A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.

Emissions from Melting Permafrost Could Cost $43 Trillion

Scientists are suggesting the Arctic should have renewed focus for another reason: climate change, accelerated by the melting of permafrost and resulting greenhouse gas emissions, could cost the global economy, in the long run, as much as $43 trillion.

NGO: 45 Percent of Corporations Obstruct Climate Change Policy

Corporate influence over the climate change debate and policy process is often cited as a key reason for the relatively slow progress of both the U.N. COP process and national-level climate legislation, nonprofit NGO InfluenceMap noted. According to the group, nearly half of the world’s 100 largest companies engage in tactics to obstruct climate change action.

Volkswagen Admits Almost 500,000 Vehicles Cheated Emissions Tests

Last Friday the EPA accused Volkswagen of installing “defeat devices” in four-cylinder Volkswagen and Audi automobiles from model years 2009 to 2015. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) also launched an investigation into Volkswagen’s practice of installing software to manipulate information transmitted during vehicle emissions testing.

CSR-Friendly Tax Policy: Unlocking Value and Aligning Interests

Tax policy can enhance the social impact of business and support business at the same time, says Wayne Dunn, president of the CSR Training Institute. We are seeing some governments making corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy into a tax, setting minimum amounts that companies must spend on CSR, often with little thought for value and impact.
Dunn puts forward the case for replacing that with its polar opposite – using tax breaks to incentivize and enhance CSR to everyone’s benefit.

California Democrats Cave In To Oil Lobby

A California Senate bill would have required a 50 percent reduction in petroleum use by 2030. Last week, California Gov. Jerry Brown and Senate Democrats caved in to pressure from oil industry lobbyists and dropped the provision.

Are the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals Doomed?

On Sept. 25, more than 150 world leaders will convene at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to formally adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda. However, according to a report released by a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, The Rules, the entire process has been “fundamentally compromised” by powerful corporations with an interest in maintaining the status quo.

Policy Points: Government Shutdown Would Be a Job-Killer

535 Americans returned from a month-long vacation recently, only to find they had a month to avoid something that could cost the economy billions of dollars. We’re talking, of course, about the threat of a government shutdown.

Aspen Goes 100 Percent Renewable

Aspen, Colorado, just became the third U.S. city to meet all of its electricity needs with renewable energy.

The Endowment Economy

Most endowments are the result of wealthy individuals setting aside money for a particular cause or set of causes. Or, in the case of universities, it is the result of an accumulation of donations and grants. So, it makes sense that we don’t have thousands of massive endowments. On the other hand, we have witnessed numerous injections of capital into the economy by the federal government in the form of stimulus packages and quantitative easing. So, why don’t we have more big endowments?

The Clean Power Plan: What’s Water Got To Do With It?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan has been heralded as a major step toward a low-carbon economy in the United States. However, the plan’s impact on water resources has been largely overlooked, even though power plants are significant water users across the U.S., accounting for 45 percent of total water withdrawals.

Will Climate Change Pledges Be Enough?

“It is clear that if the Paris meeting locks in present climate commitments for 2030, holding warming below 2 degrees Celsius could essentially become infeasible, and 1.5 degrees Celsius beyond reach. Given the present level of pledged climate action, commitments should only be made until 2025,” said Bill Hare, founder and CEO of Climate Analytics.

Early Lights on the Road to COP21 Turning Green

Just about everyone who is paying attention to climate change is looking forward with anticipation to the COP21 meeting in Paris. Indeed, many pundits have announced that the need for a significant actionable agreement is in the “do-or-die” range.