Policy & Government
A catch all category for government, politics and initiatives to influence either.
Germany’s Munich City Utilities and Sweden’s Vattenfall announced they will invest $1.6 billion in building Sandbank, an offshore wind farm capable of producing 1.6 terawatt-hours of clean, renewable electricity.
If approved, Prop 47, known as the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative, will reduce the penalty for most nonviolent crimes from a felony to a misdemeanor and direct the money saved from incarcerating fewer individuals — estimated to be between $150 million and $250 million each year — to a Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Fund.
China installed 12 GW of new solar PV power generation capacity in 2013, a whopping 232 percent year-over-year increase. New solar PV power capacity in Germany, in contrast, dropped a sharp 56.5 percent to 3.3 GW, while Italy’s fell 55 percent to 1.6 GW.
Lyft and Uber have announced new features that could bring them closer to true ridesharing than ever before. Last week, Lyft launched its new “Lyft Line,” which allows users to share rides with strangers going along similar routes. Not to be outdone, Uber preemptively announced that it would be launching a similar feature — UberPool — on August 15.
As marriage equality legislation makes its way through courtrooms across the country, it’s clear that equality will soon be the norm rather than the exception. While some companies still hang on walls of shame across the blogosphere for their persistent opposition to LGBT equality, an ever-growing list of forward-thinking firms are turning up the volume in their support for diversity.
A new report, issued by mainstream economic authority Standard & Poor’s (S&P), acknowledges, perhaps for the first time, that the extreme level of income inequality in this country is actually hurting the economy. In fact, the revered oracle has actually cut its forecast for economic growth (from 2.8 percent to 2.5 percent) based on these conditions.
Local authorities in Beijing announced that the city will ban coal sales and use by 2020 to reduce air pollution, Xinhua News Agency reports. Six Beijing districts will not be using coal and will close coal-fired power plants by 2020.
Already in wide use, renewable energy certificate tracking systems offer states a cost-effective means of complying with the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan, according to a study from the Center of Resource Solutions and the Regulatory Assistance Project.
GDP doesn’t actually tell us much about the value of natural capital, like clean air or healthy forests. Such natural goods and services, despite their great economic contributions, are largely viewed as free. We need a better metric that accounts for not only monetized economic wealth but, more importantly, includes vital environmental and social factors.
It looks like the World Bank is succumbing to budgetary pressures and choosing to neglect its human rights responsibilities as the world’s largest and most influential development bank.
According to the study, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas, many of which have loudly protested the EPA’s new carbon rules, would see a combined annual net economic benefit of up to about $16 billion by implementing them.
With memories of the devastation Superstorm Sandy caused still fresh, the Christie administration launched the N.J. Energy Resilience Bank. The first of its kind in the nation, ERB was seeded with an initial $200 million in Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds.
The need for policies that promote the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services is more important than ever. World Resource Institute (WRI) estimates the value of ecosystem services to be US$33 trillion a year, nearly twice the value of the global gross national product (GNP) of US$18 trillion.
Earlier this year, on this forum, I proclaimed that 2014 would be The Year of Impact Investing. Now that half the year is in the history books, it’s fair to ask if 2014 is living up to that billing. Let’s take a look at what the first six months of the year have produced.