Nick Hurd, MP at the Good Deals Conference, London

Funding the Big Society: Just How Important are Social Impact Investment Metrics

The UK Good Deals conference kicked off with more warnings than aspirations for the future of social impact investment.  A panel made up of banks and charitable trusts expressed the need for metrics and a new multiplicative understanding of a social asset class– all big asks that hinge on behavioural change. One of the most … Continued

Borrowing from Facebook: New Directions in Microfinance

By: Brendan Rigby “The microlending movement that was supposed to help lift millions of people in India out of poverty has in recent weeks fallen into chaos.” This was the lead for the Wall Street Journal’s feature article on the current microfinance crisis in India. The article goes on to shine a rather critical light … Continued

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Microfinance Participants Refuse to Pay Following a Series of Suicides

The biggest hurdle to microfinance sustainability might not be its financial viability, but social acceptance. In reaction to local regulation changes, thousands of micro-debt holders in India recently stopped making loan payments even though they have the money to pay. Microfiance, an industry with a history of overcoming criticism and obstacles in offering small loans … Continued

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Small Businesses Will Help US Keep Pace With Asia’s Clean Tech

In his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama predicted: “The nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.” The good news is that the number of patent filings in the US Patent Office shows that America is pushing hard to lead the global race toward … Continued

Californians Reject One Anti-Environment Initiative But Vote For Another

Two propositions appeared on the ballot which could gut California’s Global Warming Solutions Act or AB 32. Proposition 23 would have suspended AB 32 until the unemployment rate stayed at 5.5 percent for one year. Fortunately, 61.4 percent of Californians voted against Proposition 23. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said of Proposition 23’s defeat, “This was a … Continued

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Smoke Filled Clouds Won’t Cast A Shadow on the Solar Industry

In a way, saying that we should continue to use coal instead of solar because of the cost of installing solar is too high is not that different than saying we should take showers using bottled water because the cost of installing indoor plumbing is too high.

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CDP Pushes Cities to Disclose Their Climate Impact

CDP points out that the world’s population is becoming even more and more urban. Cities only occupy about 2% of the world’s land, but house half of its population. Despite the contributions of agriculture to pollution and climate change, the CDP-Accenture report maintains that cities could contribute up to 80% of the globe’s total emissions. The effects are numerous: many of these cities are in coastal areas, making them vulnerable to rising oceans. Health issues are numerous, especially on children and the elderly. Tourism and the local business climate could be affected as well. Not all is lost, however.

Largest Donor To Prop 23 Has Ties To Alberta Tar Sands

By now if you know anything about California’s ballot initiative Proposition 23 then you are familiar with the Texas oil company Valero. Besides being the largest donor to the pro-Proposition 23 campaign, Valero has ties to the tar sands in Alberta, BC, Canada. The Texas oil company owns several Alberta area refineries. Bill Day, Valero … Continued

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Green Jobs or Asthma? San Diego CEOs Organize to Defeat Prop 23

Passage of this proposition would effectively repeal the landmark Clean Energy Law, AB32. In anticipation of AB32 being implemented, the group has seen a boom of clean energy technology businesses that has created more than 500,000 new jobs and $9.1 billion in private equity investments to our state. In fact, clean technology jobs are growing at a rate 10 times the average of other industries.

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Welcome to Detroit: WindSpire Moves Towards a Sustainable Future

The Net Impact Conference 2010 at Ann Arbor, Michigan, officially begins this afternoon.  But if you are flying into Detroit Metro Airport en-route to the conference, you may be in for a unofficial greeting of this years theme “a vision for a sustainable decade.”  You will see renewable energy in action.

A Look At Prop 23 Donations

Looking at the donations given in support of Proposition 23 is interesting. The top donor is a Texas-based oil company, Valero, which gave a total of $5,075,315. Last week, Valero gave $1 million, according to Maplight.org figures. The second largest donor is Tesoro, another Texas-based oil company, which gave a total of $2,040,637. Last week … Continued