The Copenhagen Communique: An Entrepreneur’s Perspective

What does the Copenhagen Communique mean to an entrepreneur? Am I being too blunt to suggest the answer is “nothing?” Entrepreneurs are focused on their customers as the source of inspiration and profits. Laws passed by politicians receive entrepreneurial attention only when they impact their customers’ ability to buy or their cost of operations. The … Continued

Los Angeles: The New Electric Car Launchpad?

The unthinkable has happened. Los Angeles plans on resurrecting the city’s 400 abandoned electric vehicle charging stations that have been collecting dust for the past nine years, and to also add one hundred more, its mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, announced early this month at the LA Auto Show. In addition, the city plans to offer incentives … Continued

New Study: How Soon Can We Expect Wide Benefits from Plug-In Hybrids?

With GM’s Volt and Toyota’s Plug-In Prius coming to the market within the next two years, how soon can we expect plug-in hybrids to deliver on their social and ecological benefits? A new study by the National Academy of Sciences projects significant fuel savings and emissions reductions by 2030. Is this soon enough? Some say … Continued

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An Interview with Gordon Laird, Author of “The Price of a Bargain”

Gordon Laird’s new book, The Price of a Bargain: The Quest for Cheap and the Death of Globalization, looks at the global forces that have given rise to cheap goods. In the process, he identifies a series of instabilities that will very likely bring this phase of cheap consumer goods to a close, while also … Continued

If You’re Feeling the COP15 Burnout, This Is the Satire for You

Don’t get me wrong, I am watching as eagerly as the rest of you. I’m thrilled that COP15 has garnered as much media attention as it has. It’s amazing. I don’t think that the consciousness of the world has ever been so fixated on a single environmental issue in my lifetime. It’s everything that I … Continued

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California Small Businesses A-OK Under AB32

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a report today (full disclosure- they pay my rent, which is why I got a jump on writing about this great report) outlining the impact of California’s groundbreaking global warming legislation on small businesses. The long and the short of it? No big changes! The impact to small businesses … Continued

Green Patents Jump to the Front of the Line Under New Government Program

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced this week that pending patent applications for certain “green” technologies will get an accelerated examination by the Office, with the goal of shaving off years from the time the patents are pending. The pilot program, effective immediately, is intended to spur the approval, and thus commercialization, … Continued

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New Poll: U.S. Supports Cap & Trade, Would Pay Extra to Reduce CO2

A new poll released today (PDF) demonstrates that over 60 percent of Americans recognize that the earth is getting warmer mostly because of human activity such as burning fossil fuels. The poll, conducted by The McClatchy Company, the third-largest newspaper company in the United States, and Ipsos Public Affairs, found that a slight majority of … Continued

UN Climate Chief Comments on EPA Endangerment Finding

In concert with the opening of the COP15 climate talks here in Copenhagen, the EPA finalized their endangerment finding on Monday that specifies carbon emissions as a threat to human health and well being (see Bill DiBenedetto’s  detailed post from yesterday). At yesterday’s press briefing UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer was asked what influence the … Continued

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Why the EPA’s Endangerment Finding Sets the Stage for Action

Showing a fine sense of message and timing, the United States entered the first day of the crucial climate change conference in Copenhagen armed with a potentially game-changing decision from the Environmental Protection Agency:  Greenhouse gases threaten public health and the environment and must be regulated. EPA’s announcement Monday sent a sharp signal to the … Continued

The Dragon in Africa: How Chinese Investment Changes The Game

By David Abraham Al-Jazeera recently posted a video highlighting an investment surge in the tiny central African nation of Equatorial Guinea.  The country is the third largest exporter of petroleum and gas–a fact that is not immediately obvious when looking at the quality of life for its 500,000 citizens.  But with important infrastructure projects funded … Continued

Is there an Impetus for Climate Change Legislation in the Senate?

While speaking to the Bard Center for Environmental Policy’s National Climate Seminar last week, Jeff Sharp, one of Rep. Ed Markey’s (D-MA) staff members, said about climate change legislation, “We expect more things to be moving forward.” Passing cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate “will be a very tough fight,” he added. However, Sharp pointed out that … Continued

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B Corps Win Healthy Tax Break in Landmark Law

B Lab, the force behind a new business sector designation—called the B Corporation—which recognizes companies that meet a set of social, environmental and institutional benchmarks for sustainability, is facing a Herculean effort. The work won’t be in convincing people that business can be a positive force for social change—there are already 240 companies in 28 … Continued

The Importance of Being Earnest at COP 15

If it’s all about the money, and it usually is, then the future financial landscape for cleantech development hinges on the outcome of the Copenhagen climate change conference as essentially as the meeting’s long-term impacts on environmental policy. There will be impacts whether or not binding and comprehensive agreements on emission reductions are cobbled in … Continued

Poor Nations’ Emissions Driven by Exports to Rich Nations

“It’s not fair.” That, in two words and a contraction, is the developing world’s argument for why it shouldn’t have to make the same reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as rich developed countries. So what if China is now the world’s biggest emitter of GHGs? It’s the developed countries that emitted most of the world’s … Continued