Wednesday, June 27, 2018

IKEA is a Corporate Leader in Renewables and Efficiency

The IKEA Group is investing massively in renewable energy and efficiency, they are even helping developing countries adapt to climate change. Ikea has invested almost $2.5 billion in renewable energy since 2009. This is not only about responsible corporate conduct this is also about reducing costs and managing business risks associated with volatile energy prices. IKEA is committed to generating an amount of renewable energy equal to its power requirement by 2020. IKEA's renewable energy investments put the company on track to become energy independent within the next couple of years.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Warming Temperatures are an Urgent Warning

We are seeing more intense, frequent, wider, and longer heat waves as well as five times more heat records than we did when the climate was stable. The global average temperature has been surpassing the 20th century average for more than 42 straight years. Last year was no exception with record breaking temperatures exceeding 129°F (54°C) which according to some analysts is the highest accurately recorded temperatures ever documented. Last year was the hottest year on record after 2016 and 2015. The trend is clear, all of the hottest years on record have occurred in recent years. The five warmest years have all come since 2010, the 10 warmest years have occurred since 1998 and the 20 warmest years on record have occurred since 1995.

In the face of overwhelming evidence deniers continue to look for ways they can refute the scientific consensus on global warming. We continue to debate the veracity of this issue despite the fact that it has been settled by decades of science. It is unconscionable that mainstream journalists continue to publish alternative interpretations of the data. A good example is a recent Wall Street Journal article that casts aspersions on James Hansen's predictions.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Event - Companies Vs. Climate Change (Europe & US)

The European event will take place October, 9-10, 2018 at the Amsterdam ING Headquarters. The US event will take place on November 28-29, 2018 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, in Miami.

Companies vs. Climate Change (CvCC)  is an event series whose mission it is to bring together companies from around the world to discuss climate change and how they can work together to address it most impactfully. CvCC is a media and events company whose mission is to serve as a global forum for companies of all sizes to share best practices for solving climate change with wholly justifiable business value. CvCC strives to serve as a conduit that will bring companies together to create business driven solutions to the climate crisis. Certain things call for simplicity.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

IKEA Goes All the Way with Sustainability

The IKEA Group is the world's largest furniture retailer and a leading sustainability-focused corporate brand. IKEA recently promised to make all of its 12,000 products from renewable and recyclable materials by 2030. This is in addition to adopting science-based emission reduction targets and deriving all of their energy from renewable sources by 2020.

The Dutch-based company of Swedish origin has an enormous customer base estimated to be approximately one billion people. To put that number into context that is almost two times Apple's client base and more than a tenth of the global population. IKEA has built an empire that now totals 418 stores in 49 markets around the world. In 2017 IKEA had $45.3 billion in retail sales, an increase of $8 billion over 2016 totals.

IKEA is leveraging their tremendous economic clout to address climate change, arguably the most serious threat ever faced by humanity.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Event - Sustainability Summit: How Corporate Superstars Get it Right

This event will take place July 17 – 18, 2018, at the The Conference Board Conference Center, 845 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY. The Conference will focus on the tools used for sustainability and it will provide a unique opportunity for sustainability practitioners to enjoy a safe space to address the most urgent and persistent strategic, operational, and implementation challenges they face in addressing the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance of their companies. The Summit enables peer-to-peer exchange and engagement with leading sustainability practitioners and subject matter experts to work in a collaborative way through the major challenges that corporate sustainability professionals face.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Do You Still Think that Sustainability will Outlast Trump?

After Trump won the US presidency in 2016 there were a number of articles that reassured us by saying that sustainability will persevere. While some were very pessimistic there were a slew of optimists in 2017 who defiantly proclaimed that sustainability will outlast Trump. A year and a half later many of those voices are silent.

One year ago an article by Ken Silverstein said that Trump has not slowed sustainability. Silverstein pointed to demand and economics to argue that sustainability is resilient. He cited a poll by Lucid’s Phil Pinson and Urjanet’s Tim Porter which says that 73 percent of companies expect their commitment to be the same while 21 percent planed to increase their involvement. Only 7.7 percent planed to decrease their commitment. Silverstein points out that sustainability budgets did not decline between 2016 and 2017. The research shows that sustainability is driven by compliance, corporate mission, business performance, employee satisfaction and industry recognition. "Regulations are helping [drive sustainability] but economics are driving it," said Porter.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Trump's Trade Wars and Love for Despots: Why Environmentalists are Not the Only Ones Who Should Fear the Rise of Populism

The rising tide of populism is antithetical to good government. We are teetering on the brink of a climate catastrophe yet we are distracted by a number of surreal political dramas as the window of opportunity to act is closing. Although widespread ecological degradation demands urgent action the influence of populism is eroding environmental protections and diminishing climate action. 

Those who subscribe to science-based policy decisions have every reason to fear populism. This is a brand of politics commonly premised on xenophobia. It preys on people's darkest fears and panders to tribalism. Populism creates an enemy out of the marginalized and unravels the fabric of the social contract. It enfeebles multilateralism and strikes at the heart of our democracies.

America may no longer be the leader of the free world but Donald Trump is the de facto leader of this populist movement. He has started a trade war with his his closest allies while lauding despots. Trump imposed tariffs on its friends under the ridiculous pretext of national security. It is an insane irony that while branding its closest allies as national security threats Trump is inviting Russia to rejoin the G7 and lauding the barbarous regime of North Korea.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Doug Ford's Victory Will Reverse Ontario's Green Leadership

The election that gave Doug Ford and the PCs a majority in the Canadian province of Ontario has disastrous implications for both the environment and climate action. The PCs stated policy priorities will slow the growth of clean energy and undermine the green economy. 

This is a radical shift from where the province was four years ago. In 2014 the Liberals had a majorityo government in the province and they passed a raft of environmental legislation. Ontario became the first place in North America to end coal power generation.

Four years later the province appears to be doing a 180. Once a global environmental and climate leader Ontario is now poised to win the race to the bottom. The PCs have a track record of environmental neglect, it was under PC leadership that the Walkerton deadly tainted water disaster occurred. Under Ford's leadership the situation is likely to be even worse.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Event - Solar Canada Conference & Exposition 2018

The 2018 edition of CanSIA’s annual Solar Canada Conference & Exposition will take place starting with pre-conference events on June 19th. The event will take place in   in Calgary, Alberta and it formally begins on Wednesday, June 20 and concludes on Thursday, June 21. 

This is the largest solar energy conference and a must-attend event for solar energy professionals, stakeholders, and advocates. At this event, attendees can connect with the entire spectrum of the solar energy industry. Solar Canada offers unique educational opportunities to gain the latest insight into solar policy frameworks in each of Canada’s provincial markets from industry leaders and influencers. Topics will also include both utility-scale and consumer/business focused installations.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Can the Courts Defend Water Protections Against Assaults from Trump and the GOP?

The courts have shown that they can protect America's water resources from the Trump administration and the GOP. Few issues are more important to current and future generations than water management. Water is the key to life and directly related to some of the central concerns of our times including the all important issue of energy.  Water stewardship efforts are being adopted by countries, cities, businesses and citizens. However, if we are serious about our efforts to protect finite water resources we must concede that voluntary efforts must be enjoined by the enforcement of laws.

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Courts Will Expose Trump and the GOP

The courts are a bulwark against Donald Trump's pessimal presidency and the malfeasance of the GOP. Trump has sought an end to climate action in the US, however, there is good reason to believe that the courts may offer our best hope to counter this administration and Republican lawmakers.

Soon after Trump was inaugurated Republicans started to slash both transparency and environmental protections. They are also working on dismantling the Clean Power Plan. The GOP and Trump are both complicit in their support for fossil fuels and climate denial.  History will judge Republicans harshly for supporting this president and it should be pointed out that their support for fossil fuels predates Trump, as does their resistance to protecting the environment and refusal to act on climate change. Although Republicans have environmental roots, in the last couple of decades they have consistently opposed environmental legislation and worked to kill existing laws and regulations.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Event - Zero Hour: Youth Climate Lobby Day and Climate March

This event will take place on July 19 - 21, 2018 in Washington DC. It will start with Youth Climate Lobby Day on July 19th. This is a day when young people will assemble on Capitol Hill to deliver their demands to politicians.  Zero Hour is calling for the immediate implementation of a science based climate action program.

On July 20th art builds will take place around the DC area. They will prepare for the march by creating signs and banners.  This event will celebrate both the movement and our planet while building community and combating hopelessness.

The Youth Climate March will take place on July 21 in Washington DC. At 9:00 AM marchers will assemble at 120 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC. They will then march to the National Mall and deliver the demands to politicians. They will rally and highlight the voices and stories of youth on the front lines of the climate crisis. Then, they will flood the streets as a demonstration of youth power and show how #ThisIsZeroHour to act on climate change.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Court Rulings Check Pruitt's Vision of the EPA

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt's vision for the agency is being challenged in the courts. Pruitt is leading the Trump administration's efforts to dismantle the agency he was tapped to lead. This is a reflection of Trump's agenda and a longstanding Republican goal. Although his mandate concerns the health of Americans, Pruitt has demonstrated that he is guided by an agenda that advocates for polluters. A.court-ordered release of Pruitt's emails reveal that he is a stalwart advocate for the fossil fuels industry who has no interest in science. Trump put the Fox in the Henhouse when he named Pruitt to head the EPA. Shortly after assuming his role as administrator Pruitt's intentions became clear as he began targeting environmental protections and climate action including the Clean Power Plan.