$76 Million Up for Grabs in New Brownfield Grants

The EPA is offering $75.9 Million in new Brownfield grants to assist developers in revitalizing contaminated former industrial sites in towns and cities. By assisting companies with costly environmental cleanups, not only is land refreshed, but development can move forward in city centers where infrastucture is already in place, saving money for both companies and … Continued

New Zealand Enacts First Ever Carbon Tax

As reported yesterday on Worldchanging, the New Zealand governement has imposed a NZ$11 per ton tax on carbon emissions. The tax ammounts to about NZ$2.90 per citizen, but is expected to be balanced out by other tax cuts. Also, as a tax on waste, it provides the right incentives for companies to become more efficient … Continued

WA State Enacts First US “Green Building” Mandate

Washington state became the first state in the nation to enact a “Green Building” law requiring all new state buildings (K-12 schools, universities and other public buildings) bigger than 5,000 square feet meet or exceed the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification which takes into account a building’s … Continued

A Green Curtain May Rise Where Iron Once Stood

The Iron Curtain once scarred the heart of Europe with a hostile and empty no-man’s land 4,000 miles long. 15 years after its fall, the curtain’s former route remains a largely undeveloped swath of land that no one quite knows what to do with. Portions of the land have already been turned into National Parks, … Continued

Japanese Town Rolls out Free “Ecobus”

A town in Japan has rolled out a cooking-oil powered bus which provides transportation for residents, and gets rid of hard to dispose of waste, as reported in Japan for Sustainability. The “Inaba EcoLimo Waiwai Go-Go” is free to residents who bring in used cooking oil for recycling.

Construction Waste Targeted in San Diego

The San Deigo Union Tribune reports that San Diego is considering a mandatory deposit be charged on construction and demolition projects. The money would be returned to contractors if waste materials are properly documented and dealth with. The idea is to create financial incentive to recycle, but opposition exists: Contractors call it premature. Government watchdogs … Continued

More Solar Incentive for Sunny Arizona

As if 300+ days of sunshine were not incentive enough, Arizonans now have extra reason to go solar. Thanks to two new legislative bills, tax credits for residential solar projects will now cover 15% of the cost, up to $3,000. The legislation also lays down additional benefits for purchasing more efficient appliances. (via The Future … Continued

Cut Pollution, Cut Red Tape

In return for voluntarily reducing waste beyond government-mandated levels, 3M has earned a nice bonus: Less regulation from the state of Wisconsin. It’s part of an experiment called the “environmental cooperative agreement”. The idea is that companies commit to various levels of emissions reduction and other environmental initiatives, and the state promises to be flexible … Continued

Frank Talk from Chinese Deputy Director

Very interesting story scooped by Der Spiegel – Getting frank information from the Chinese government on any topic rarely happens, but Chinese Deputy Director of the EPA talks openly about the potential for meltdown in China’s overburdened environment, remarking that 8-15% of GDP is being lost to polluted air and water. “This Miracle will end … Continued

USA Importing Air Pollution

USA Today has a front page story on the tremendouse quanity of pollutants drifting into the country from places as far away as China. The significance of the article to me is first of all that it’s on the front page, and second that although it’s pointing fingers elsewhere, it makes the interconnectedness of the … Continued

Synopsis of the Amtrak Situation

The battle over Amtrak funding is still heating up. The question – should the government subsidise passenger rail the same way it subsidises aviation and highway use?

Climate Awareness: Not Just for Democrats Anymore

Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), has emerged as a leading senate voice on climate change and related clean-energy technology. His pro-business take on the matter – industry incentives and public-private partnerships should take precidence over emissions caps.

World Water Day

World Water Day March 22, 2005 focuses on the theme: Water for Life. It will be the starting day for the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” 2005 – 2015, proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly.

Namibian Answer to Climate Change

What’s a poor, southern African nation’s response to the threat of climate change? Turns out it’s a lot more proactive than that of many western nations. Namibia not only has a “Climate Change Programme Co-ordinator” but they are holding a national workshops to ensure the public is given a basic education in the likely changes … Continued