A Postcard from Cancun: The COP16 Update

The odds that the COP16 talks in Cancun this week will produce much in the way of meaningful international agreement aren’t very high. Nonetheless, I was happy to get a dispatch from Sean Kidney via Hunter Lovins yesterday. Kidney works for the Climate Bonds Initiative, a group seeking to finance major climate projects thorough bonds. … Continued


Renewable Energy Incentives Future in Danger

Political rancor seems likely to derail a vitally important piece of legislation affecting the renewable energy sector. The Investment Tax Credit (ITC) grant scheme was introduced as part of the 2009 U.S. stimulus package, and it was considered a key piece of legislation by the green sector because it supported the industry during an economic … Continued


Supreme Court Will Decide if States Can Sue to Curb Utilities’ Emissions

David Doniger, policy director in NRDC’s Climate Center (Originally published on NRDC’s Switchboard Blog. The Supreme Court will hear challenges by America’s biggest power companies to a landmark appeals court ruling in Connecticut v. American Electric Power that they can be sued to curb their emissions of carbon dioxide, the main cause of global warming. … Continued

Regulators Pull a Bait-and-Switch on Green Chemistry Initiative in California

By Renee Sharp, Environmental Working Group In September 2008, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger celebrated the signing of two bills (AB 1879 and SB 509) that, he said, would propel “California to the forefront of the nation and the world with the most comprehensive Green Chemistry program ever established.” Once they went into effect, he said, … Continued


Why Do Republicans Fear Cities So Much?

If you take some time to look at demographics, voting patterns, and electoral maps, it’s pretty clear that the red-blue divide is stark and falls along a fairly distinct pattern: cities, where people live and work side by side with people of multiple other races, personalities, and lifestyles tend to be dark blue. Suburbs, where … Continued

Why Cancun is the Place to Be… for Energy Innovation

By: Michel Gelobter A year ago, the world was hopeful that a global agreement would come out of the COP15 sessions in Copenhagen. With the United States joining the UN climate negotiations for the first time in almost a decade, all the players were at the table. Unfortunately, legislative gridlock ensued in the US and … Continued


Clearing the Air at Cancun Climate Summit

As COP-16 begins in Cancun, Mexico, world leaders need to understand that global warming isn’t only about carbon dioxide. In a world that is stepping close to a steep and dangerous precipice, doing more to reduce non-CO2 climate change contributors such as methane, black carbon soot, tropospheric ozone, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) might help head global … Continued


Clean Dev Mechanism Reauthorizes HFC-23 Credits. Is There A Market?

We have reported several times on the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)’s HFC-23 crisis, and now the CDM Executive Board has decided, essentially, that the crisis was a false alarm. Back in June, CDM Watch, a monitoring group, alleged that up to one-third of all the carbon emission reduction credits issued by the CDM may … Continued

Stern Warning: US Could Be Faced With Global Boycott Because of Carbon

Last Friday, Lord Nicholas Stern, the author of the British government’s 2006 report on climate change economics, warned that many countries might boycott US goods if they were deemed to be responsible for too much carbon emissions. This is clearly an opening shot across the bow of the newly elected and clearly climate disinterested US government, in advance of the forthcoming UN climate summit that will be starting today in Cancun. This year’s UN conference will provide an opportunity for industrialized countries to discuss future commitments under the Kyoto protocol.


The Limits of Ethical Consumption

Anne McCaig, CEO of Cafedirect, said in an interview by the Guardian that ethical consumption has its limits. “At the end of the day, ethical consumption can only drive so much,” McCaig said. “Businesses are good at picking the low-hanging fruit, like energy efficiency: anything that cuts costs. But the Government has to put the … Continued


Video Interview: Sharon Nunes of IBM’s Smart City Strategy and Solutions

Managing our planet’s limited resources is vital for realizing a sustainable future.  Many large scale human systems that interact with our planet need major improvements and measurement is the first step towards improvement.  This interview with Sharon Nunes of IBM, profiles IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative.  Nunes is the VP of IBM’s Smart City Strategy and … Continued


Chicago Climate Exchange to Cease Operations

The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), the U.S.’s only emissions credit exchange, will close shop by year’s end, citing a lack of legislative interest. While voluntary, the exchange was legally binding, and counted among its members Dupont, Motorola and IBM. The exchange suffered a blow when it became clear no meaningful climate legislation would make it … Continued

refugee-camp HAITI

Sustainable Haiti: Rebuilding for the Long Haul

The Sustainable Haiti Coalition is a platform of collaboration that coordinates resources for a suite of sustainable solutions. I spoke with co-founder Douglas Cohen, on the phone. He told me that, “ethical leadership and triple bottom line values are the criteria for participation.” They are helping to facilitate the work of Haitian Diaspora members engaged in providing resources for sustainable ventures.


Al Gore Says Ethanol Subsidies Are a Mistake

U.S. ethanol subsidies totaled $7.7 billion last year. On December 31, those subsidies will expire. Al Gore, while speaking at a green business conference in Athens on Monday sponsored by Marfin Popular Bank, said those subsidies are “a mistake.” Gore said that the “energy conversion ratios are at best very small.” Gore declared, “It is … Continued


Florida Voters Reject Land Use Planning Amendment

By: Lauren Suerth On November 2nd Florida residents overwhelmingly voted down an amendment to the State’s Constitution that would have given them the final say in all municipal land use decisions.  Amendment 4, which was defeated 67% to 33%, would have granted Floridians the right to vote on major development projects in their community by … Continued