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Are Green Jobs the Business of Government?

Given the collision of two crises, one economic and the other environmental, our leaders need to understand their priority both in terms of relative importance as well as urgency. Politicians wanting to claim the high ground of concern on the global climate issue, without actually supporting it, were given perfect cover by the financial crisis … Continued

EPA Shaking Up Business In Texas

By Wendy Lyons Sunshine A sea change is underway at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and its effects have reached Texas. Under the Obama Administration, scientists are being appointed to top administrative positions and with them comes a renewed appreciation of hard data—a trend that worries the business community in Texas. Consider the appointment of … Continued

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Follow the CSR Leaders

During the Economist’s Corporate Citizenship Conference earlier this week, I heard nearly three dozen global leaders discuss the challenges, successes and failures of corporate citizenship.  From their comments, I gleaned a collection of best practices for developing corporate citizenship programs that generate tangible results.  Here’s what these leaders recommend. Collaborate with competitors. It’s not easy … Continued

Light Goes Out on Toshiba’s 120 Year Old Incandescant Bulb Production Line

Toshiba, one of Japan’s largest makers of lighting products, announced that it had permanently ended production Wednesday of incandescent light bulbs, a year ahead of schedule. Manufacturers worldwide have begun phasing out production of incandescents in favor of compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) and light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which are more energy efficient and last longer. … Continued

Economist: “Nopenhagen” is Rich Countries’ Fault

A prominent British economist said “arrogance” on the part of the planet’s wealthier nations contributed to the disappointing outcome of the Copenhagen climate conference in December. In an interview with the BBC, Lord Nicholas Stern said the conference should not be considered a failure, however, despite producing only the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, which has been … Continued

Poll: Can Markets Solve the Climate Crisis?

All month long, we’re putting carbon trading under the microscope, looking at who’s doing what, and examining the promises and pitfalls for what lies ahead. Will carbon trading be the answer to our growing climate pains? Or will it be another example of the world shifting the focus from where it really needs to be? … Continued

Los Angeles Taxes Consumers for Energy Consumption

Eco-friendly LA is about to put its money where its mouth is. A proposal by LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would raise electricity bills 8.8% to 28.4% to pay for an ambitious clean energy initiative. The rate hikes would be implemented by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), and must be approved by … Continued

EPA Putting Tighter Leash on Makers of Flea and Tick Products

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has outlined plans, announced last year, to place new restrictions on products designed to prevent flea and tick infestations on cats and dogs. The agency is taking action because in 2008 it received nearly double the number of reports of adverse reactions and, in some cases, death, in dogs and … Continued

What if Doing Well Means Getting Sued?

Dr. Peter Cappelli of Pennsylvania University’s Wharton School recently finished a study that suggests Indian firms succeed because they often have a strong social mission.  Doing well financially is possible, Cappelli and his team of researchers assert, because they are “doing good.”  Indeed, a cursory look at large Indian corporations offers commendable mission statements:  Tata … Continued

Defining Corporate Citizenship

How much of a role should business play in tackling global questions such as climate change, unemployment, restoring trust in the aftermath of the financial crisis and distributing international aid?  What is the nature and extent of the private sector’s responsibility in resolving these issues? At what point should corporations step alongside government and help … Continued

Plot to Stop AB32 Thickens

You might want to start taking notes on the effort in California to shelve the state’s landmark emissions control legislation, the Global Warming Solutions Act (aka AB32). It’s getting interesting. First off, the Sacramento Bee reports that papers filed today in Sacramento identify  Scott Folwarkow, Valero’s director of government affairs in California, and Jon Coupal, … Continued

More Solar Panels for San Jose Schools

San Jose extended its commitment to renewable energy this week, with a ground breaking ceremony for a 3.7 MW solar project to be built at six school sites in the East Side Union High School District. The ceremony took place at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, and was attended by district, government and … Continued

AB32: Report Forecasts Job Losses, But Governor Says Hogwash

A report from California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office concludes that implementation of Assembly Bill 32, or AB32, would result in near-term job losses. But Governor Schwarzenegger isn’t buying it. AB32, or the Global Warming Solutions Act,  was passed in 2006 and calls for reducing California’s emissions of greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. But an … Continued

Energy Secretary Chu Fields Questions at ECO:nomics

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, fresh from the inaugural ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, was the final and perhaps most anticipated speaker at last week’s ECO:nomics conference. Throughout the conference, regulatory uncertainty had been the greatest complaint of energy execs and venture capitalists alike. In comparison, the recession had up to this point been addressed rather … Continued