Not-So-Cool-Cars: Calif. Board Drops Efficiency Requirement from AB32

After getting heat from police, public safety groups and transportation agencies, the California Air Resources Board (ARB) decided to drop an impending requirement for automakers to incorporate heat-blocking coatings on windows, which decreases the need for air conditioning and makes cars more fuel efficient.  This so-called Cool Cars initiative was to be implemented as part … Continued

Solar Firms Turn to Foreclosed Properties for Land

Finding the land to build a solar power plant can be a headache. Solar plants require a large footprint to soak up the maximum amount of sun’s energy — anywhere from 4 to 14 acres per megawatt of electricity generated. This need for land puts solar firms in direct conflict with a tangle of environmental … Continued

Report: Environmental Cost of Corporations in the Trillions

A recent UN study by the British consulting firm Trucost, as reported in the Guardian, assessed the environmental impact that the three thousand top global corporations inflict. The study clocked this impact at a cost of $2.2 trillion dollars–a sum greater than the national budgets of all but seven countries in the world and approximately … Continued

Geoengineering Conference Contemplates Worst Case Scenario

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. When it comes to global warming, some scientists are taking those words to heart. The Asilomar International Conference on Climate Intervention Technologies held last week brought together some 175 scientists from around the world to discuss research into geoengineering, the deliberate manipulation of the environment to slow … Continued

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China Blistering Past US in Green Investment

The Pew Charitable Trusts released a study showing that for the first time, China is leading the United States in green technology investment.  Considering that China is four times the size of US, the study may not be surprising, but the pace at which Chinese investment has increased is certainly shocking.  Five years ago, the Chinese … Continued

Study Finds Transportation Costs Make Most of America “Unaffordable”

A few weeks ago I drove up into the mountains near Los Angeles to go skiing with a friend. We were luckily headed against traffic, but across the median, pointed towards Los Angeles, was one endless stream of cars. I expected it, but it was still astonishing to see: we had been driving away from … Continued

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UK to Start $3 Billion “Green” Investment Bank

The British government unveiled Wednesday a Green Investment Bank that will have £2 billion ($3 billion) to invest in “high risk” green projects. A similar proposal was floated in the United States Congress last year before that institution became completely obsessed with..what was it?..oh yeah. The British version was unveiled by Finance minister Alistair Darling … Continued

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Updated Analysis: Calif. Emissions Law Will Help Both Environment and Economy

The California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board (ARB) has just released an updated economic analysis of California’s Climate Change Scoping  that forecasts robust economic growth as the state continues implementing AB32—the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006—focusing primarily on energy efficiency and fuel diversification measures. The ARB is charged with bringing AB32 from paper … Continued

Recent Earthquakes Highlight Importance of Good Design

Two major earthquakes struck this year:  a magnitude 7.0 quake in Haiti and a larger, magnitude was 8.8 quake in Chile. The death toll in Haiti was over 200,000, while the death toll in Chile was over 400. The two countries themselves are different: Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, and … Continued

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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