Thursday, May 31, 2018

Event - Responsible Investment Forum Europe 2018

The Responsible Investment Forum Europe 2018 will take place on June 12 - 13 at the Waldorf Hilton, London, United Kingdom. Now in its 9th year, the longest running Private Equity meeting focused on bringing together GPs and LPs to discuss ESG issues and market trends is back again.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Courts and Fossil Fuels

As the leading cause of climate change court rulings against the fossil fuels industry are a game changer. A bit more than a year ago a judge ordered Exxon to hand over internal memos that proved the company privately knew the truth about climate change while investing in campaigns of disinformation intended to undermine the perceived veracity of the facts.

Recent court decisions have ruled against the fossil fuel industry's climate change causing emissions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the law governing all environmental reviews of federal decisions. This may set a precedent that has implications for the entire industry.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Courts Defend Climate Action and Environmental Protections

The courts have contributed to efforts to recognize and act on climate change and defend environmental protections. They have countered the Trump administration's deregulatory orgy and stopped Republican legislators from running roughshod over the natural world by shutting down dirty energy pipelines, and upholding the right of children to sue for climate action.

 Courts outside of the US are also mandating responsible government action.  In Denmark the courts have forced the government to reduce climate change causing greenhouse gases. In April Columbia's Supreme Court ruled that government must take urgent action to protect its Amazon rainforest and stem deforestation. These are but two examples of court actions that have resulted in victories for the natural world. According to an LSE study there are more than 1200 climate change laws around the world.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Event - Diversity and Inclusion: Respecting Difference and Standing on Common Ground

This event will take place on June 7 - 8, 2018 at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York, NY. 22nd Annual Diversity & Inclusion Conference is one of North America’s longest running and best-attended gatherings of D&I and business leaders that consistently addresses the most important issues in this area.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Does Business Need Government to Incentivize the Green Economy?

The business community is driving sustainability forward in response to market incentives. The question is how far can the private sector go in the absence of responsible leadership from government?

Businesses are leading first and foremost because they are looking to reduce costs and capitalize on opportunities. Other factors are also at play. Publically traded companies are  beholden to shareholders and as such they have a fiduciary responsibility to address threats. Investors are calling for nonfinancial information and a number of shareholder resolutions have demanded more disclosure and actions to mitigate climate change as well as adaptation strategies to protect against potential risks.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Republican Voters at Odds with Trump's Climate Denial

Republicans are nowhere near as ignorant about climate change as their commander and chief. Donald Trump's anti-science climate denial is at odds with the majority of Americans including Republican registered voters. According to a recent poll people in the party that elected Trump are slowly inching their way towards a science-based understanding of global warming with solid majorities indicating their support for climate action.

The latest national survey conducted by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication suggests that the views of Republican registered voters are evolving. Since last Fall, more Republicans are conceding that climate change is real and caused by human activities. What is even more surprising is the fact that they have increased their support for climate action. This is in stark contrast to the Trump administration which has systematically eradicated science-based climate policies.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Event - 2018 Sustainability Management Conference

The 2018 Sustainability Management Conference will take place July 30 - August 1, at the Omni Providence Hotel; Providence, Rhode Island.

At this event, you will learn how to further integrate sustainability into your business operations from fellow corporate EHS and sustainability leaders. Through a mix of peer-led case studies and benchmarking dialogues, NAEM’s annual sustainability conference is a unique opportunity to gain actionable insights you can use to immediately improve performance, identify opportunities for your business and set better sustainability goals.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Trump and Macron: A Climate Luddite and a Climate Leader

The Trump administration will go down in history for its assaults against environmental protections and eradication of climate action. Donald Trump's presidency has been a nightmare of Orwellian proportions so much so that it is a challenge to keep up with his malfeasance.

The Trump White House has an unprecedented aversion to science. Trump is the first president in modern history to be without a science advisor. The reason is simple, science exposes the highly destructive nature of his administration's policy positions. To further corroborate the point the Trump administration recently axed Nasa's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) that measures atmospheric greenhouse gases.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Webinar - How to Put the Planet in Your Portfolio: CoPower's New Green Bonds for Canadian Investors

This webinar will take place today Thursday, May 17 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT. It will address the issuance of new Green Bonds that can help you put your money to work for profit and planet. With updated terms and some exciting new clean energy projects in the pipeline,  CoPower's newest Green Bonds include a 6-year, 5% bond, and a 4-year, 4% bond.

When you invest in Green Bonds you’re investing in a diversified portfolio of loans to clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The projects generate steady revenues from the sale of clean energy or energy savings, allowing you to earn competitive fixed returns while reducing carbon emissions.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Webinar - Rebuilding in Puerto Rico: Universities as Leaders in Community Resilience

This NCSC event will take place on May 23, 2018, 1:15 to 2:45 PM EDT. The webinar is presented by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) as part of their Sustainable Infrastructure & Resilience Series. Long before Hurricane Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico, the University of Puerto Rico established the National Institute for Energy and Island Sustainability (INESI) as a collaborative platform to understand and address the infrastructure issues being faced by the campus system and island.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Growth Psychosis: The Psychology of Denial

The preoccupation with economic growth is deeply rooted in the worldview of capitalists all around the globe. Influential post-modernist writer William S. Burroughs said, "When you stop growing you start dying". Nowhere is this more true than in the United States where growth is a key assumption. Few seem to have noticed that this economic model has been shown to be illusory and ultimately perilous. The only way that growth is tenable is if we decouple it from both emissions and resources. However, questioning our preoccupation with unfettered growth is considered heresy in some conservative quarters. For many the belief in growth borders on gospel and those who question are derisively dismissed as "socialists".

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Trump's Border Walls are a Threat to both Flora and Fauna

The presidency of Donald Trump is a nightmare and his proposed wall will only make things worse. The Trump administration is infamous for their obsession with deregulation and contempt for science, environmental protection and climate action. Due to the dangers that it poses to plants and animals the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Defenders of Wildlife are all opposed to the building of more walls on the US-Mexico border.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Event - Social Innovation Summit

This event will take place on June 5 - 6 at the Pullman San Francisco Bay, in San Fracisco, California.  This is not your average conference.  This is the place where "Business Innovation Meets Social Transformation". The Social Innovation Summit is an annual event taking place in Silicon Valley which represents a global convening of black swans and wayward thinkers. Where most bring together luminaries to explore the next big idea, they bring together those hungry not just to talk about the next big thing, but to build it.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Climate Crisis Economics: A Serious Threat and a Real Opportunity

Climate change is a serious threat and an unprecedented economic opportunity. The science is clear and so is the solution. However, after seventeen decades of climate inaction there is an ever diminishing window within which we must act if we are to avoid the worst impacts of a rapidly warming world. We are in danger of triggering feedback loops and surpassing tipping points from which we may not be able to recover.

The need for action is urgent and it is coupled with a cogent economic rationale. This includes both a compelling incentive and a powerful disincentive.  

Friday, May 4, 2018

Oil and Gas Industry Influence in Canada

Fossil fuel industry misinformation campaigns are alive and well in Canada as is big oil's influence on both Canadian media and politicians.  Although we tend to think of the United States as the home of fossil fuel inspired fake news, Canada is also the target of front groups that undermine fact based journalism in support of the oil and gas industry. Just like the Heartland Institute in the US, Canada has its own front groups who willfully undermine the facts.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Growth is Untenable without Decoupling

As the driving force in modern economics our current conceptions of growth are both illusory and perilous. While innovations and efficiencies are incentivized in a growth driven free market system, our preoccupation with unregulated expansion is overtaxing our biosphere and heralding our demise.

We are blinded by growth. By definition when our economies are not growing we are in recession. For an economy to be working well countries are expected to see growth rates of around 3 percent. Anything less is referred to as sluggish or slow growth.