to remember what great American leadership looks like. In these dark times remembering a leader who is loving, humble, honest and self-effacing gives us reason to hope.

After lying in state at the US Capitol the coffin of the 41st president of the United States traveled by motorcade to Washington National Cathedral for his funeral and some final farewells. The touching 3 hour ceremony that ensued showcased a man of faith who believed in causes larger than himself.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Life of Service: George H.W. Bush a Good Man and a Model President

George H.W. Bush (June 12, 1924 – November 30, 2018) was a humble family man who has contributed enormously to the history of the United States and the world. One of his enduring achievements was the 1990 amendment to the Clean Air act.  He is best known for being the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993. After he left office he continued to be active in humanitarian activities

He leaves behind an impressive legacy of service. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor Bush postponed his university studies and when he turned 18 he enlisted to become one of the youngest aviators in the US Navy. After the war he attended and graduated from Yale University.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Beware the Ides of March: Climate Denial and Trump's Demise

Trump's climate denial is part of a maniacal litany of lies that may help bring his presidency to an end. The facts are beginning to coalesce and they are painting a convincing portrait of a corrupt and dishonest president with delusions of grandeur.

Trump resists as best he can maligning truth tellers and spouting self-serving narratives. He savages fact based sources of information like science and the media, while trying to portray himself as a victim of a "witch-hunt". However, two reports strike at the heart of this pessimal presidency, one has already been released and the other, the most damning of all is expected to drop in 2019. To all but his minions, Trump's predicament is a direct corollary of his own actions.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Event - International Sustainability Transitions Conference

The 10th International Sustainability Transitions conference will be held from June 23-26, 2019 at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. The IST onference theme is Accelerating sustainability transitions: Building visions, unlocking pathways, navigating conflicts.

IST 2019 is hosted by the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University in association with the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN). Accelerating sustainability transitions Building visions, unlocking pathways, navigating conflicts.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Event - NCSE 2019 Annual Conference: Sustainable Infrastructure & Resilience

NCSE 2019 Annual Conference: Sustainable Infrastructure & Resilience will take place on January 7-10, 2019 at the at the Omni Shoreham Hotel located at 2500 Calvert St NW, Washington, DC 20008. The National Council for Science and the Environment works with scientists, educators, policymakers, business leaders, and officials at all levels of government to inform environmental policy and decision-making with the use of science. NCSE programs are designed to foster leadership and education around timely and pressing issues at the intersection of science, policy, education, and decision-making. The programs also advance interdisciplinary education and develop international cooperation and engagement.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

National Governments Failing to Act on Climate Change

The most recent data indicates that not only are we are far from where we need to be to slow global warming, we are falling further behind. Greenhouse gas emissions are rising again and the planet is getting hotter. After three consecutive years of decline, global emissions began to rise again in 2017. They are expected to increase even more in 2018.

The UN emissions gap report was released ahead of the upcoming COP 24 meetings in Katowice, Poland where governments will meet to discuss their failure to achieve the targets laid out in the Paris climate agreement.

At 53.5 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, global emissions have reached historic levels. Worse still they show no signs of peaking. If we are to stave off the most cataclysmic impacts of climate change we must urgently reduce emissions. Scientists have determined that we need to keep temperatures from rising above the upper threshold limit of 1.5 - 2.0 degrees Celsius. Earth has already warmed 1.8 C since the beginning of the 20th century.

Webinar - The Science of Resilience in Decision-Making

This webinar will take place on Wednesday, Dec 5th 2018, 1:15 PM - 2:45 PM EST. Erica Goldman, NSCE Science Policy Director, will moderate a multi-disciplinary discussion on climate resilient infrastructure. She'll be joined by specialists in engineering, water resources, urban planning and natural hazards. Erica will moderates a multi-disciplinary discussion on climate resilient infrastructure. This 90-minute webinar is sponsored by ASU's School of Sustainability in partnership with the National Council for Science and the Environment and will explore:
  • Resilience as a paradigm to understand infrastructure at a systems level
  • Social science as a critical component in planning for and understanding resilience
  • Resilient design as a continuum, rather than an endpoint
  • The role of social and institutional infrastructure in disaster response and planning for climate impacts

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sustainability Benefits the Bottom Line

A slew of studies have demonstrated that there are financial benefits associated with corporate sustainability performance. Recent research adds to the body of evidence linking ESG performance to a strong ROI.

These are the findings of a new report that also shows that an increasing number of companies are integrating the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their reporting paradigms. The fact that the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) is the dominant platform makes sense given the fact that new GRI standards are compatible with SDGs. The report also indicates that an increasing number of companies reporting to the CDP, an organization that supports corporate disclosures of environmental impacts.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Trump Hides New US Climate Report to Conceal the Costs

The release of a major new climate report on Black Friday is entirely consistent with the subterfuge that defines the Trump administration. The hope was that by releasing it on the busiest shopping day of the year no one would notice the economic toll foretold in the report. It is a savage irony that Trump is using the consumer spectacle of Black Friday to hide a study that predicts massive economic consequences from unchecked climate change. It should be obvious by now that Trump disavows facts that are inconvenient. He won't accept the conclusion of his own intelligence services regarding Russian interference. He equivocates on the CIA's conclusions about the murder of a journalist by Saudi Arabia. He even disputed the death toll from Hurricane Maria because it revealed how his administration's neglect killed hundreds in Puerto Rico. 

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Event - United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights

This event will take place on November 26-28, 2018, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The central theme for the 2018 Forum will be: "Business respect for human rights – building on what works".

Friday, November 23, 2018

Thanksgiving Under Trump and the Awakening of Corporate America

Thanksgiving under Trump is a partisan affair. This is but the most recent American tradition that is being undermined by this president. Instead of unifying Americans Trump is lauding himself and sewing conflict. He spews his caustic venom to erode the center and breed division.

Trump's shameless capacity for self promotion knows no bounds. In a public call to US military leaders he maligned the judiciary for ruling against his immigration policy. Rather than focus on Thanksgiving well-wishes for all Americans he used the occassion to attack his enemies and sell his narrative.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Standing Up to Trump is Synonymous with Protecting your Brand

The times are changing and resisting this presidency may be a smarter play than trying to play it safe by staying under the radar. There was a time when openly contradicting the president of the United States was unthinkable. However, in the context of Donald Trump, failing to do so may represent a serious risk. Consumers want companies to take an ethical stand and they will reward companies with loyalty for being responsible corporate citizens. They will also punish companies for failing to do so. Many CEOs have come to the realization that it is safer to speak out than it is to be quietly complicit with the Trump administration. This is why they are openly refuting this president in ever growing numbers.  This includes some of the CEOs of leading corporate organizations.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Democrats Preparing to Fight for Voter Rights

On January 3 the wingnut party will end and a House full of shiny checks and balances will ring in the new year. Voting rights will be at the top of the agenda when the Democrats take control of the House of Representatives. This battle will be the backdrop to both impeachment proceedings and the 2020 presidential election. Its a winning message for Democrats and hard sell for the GOP.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Event - Pathways to Sustainability conference

Pathways to Sustainability conference will take place on January 24, 2019 at TivoliVredenburg, Utrecht. A wide spectrum of researchers and partners will come together for this annual free conference.

The programme of the upcoming conference features keynotes from Sheila Jasanoff (Professor of Science and Technology Studies, Harvard University), Jeroen Willemsen (founder of the Green Protein Alliance), and Diederik Samsom (chair Klimaattafel Gebouwde Omgeving, nuclear physicist and former politician). Sustainability from various perspectives.

Event - International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability

The Fifteenth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic & Social Sustainability will take place on January 17-19, 2019 at UBC Region Square in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The conference features research addressing the following annual themes:

Friday, November 16, 2018

Trump and Republicans Ignore the Costs of Climate Change

Even if you can get beyond Trump's callousness, it is hard to understand how anyone could support his irresponsible economic policies.  This is about more than just the ballooning deficit associated with his tax cuts.

Trump's insensitivity is legendary but his comportment towards politicians dealing with hurricanes and wildfires has been nothing short of shocking. Trump's handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico paints a sadistic portrait of a president who just does not seem to care. He verbally assaulted Tallahassee mayor and Democratic Gubernatorial contender Andrew Gillum as Hurricane Michael was about to make landfall.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Trump Called an "Idiot" as he Blames the Victims for California's Wildfires

As Californians combat three major forest fires Trump takes to Twitter to blame the state for forest mismanagement and threatens to withdraw federal funding. The president is once again misinformed as these are urban interface fires and have nothing to do with forest management. These statements prompted California Firefighters Union President to call Trump "an idiot". 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Corporate Activism in the 2018 Midterm Elections and Beyond

Companies are increasingly departing from their traditional apolitical stances and the 2018 midterm election in the United States was no exception. While many companies encouraged their employees to vote, others extended this message to their partners and the general public. Some companies wore their social conscience on their sleeves while others actively endorsed environmentally concerned candidates.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Event - Nature & Me

Nature & Me is a presentation that will take place on December 3, 2018 at the Moment Factory, 6250 Park Ave, Montreal, QC Montreal, QC. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. and the presentation begins at 7:15 p.m.

For many of us, our everyday connection to nature isn’t what it used to be. What does that mean for our quality of life and economy? Join them for an engaging discussion on our relationship with nature and how it stands to impact our future.

Event - Social Impact Investing Summit

The Social Impact Investing Summit 2018 is being held in London on December 6-7, 2018 at The Great Hall Kensington Conference and Events Centre, Hornton St, Kensington, London, UK. This years keynote and speakers include BCG, Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Voter Suppression and Resistance to Republican Efforts to Subvert Democracy

One hundred and forty eight years after the 15th amendment granted all Americans the right to vote and people are still fighting for voting rights in the US. The gains made by Democrats in the 2018 midterms are all the more remarkable given the ways in which the GOP has subverted democracy and skewed the playing field in their favor. Trump and Republicans allege electoral fraud as a pretext for voter suppression. While voter fraud is a ruse voter suppression is a very serious impediment to democracy in the US. 

There are 18 states that have passed voter ID laws that make it harder for certain communities to vote. Joe Biden recently said that there are 70 pieces of legislation introduced by Republicans in 34 states that constitute voter suppression. Voter suppression contributed to Trump's electoral victory in 2016. As a senior Trump official told Bloomberg "we have three major voter suppression operations under way."

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Environmental Victories in the 2018 Midterms

There were two under-reported environmental success stories during the 2018 midterms that are worth noting. The first is a constitutional amendment to ban oil and gas drilling in Florida's state waters and the second is the electoral victory of clean energy advocate Sean Casten in Illinois.

The fact that the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives is a major step towards holding the president and the GOP accountable. This vote was a repudiation of Trump. Exit polls confirmed that Trump was on the ballot and the results in the House indicate he did not fare well. Trump's candidates lost in vast swaths of America including in areas where Trump won decisively in 2016.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Environmental Voters May Hold the Balance of Power

Environmentally concerned citizens could play a pivotal role in the midterm elections of 2018.  There is so much at stake in these elections not the least of which are efforts to check the erosion of environmental protections and the neglect of climate action.

On November 6th voters will decide the outcome in 435 House seats, 34 Senate seats and 36 Governors races.

This election is critically important for the future of the nation and the health of the planet. In the wake of the most recent UN climate report we are forced to concede that we are in need of urgent action if we are to avoid tipping points from which we may not be able to recover.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The Ruse of Blaming Both Sides and How Republicans Spawned this Treachery

Abetted by the ruling government in Washington hate is increasing in the US and lies are the norm. Some decry the hateful rhetoric on both sides, they blame both Republicans and Democrats for the dysfunction in Washington. However, there are not two sides to the issue of hate speech in contemporary American politics just as there are not two sides to the scientific consensus on global warming. While Democrats are far from blameless, to suggest that there is some kind of equivalency between the two parties is like the President's suggestion that there is some form of moral equivalency between Neo-Nazis and those that oppose fascism.  To illustrate this point the vast majority of terror attacks are committed by white people associated with the radical right. Only a tiny fraction of this violence comes from the extreme left.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Trump's Caravan of Lies

Trump's incessant lies and savage insensitivity fuel the divisions that are so prevalent in America today. Trump is the most dishonest president in American history and his capacity for deception is eclipsed only by his capacity to make people hate. He deceives to whip Americans into a frenzy of passionate xenophobia.

By the most recent count Trump has lied 6,420 times in his first 649 days of office. That is an average of around ten lies per day.  He kept lying after the assassination attempts against more than a dozen leading Democrats. He continued to call the mainstream media the enemy of the people after 2 pipe bombs were sent to CNN. Disparaging the truth-tellers is a pillar of Trump's strategy of disinformation and manipulation.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Resurgence of Hate In America

Trump inflames the very worst in human nature. He is hardly the first to exploit the politics of division, like other demagogues he leverages hate and exploits fear. This tactic dates back to the mists of prehistory. What makes this truly terrifying is that it is taking place in a mature democracy like the United States. The three disturbing acts of domestic terrorism in recent days are part of a general trend of increasing hate crimes taking place in the US. This includes violence from white supremacists and antisemitism. These events cannot be divorced from the rhetoric coming from the president. They have cemented Trump's position as the most hate inspiring leader in recent times and one of the most hateful presidents in the history of the Republic.

STAND APART Change Leadership Certificate (Cornell University)

STAND APART is a Change Leadership Certificate offered by Cornell University. This is an online certificate where you can learn from Cornell's top minds. All certificates are personally developed by Ivy League faculty.  This flexible, interactive programs fits into your busy life and can power your career. Cornell’s standard of excellence can help you stand apart.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Live Stream - Is It up to Business to Save the Planet?

LIVE-STREAMED FROM MIT Critical Questions Live: Is It up to Business to Save the Planet? Thursday, November 1, 2018 1:00 p.m. EDT / 10:00 a.m. PDT. If you’re unable to watch the live-stream, still register!

How much can we expect business to lead on sustainability? What should be a company’s biggest priority: serving its shareholders, providing jobs, or addressing the health of our planet?

Often, these goals are at odds. This event brings together, in a special forum live-streamed from the MIT campus, two leading voices in the sustainability debate. MIT’s Yossi Sheffi and sustainability expert and author Andrew Winston will debate and discuss the role of for-profit businesses in supporting — and investing in — sustainability goals. You’ll be able to ask questions and participate remotely.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Event - 2018 Corporate Citizenship Conference

This annual event will take place on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 to Thursday, November 15, 2018 Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - Thursday, November 15, 2018 at the Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, District of Columbia.  This event is held in conjunction with  the 19th annual Corporate Citizenship Awards.

The theme of this year’s U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation 2018 Corporate Citizenship Conference is Better Together. At this event business leaders and cross-sector partners in Washington, D.C. to explore the possibilities when we come together.

Event - The BSR Conference 2018: A Conference to Redefine Sustainable Business

The event will take place November 6-8, 2018 at the Grand Hyatt in New York. The annual BSR Conference is one of the longest-running and most well-regarded sustainability conferences.  Participants will attend from around the world, including senior executives from Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and governments. In total more than 800 people are expected to attend. There will be 100 inspiring speakers participating in 60 sessions and events.

Friday, October 26, 2018

How Climate Change Could Hurt Southern Republicans in the Midterms

Global warming has been a non-issue for most Republican voters, but that might change in the forthcoming midterm elections. On November 6th we may see the environment emerge as an important issue for some voters in Trump country. People in southern states are coming to terms with the fact that warming seas are causing toxic algal blooms, violent storms and flooding. This is cause for concern for the GOP who fear that their climate deception could be exposed by anyone seriously interested in examining the facts.

People are coming to the realization that planetary warming is a factor in both storms and toxic algae. This in turn exposes the irrationality of Republican resistance to climate science.  What makes it even more interesting is that these hurricanes and algal blooms are striking in the heart of Trump country. North Carolina and the Florida are red states that helped Trump to win the electoral college in 2016 and some of these voters are beginning to have buyers remorse.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Climate Economics: Trump and Republicans Ignore the Math

Neither Donald Trump nor Republican legislators acknowledge the benefits of climate action. They oppose the green economy while increasing US emissions that exacerbate climate change. They have increased the extraction fossil fuels while ending decades of bipartisan support for energy efficiency. The pretexts they put forward to eschew climate action are two-fold. First they question the science proving the anthropogenic origins of climate change and second they ignore cost benefit analyses. Despite the self-serving narrative offered by the GOP, a large body of scientific evidence unequivocally concludes that humans are responsible for climate change and a slew of studies demonstrate the benefits of climate action.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Trump and Hurricanes are like Oil and Water

Trump does not do hurricanes well. In fact it would be fair to say that Trump relates to hurricanes the way oil mixes with water. Maybe it has something to do with his lack of empathy, perhaps it has to do with the fact that every extreme weather event exposes the irrationality of his rejection of climate science and highlights the insanity of this administration's energy agenda.  A succession of once in a lifetime storms provides tangible support for the veracity of climate change.  However, Trump is not one to accept reality unless it suits him. When he is confronted with the facts Trump does what he does best, he lies.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Event - EHS & Sustainability Management Forum

EHS&S Management Forum, October 23-26, Louisville Downtown Marriott, Louisville, KY, is NAEM’s annual conference for EHS and sustainability managers, directors and vice presidents. The 26th Annual EHS&S Management Forum

This year's EHS and Sustainability Management Forum will offer five tracks, a focus on EHS&S Business Strategy, Leadership and EHS&S Tools

NAEM's EHS & Sustainability Management Forum is the largest annual gathering for environment, health and safety (EHS) and sustainability decision-makers. This year's program will offer attendees 5 tracks of breakout sessions emphasizing alignment of EHS and business strategy, leadership excellence, and tools and tactics for day-to-day EHS excellence.

Event - Net Impact Annual Conference: outside the lines

Net Impact Annual Conference, will take place on October 25-28,  2018 at the Phoenix Convention Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. This is the annual gathering of purpose-driven university students and the organizations seeking to harness their talents after graduation. This year’s theme is “outside the lines."

Each year Net Impact brings leaders together for a dynamic exchange of ideas about how to tackle our toughest social and environmental problems. Today's challenges are more complex than any one person or organization can solve. Collaboration is essential to developing innovative solutions to change the world.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Event - New Metrics: The ROI of Sustainable Business

New Metrics, will take place on October 29-31, 2018 at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel, in Philadelphia, PA. is a geek fest for those steeped in the monitoring, measurement and reporting functions surrounding sustainability. The goal of the event, is to “translate social and environmental impact into corporate financial performance indicators,” according to Sustainable Brands.

Discover the ROI of Sustainable Business and learn to measure the risk and impact of previously unmeasured forms of value with thought leaders using the newest credible tools and solutions. Translate social and environmental impact into corporate financial performance indicators to help your business succeed.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Implications of Trump's Reprehensible Rejection of Climate Science

Like the Republican party he now owns, Donald Trump derides science because it exposes his ignorance. The enormous body of scientific evidence makes it impossible for thinking people to deny the veracity of anthropogenic climate change. Those who seek to malign climate science are guilty of an egregious lie that jeopardizes national security and compromises people's health and well being. It also exacerbates divisions by fraying the unifying fabric rational thought.

Trump rejects science for the same reasons he maligns the press. Eradicating fact based narratives give him license to enact an agenda that is at odds with the national interest. His obfuscation serves corporate interests, especially that of the fossil fuel industry which is the single largest industrial contributor to the climate crisis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Attribution Science Connecting Hurricane Florence to Climate Change

We can now saw with ever increasing confidence that climate change is making storms more severe and more frequent and the situation will only worsen as the planet continues to get hotter. Advances in attribution science are making it clear that climate change is fueling deadly extreme weather events.

The basic physics (the laws of thermodynamics) connecting climate change to extreme weather are well known. Warmer oceans cause more evaporation and a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. This in turn increases rainfall and Hurricane Florence is a good example.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Best Evidence Yet that Climate Tipping Points Threaten to Push Us Past the Point of No Return

A slew of studies confirm that we are nearing tipping points from which we may not be able to recover. Common sense calls for urgent action and if we act soon there may still be time. However, the hotter it gets the more likely it is that we will surpass tipping points that will accelerate warming past a point of no return. The most recent IPCC report reaffirms that we are teetering perilously on the cusp of imminent turning points.  A recently published study in the Journal of Earth System Dynamics also concludes that we are rapidly approaching a point of no return. The study is titled, "The point of no return for climate action: effects of climate uncertainty and risk tolerance".

Monday, October 15, 2018

IPCC Study Offers Another Dose of Climate Reality

New research reaffirms that we are teetering on the cusp of a man-made climate calamity. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report warns that governments must take urgent action to avoid "rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society". The effects of catastrophic warming includes cataclysmic flooding from sea level rise, more extreme weather, wildfires and food shortages.

The report warns that by 2030 we will will breech the upper threshold limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, a level of warming deemed catastrophic  The world is already two thirds of the way there having warmed by 1 degree C since preindustrial norms and the Arctic has already warmed by 1.5 C.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Event - The Paris Design Summit

This event will take place on February 20 - 22, 2019 in Paris, France. It is the largest exhibition of sustainable design products and services offered at the heart of an international and interdisciplinary forum.

The Paris Design Summit 2019 takes real action to demonstrate the power of design to deal with contemporary issues. Professionals, academics, international actors, thinkers and policy makers from urban planning, architecture, engineering, design and other domains will come together to share at all levels – from students to experts in the field – a range of information, proofs of concepts and game-changing metrics regarding better actions locally and globally.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Nobel Prize for Climate Economics and Government Investments

Two US economist were jointly awarded the Nobel memorial prize for economics for addressing two of the most "basic and pressing" issues of our times. One economist demonstrated the way government investments boost economic growth and the other was recognized for his work on the relationship between the economy and climate change.

William Nordhaus and Paul Romer were recognized by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences which said the two had "significantly broadened the scope of economic analysis by constructing models that explain how the market economy interacts with nature and knowledge."

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Why Kavanaugh's Confirmation Matters Less than you Think

Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed on the US Supreme Court thanks to the strident support of Republicans who were nonplussed by multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, corroborated reports of excessive drinking, and his partisan tirade in the Senate. This is a sad time for those who support gender equality and environmental protections. It is also a dangerous time for a bitterly divided nation.

Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski are two Senators who deserve credit for putting country ahead of their personal interests. They voted against Kavanaugh even though it will likely prove politically costly.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Celebrating Oxymorons: Canadian Thanksgiving and Columbus Day

Although they co-occur, in many respects Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving are diametrically opposed to each other. While Canadian Thanksgiving is a harvest festival celebrating nature's bounty, Columbus Day marks the start of our systematic destruction of the new world. Monday October 8th is Canadian Thanksgiving, a time to be grateful, it is also Columbus day in most parts of the new world. It is hard to reconcile the start of our exploitation of the Americas and the expression of gratitude for the bountiful harvests nature provides. 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Event - UNEP FI Global Roundtable and Paris Climate Finance

The 4th Climate Finance Day and the UN Environment Finance Initiative’s biennial Global Roundtable will take place on November 26 - 28, 2018, in Paris, France. UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Finance for Tomorrow, an initiative of Paris EUROPLACE, are joining forces to stage three days of action on sustainable finance in the city where decisive action on climate change was finally taken in 2015. Finance for Tomorrow and UNEP FI are co-organizing their two flagship events which together will be the major global rendez-vous in 2018 dedicated to mobilizing the financial sector to deliver a sustainable financial system.