As a coastal city with an inland water supply, New York City faces a unique set of challenges for climate change resiliency in a future marked by frequent, destructive coastal storms and rising sea levels.
Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
Following through on President Barack Obama’s plans to combat climate change and boost energy productivity, the Agriculture Department on Sept. 18 announced it’s providing $68 million in funding for 540 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects through the Rural Energy for America Program.
The new G8 taskforce report on impact investing is groundbreaking — but it won’t change the world if we don’t change people’s minds. Without more public engagement by small “retail” investors, impact investing is destined to remain the hobby of a small financial elite, rather than become, as it might, a true evolution of market finance.
Making climate change action a global priority can foster greater, more inclusive prosperity worldwide, but a “deep structural transformation” is required, according to a report from the ‘New Climate Economy’ project team.
Rather than continue in a stalemate, many community leaders are turning to Political Communications 101: If you can’t win an argument, change the conversation.
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.
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.”
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.
Companies including Google, UPS, Ford, Microsoft and eBay are accused of climate change hypocrisy in a scathing report. But are those assumptions fair?
“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.
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.
Upon learning today that China has a plan in place for a carbon emissions “cap and trade” market by 2016, my joy was mixed with frustration at U.S. foot-dragging.
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.