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Startup Crowdsources Lobbying to Influence Politics

It is no secret that money plays an important role in American politics. In the 2012 presidential and congressional elections alone, Americans spent more than $2 billion in support of candidates. However, U.S. citizens spend nearly nothing to ensure those politicians vote accordingly after elected, according to OpenSecrets.org. This allows corporations to leverage their financial power and spend collectively over $3 billion dollars every year to influence these same politicians once in office.

Speakers share their thoughts at the U.N. Private Sector Focal Points Meeting, Africa: Advancing Partnerships & Responsible Business Leadership in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on June 10.

U.N. Global Compact Addresses Sustainable Development in Africa

The event was part of “Africa: Advancing Partnerships and Responsible Business Leadership,” a week-long conference co-sponsored by the U.N. Global Compact. Held in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, it aims to promote corporate social responsibility (CSR) in Africa and explore partnerships between the U.N. and the public and private sectors to advance sustainable development in the region.

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Oakland City Council Moves on Coal Transport Ban

Cities do not have the power to prohibit fossil fuel shipments because only the federal government can regulate railroads, so it’s an easy stance to take — it’s a resolution not a law. However fierce local opposition to fossil fuel exports carried on trains through West Coast port areas is putting a severe crimp in industry plans.

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Former Shell Chairman Criticizes Industry Inaction on Climate

“Climate change is a problem that absolutely must be tackled, and it is a very urgent problem and the longer we leave it the more and more urgent it becomes,” said James Smith, former chair of Shell U.K. and current chair of the consultancy Carbon Trust.

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EDF: Green Trucks Good for the Planet and Business

Heavy trucks haul about 70 percent of U.S. freight, gobbling nearly 2.5 million barrels of oil per day while producing nearly half-a-billion tons of carbon pollution a year, according to the report. By 2040 pollution from this sector is projected to increase by another 40 percent.

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Horrors! Seattle is Moving to a $15/hour Minimum Wage

On June 2 the Seattle City Council unanimously approved the adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage, making Seattle the first major city in America to take this type of action to address income inequality.

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Healthy Forests Promoted Under California Cap-and-Trade

April marked a milestone for forest carbon projects when the California Air Resources Board issued the first forest carbon offsets to a project developed under their forestry protocol. The sustainable forest project is notable as a pioneer in this sector; demonstrating the complex and varied demands we place on forests. The project also exemplifies the important role carbon finance can play to diversify revenue and to tip the balance toward sustainable management with both local and global benefits.

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Finland Aims for 80 Percent Emissions Cuts with New Climate Act

Finland contributes little in the way of global carbon emissions, but is disproportionately feeling the effects of climate change. Passage of the national climate change act reinforces and builds momentum as Finland moves to build a healthy, vital low-carbon economy and society.

The ‘Metro Cable, Linea K' cable car in Colombia stretches 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) into the neighborhood of Santo Domingo -- creating a link directly from the city center into one of the city’s poorest areas.

Investor Ready Cities: From London to Rio de Janeiro

Yesterday, we went over a few success stories told in timely and valuable report from Siemens, PwC and Berwin Leighton Paisner. Here are three more inspiring snapshots that tell the story of cities moving towards a more sustainable future.

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Farmers Insurance Drops Climate Change Lawsuits Against Chicago-Area Cities

Who should pay for the impacts of climate change? This conundrum was at the center of nine class action lawsuits filed by Farmers Insurance in April against dozens of cities in the Chicago area for failing to prepare for the floods that hit Illinois last spring. The insurance company had argued that local governments should have known that rising global temperatures would result in heavier rains and did not do enough to secure sewers and storm drains. But, in a surprising turn of events, Farmers withdrew the suits last week, the Chicago Tribune reported.

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Add Some Spice to GDP with Sex and Drugs

Why not include sex and drugs in the GDP mix, as Italy and the United Kingdom have done? After all, those are economic activities, right?

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Climate Change Liability: Holding the Perpetrators Responsible

Can the primary culprits of global warming be held liable for undermining efforts to combat climate change? That may sound like something a heavier, bearded Al Gore might have scribbled on a napkin in the middle of the night, but there’s reason to believe that it may not be so far-fetched. At least, that’s what a trio of high-profile environmental groups are suggesting.

New York City’s subway expansion to Hudson Yards was paid for by a tax incremental financing model which establishes a tax collected only within the Hudson Yards redevelopment zone.

Funding the Future: Innovative Ways Cities Are Paying for Infrastructure

Cities across the globe need to construct new transit systems, roads and utilities – or modernize their aging infrastructure – to adapt to the changing climate, reduce carbon emissions and support growing populations. But an important question remains: How will cities pay for such projects? A new report, “Investor Ready Cities,” compiled by engineering company Siemens, professional services network PwC and law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner, aims to help cities think about new ways to fund their infrastructure projects – by taking a fresh look at traditional funding models like taxes and user fees and by attracting private investors.