Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
The disparity in price between Australia and Europe – with Australia paying almost six times as much per tonne of carbon as Europeans – makes it easy to see why even if a sensible carbon tax rate were originally set, it can start to look unfair when carbon markets elsewhere in the world set the price much lower.
New EPA Chief Gina McCarthy will focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, but the picture for oil and gas is less clear, especially regarding the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.
President Obama announced his pledge on his recent African visit, to develop 10 GW of electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. The move would bring power to 20 million households and businesses for the first time. The development would be of the all-of-the-above variety including everything from oil and gas, to hydro, wind, geothermal and solar. Both on and off-grid would be included as well as transmission infrastructure. Initial investments will be in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Uganda and Mozambique will also receive assistance in developing their oil and gas reserves responsibly.
Google held a fundraiser to benefit Senator Inhofe as well as the national Republican Senatorial Committee. However, why would a company whose Chairman basically just called climate change deniers liars support a senator who said that “global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”?
General Motors and Honda have decided to pool their considerable resources to bring a commercially viable fuel-cell vehicle to market by the end of this decade. Both companies have put considerable effort into this technology to date, amassing a total of over 1200 patents that were originally intended to exclude competitors from utilizing the innovations they cover. Now they have signed a “definitive master agreement” to co-develop technology related to fuel cells and hydrogen storage systems.
The politics of climate change are a lot like the politics of gun control, at least in the sense that President Obama meant when he asked in April 2013 how Congress could fail to deliver gun control legislation when 90% of the American public wants it.
At the end of June, over 350 bio-inspired teachers, designers, architects, biologists, industrialists, and policy-makers gathered at the University of Massachusetts in Boston to ask, “How can humans create conditions conducive to Life?” Not just sustainable economies, cities, and production systems, but a regenerative way of life that creates biodiversity instead of destroying it.
We need laws and regulations that guide our economy toward sound, long-term decision-making, with full recognition of social and environmental externalities. As business leaders, we can and must support policy change to help make the economy more sustainable.
SPECIAL SERIES: Introduction To Environmental Justice
Environmental Justice is about the intersection of human rights, infrastructure and how people–rich and poor, living in rich or developing countries–equitably and sustainably access the resources and things they need to survive and prosper.
In an odd sort of “budget-hawkery,” the U.S. House budget moves to scrap renewable energy programs while calling for a half trillion dollar colony on Mars.
Heavy lobbying from the German automobile industry caused German Chancellor Angela Merkel to oppose new EU carbon regulation. It was pretty interesting to see that auto companies whom we usually hear about in the context of radical innovation in mobility, bold sustainability strategy or partnerships with carpooling ventures are also lobbying against tougher climate regulation.
In what appears to be a clear case of “desperate measures for desperate times,” Chinese authorities have recently given courts the authority to hand down the death penalty for serious cases of pollution. This is in response to public outrage over the despoliation of the environment.