Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Essential Sustainability News And Actions You Can Take

September 19, 2020 by  
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Start your environmental and sustainability reading with us! We read … The post Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Essential Sustainability News And Actions You Can Take appeared first on Earth 911.

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Earth911 Reader: This Week’s Essential Sustainability News And Actions You Can Take

In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

August 31, 2020 by  
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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science Mindy S. Lubber Mon, 08/31/2020 – 00:45 With Congress gearing up for another trillion-dollar round of economic relief that will set the strategic direction of the U.S. economy for years to come, it’s time for corporate America to stand up and be clear about the economy it wants and needs to prosper.  That means getting serious about advocating for a recovery plan that helps us build back better from the current pandemic, while tackling another global systemic threat: climate change.  The climate crisis is worsening, and it is playing out in real time as we grapple with COVID-19. Despite the temporary decline in greenhouse gas emissions, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere hit an all-time high in May. Triple-digit temperatures in June in the Arctic Circle led to another warmest month on record, tying with June 2019. The dry spring and hot summer has unleashed more raging fires in California this month, while residents across the American West are bracing for the worst megadrought in 1,200 years.  Climate change is a systemic risk , and its impacts are felt across corporate America. In a survey last year , 215 of the world’s largest publicly listed companies reported nearly $1 trillion at risk from climate impacts — most of it in the next five years. The severity of these intensifying risks requires a response of proportional ambition.  You may have heard of science-based targets. Today, we are calling for science-based climate advocacy. This moment calls for bold leadership. Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science.  So what does science-based climate advocacy mean?  Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. A new blueprint from Ceres, the Blueprint for Responsible Policy Engagement on Climate Change , lays out a science-based action agenda for companies in the U.S. that comes down to two basic steps.  First, advocate for science-based climate policy. Business voices are influential in policy debates, and companies must use their voices to advocate for targets and policies that will limit global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and ensure we reach net-zero emissions by 2050 or sooner.  Right now is a prime opportunity. We can build back better. Other countries are already opting for climate-smart recoveries, seeing their pandemic aid as a chance to gain competitive advantage and economic stability. Through our actions to tackle one crisis, we can avert another. We can invest in a resilient and inclusive economy that builds jobs, infrastructure, growth and stability for the long term. More companies are speaking up. In May , executives from 330 companies, including Microsoft, Mars Inc. and Nike, descended virtually on Capitol Hill, dialing into video calls with congressional leaders to ask for climate-smart policies as a part of the economic recovery. Globally, more than 1,200 companies have called on governments to ensure recovery efforts address COVID-19 and climate together.  Second, ensure that indirect advocacy and influence is also aligned with science. This includes ensuring trade associations a company may belong to are not promoting policies that are not based on science. While large trade associations represent companies on a number of issues, many have had a poor record in advocating for science-based climate policy.  Companies must keep in mind the risk they face from a fractured policy environment that exacerbates risk. They should ask themselves: “Is my association engaging in my best interest?” Often, the answer is “no.” Mars, Nestle and Unilever helped put a stake in the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the food industry’s largest lobbying group, after they left over differences on climate change to form the new Sustainable Food Policy Alliance . Meanwhile, UPS disclosed that it doesn’t support the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and joined one of the Chamber’s committees to assert its position on climate. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Why do more companies need to step up on science-based climate advocacy? New research shows that the oil and gas sector’s lobbying has dominated climate-related policy battles during the pandemic, notching twice as many wins as climate advocates.  Even if many fossil fuel companies struggled financially for years before the pandemic, they are getting billions in federal aid. Supported by strong lobbying, oil companies reaped a stealth bailout of more than $1.9 billion inserted into the CARES Act. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Taxpayer money should be invested in the future economy, one that is powered by renewable energy — one that creates more jobs, one that makes our economies more resilient.  Companies are recognizing the strategic imperative to take action on the climate crisis. In the face of COVID-19, corporations’ commitment to climate action has not waivered — it has increased. Their actions are reducing emissions, reducing costs and driving job creation, innovation and competitiveness.  However, to enable change at the pace and scale required to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, the whole economy must shift, and the economic stimulus, which represents some of the largest government spending in a generation, must support that shift. If it doesn’t, we risk further damaging the economy and public health rather than improving them — and making the climate crisis even worse.  It’s time for the rest of corporate America to be bold about its ambitions and demonstrate the science-based climate leadership that this time demands.  Pull Quote Companies must take action and ensure that all of their actions, especially their direct and indirect advocacy, are in lockstep with the latest climate science. Turning taxpayer dollars into stranded fossil fuel assets is no way to fuel a real economic recovery. Contributors Maria Mendiluce Topics Climate Change COVID-19 Policy & Politics Finance Policy & Politics Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) Off Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off

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In the next round of stimulus aid, corporate America needs to stand up for climate science

Barack Obama on climate, equity and overconsumption

November 26, 2019 by  
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The former president opens up about the urgency of the crisis and what he sees as the disconnect between our stated values and our actions.

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Barack Obama on climate, equity and overconsumption

Report Report: Carbon bubble, resilient ag, water-smart future, SDG finance

November 26, 2019 by  
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A round-up of recent reports on sustainable business and clean technology.

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Report Report: Carbon bubble, resilient ag, water-smart future, SDG finance

S&P Global plans to acquire RobecoSAM’s ESG ratings business

November 26, 2019 by  
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This is the S&P’s latest move in accelerating and scaling up its environmental social governance expertise.

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S&P Global plans to acquire RobecoSAM’s ESG ratings business

Value-added tax: a potential solution for carbon leakage

November 26, 2019 by  
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This system would be burdensome and inefficient but it could make it feasible to practically address carbon leakage.

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Value-added tax: a potential solution for carbon leakage

Is Environmentally Responsible Living Too Expensive?

June 1, 2016 by  
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We’re all a little too aware of the glaring gap that can exist between our words and our actions. Whether it’s preaching about healthy eating followed by a midnight cheesecake binge, or judging another mom’s parenting while also…

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Is Environmentally Responsible Living Too Expensive?

American public calls for extradition of lion poacher Walter Palmer

July 30, 2015 by  
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The American dentist who allegedly paid $55,000 to kill a beloved lion  in Zimbabwe has come under fire since his identity was disclosed to the public this week. Stories about Cecil the lion and the hunter who killed him, Walter Palmer of Minnesota, have soared to the top of trending lists on Facebook and Twitter, and numerous angry bloggers, editorialists, and TV hosts have attacked the dentist for his actions. Zimbabwe conservationists say Cecil was lured out of the Hwange National Park and slain on land that was not zoned for hunting lions. Local hunter Theo Bronkhorst was charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt in court yesterday, according to NY Daily News , and now members of the American public are calling for Palmer’s extradition to Zimbabwe so he too can atone for his actions. Read the rest of American public calls for extradition of lion poacher Walter Palmer

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American public calls for extradition of lion poacher Walter Palmer

The world’s largest electronic vacuum cleaner in Rotterdam will suck up smog and turn it into jewelry

July 30, 2015 by  
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Can we completely rid our skies of pollution once and for all? That is the mission behind the Dutch social design lab, Studio Roosegaarde , which recently launched a Kickstarter campaign that is quickly gaining momentum. The team, led by Netherlands-based innovator Daan Roosegaarde, is creating a Smog Free Tower that will stand 23 feet above the city of Rotterdam and power the largest electronic smog-sucking vacuum in the world. Then it will transform the harvested carbon into beautiful rings and cufflinks. The tower is expected to rise as soon as September. And if that goes well, the studio hopes to build many more smog vacuums across the globe. Read the rest of The world’s largest electronic vacuum cleaner in Rotterdam will suck up smog and turn it into jewelry

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The world’s largest electronic vacuum cleaner in Rotterdam will suck up smog and turn it into jewelry

5 ways ‘systems thinking’ can jumpstart action

December 9, 2013 by  
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Sustainability requires business leaders to consider their actions in the context of a broader network of systems.

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5 ways ‘systems thinking’ can jumpstart action

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