climatesummit2014

‘Big Six’ Development Banks Reaffirm Climate Commitments

The world’s six leading multilateral development banks have reaffirmed their commitments to take action on climate change in advance of the U.N. Climate Summit in NYC. That includes promoting private and public sector investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as adopting the same methods of tracking and accounting for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

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Life After Sandy: How NYC is Improving Its Electric Grid

With our climate in upheaval, many cities, organizations and businesses are talking about building resiliency into their operations, in order to allow them to better deal with extreme events such as heavy storms, droughts and floods. While these expenditures are often high, given today’s reality they are considered necessary — in keeping with Ben Franklin’s adage that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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Researchers Find Hidden Value in Carbon Offsets

Investing in voluntary carbon offset programs yields $664 in social and environmental benefits beyond the value of each metric ton of CO2 emissions avoided, according to research from Imperial College London and International Carbon Reduction and Offsetting Alliance.

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How Cities Can Battle Climate Change with Resiliency Planning

“We can’t predict the next disruption or catastrophe. But we can control how we respond to these challenges. We can adapt to the shocks and stresses of our world and transform them into opportunities for growth,” the 100 Resilient Cities’ site says. While shocks include events like earthquakes, fires and floods, stresses include high unemployment, inefficient public transportation, endemic violence or chronic food and water shortages. The 100 Resilient Cities Challenge aims to help cities be better prepared for adverse events and better able to deliver basic services in both good and bad times.

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Public-Private Collaboration Yields Potential Solar Silicon Game-Changer

Crystal Solar’s new method for fabricating solar silicon wafers holds the promise of nudging the price of installed solar power under $1 per watt. The Santa Clara, California startup’s work with NREL is a testament to the benefits that can be realized via public-private sector partnerships.

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Obama to Seek ‘Politically Binding’ Climate Agreement

With a United Nations summit meeting coming up in Paris next year that will attempt to come up with some kind of meaningful global agreement, the president is determined not to show up empty-handed this time.

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Health Care Savings Will More Than Cover the Cost of Reducing Emissions

A cost-benefit study conducted by a team of MIT researchers and published in the journal Nature Climate Change looked at three different climate intervention scenarios, taking into account the health care cost savings. What they saw was that in one scenario, the health care cost savings achieved were actually ten times greater than the cost of implementing the scenario.

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Nobel Economists Gather to Discuss Direction of World Economy

Last week, a group of Nobel prize-winning economists met, for the fifth time, in the German town of Lindau near the Austrian and Swiss border. This year’s meeting featured a special guest, German chancellor Andrea Merkel. Joining the notables are young economists from 80 countries, hoping to learn, become inspired, and perhaps reflect deeply on what role their science might play in shaping the future.

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Could a Carbon Tax Cut Down on Corporate Inversions?

Marc Hafstead of the nonpartisan think tank Resources for the Future, along with Lawrence Goulder of Stanford University, have come up with an idea that could potentially address two important problems in one broad policy action. The first, which is where they’ll likely began, is the problem of corporate inversions. No, that’s not corporations standing on their heads; it’s when they buy another company in a country with a lower tax rate so that they can begin paying taxes there instead of here in the U.S., where they receive the most government services. The other problem is climate change.

Baku, Azerbaijan will host the inaugural European Games next year.

The 2015 European Games in Azerbaijan: Human Rights Violations Already

As oil-rich Azerbaijan prepares to host next year’s inaugural ‘European Games,’ the Azerbaijani government has stepped up its crackdown on activists speaking out against its abysmal human rights record. As of this writing, more than 20 human rights defenders have been detained by the government, including four of the country’s most prominent activists.