Beijing_smog_comparison_August_2005

Beijing to Phase Out Coal

Local authorities in Beijing announced that the city will ban coal sales and use by 2020 to reduce air pollution, Xinhua News Agency reports. Six Beijing districts will not be using coal and will close coal-fired power plants by 2020.

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Redefining Gross Domestic Product to Account for Sustainability

GDP doesn’t actually tell us much about the value of natural capital, like clean air or healthy forests. Such natural goods and services, despite their great economic contributions, are largely viewed as free. We need a better metric that accounts for not only monetized economic wealth but, more importantly, includes vital environmental and social factors.

Hurricane-Sandy

New Jersey Turns to Distributed Resources to Enhance Energy Resilience

With memories of the devastation Superstorm Sandy caused still fresh, the Christie administration launched the N.J. Energy Resilience Bank. The first of its kind in the nation, ERB was seeded with an initial $200 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds.

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Financing Conservation Through Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES)

The need for policies that promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services is more important than ever. World Resource Institute (WRI) estimates the value of ecosystem services to be US$33 trillion a year, nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US$18 trillion.

Beth Sirull,

Is 2014 Really the Year of Impact Investing?

Earlier this year, on this forum, I proclaimed that 2014 would be The Year of Impact Investing. Now that half the year is in the history books, it’s fair to ask if 2014 is living up to that billing. Let’s take a look at what the first six months of the year have produced.

President Barack Obama met with the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last week.

Obama: Climate Change Is a Threat to U.S. Infrastructure

More extreme droughts, floods and wildfires – these are just some of the impacts of climate change that won’t just occur in the distant future to our great-great grandchildren, but are happening now. To address the changing climate’s current effects on communities in the U.S., President Barack Obama announced a plan to strengthen national infrastructure and help cities, states and tribal communities better prepare for and recover from natural disasters.

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Giving a Pass to Corporate Polluters

Has there ever been a better time to be a corporation? I doubt it. Corporations might disagree, and we’re all familiar with corporate lamentations regarding the increasingly challenging web of federal regulations (Dodd-Frank; the FCPA) they supposedly struggle to navigate. Yet, it’s hard to dispute that these are good times for big business, and “Exhibit A” could easily be the utter dearth of criminal prosecutions for corporations that are guilty of pollution.

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New Carbon Capture Plant Will Use Coal Exhaust to Get Oil From the Ground

This week, NRG announced the Petra Nova Carbon Capture Project, the world’s largest post-combustion carbon capture power generation plant. This commercial-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) system will utilize existing technology to capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) in the processed flue gas from an existing coal plant in Fort Bend County, southwest of Houston. Construction on the project has already begun.

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California, Massachusetts Top U.S. Clean Tech Rankings

California ranked tops in clean tech leadership among U.S. states for the fifth year running, while three California metro areas took the top three spots. Following Massachusetts, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states, with Portland earning fourth place among U.S. metro areas, according to Clean Edge’s “2014 Clean Tech Leadership Index.”

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Governor Christie Pulls New Jersey Out of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

RGGI – the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – is the first market-based regulatory program in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program has proven to be a revenue generator in its first six years, but Gov. Chris Christie seems to have other ideas for New Jersey.