China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action – without Trump

May 25, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump still hasn’t made up his mind on whether he’ll keep the United States part of the 2015 Paris agreement , even though everyone from the Vatican to ExxonMobil have called for America to stick with the deal. But China , Canada , and the European Union (EU) aren’t going to sit around and wait for him to make his decision. They’ve formed a pact for continued climate action regardless of where the Trump administration stands. Officials from the two countries and the EU met in Berlin on Tuesday. China’s special envoy on climate change Xie Zhenhua, Canada environment minister Catherine McKenna, and EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete talked about climate leadership and how to keep momentum going should Trump yank America out of the agreement. They’ve also planned a meeting at the ministerial level backing the agreement for September. Related: World officials entreat Trump to stay in Paris agreement According to Bloomberg, the new pact is a signal that Trump and America will become detached from other nations on the planet. Since the historic deal was signed by nearly 200 countries, only the United States has indicated they may leave the agreement. At the recent Petersberg Climate Dialog, McKenna said, “It’s very important that we continue the shared programs on climate change. There is a need to bring together key players.” She said Canada, China, and the EU are in a good position to gather other countries together for talks on how to move forward. Xie said China has been questioned recently on what they’ll do about the Paris agreement as Trump dithers over whether to keep the United States in the deal or not; he said China, one of the world’s biggest polluters, will stick to their word, and “all signatories should stick to it instead of walking away.” Via Bloomberg Images via Catherine McKenna on Twitter and Wikimedia Commons

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China, Canada, EU join forces on climate action – without Trump

Philippines president Duterte signs Paris agreement

March 1, 2017 by  
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It’s been almost a year since leaders from 170 countries met in New York City to formally sign the Paris climate change agreement , and almost four months since the agreement officially went into force . But president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte is only now jumping on the climate change -fighting bandwagon, finally signing the historic accord. Duterte initially resisted signing the agreement; he claimed it favored rich countries like the United States, and threatened to boycott the agreement because it would hurt industrialization in the Philippines. But his protests subsided last November, when he said a cabinet decision swayed him to support the Paris agreement. Now that he’s signed the deal, it will need to go through the country’s Senate. Related: Hard-won Paris climate agreement officially goes into force Senator Loren Legarda said, “We are a step away from full ratification and it is my commitment to actively shepherd the Senate’s immediate concurrence.”It’s expected the Senate will back ratification as Duterte’s allies populate the governing body. Should the agreement finally go through, the Philippines would receive access to the Green Climate Fund , a global initiative slated to send billions of dollars to developing nations to help them combat climate change. Manila , the country’s capital, has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The ambitious target will require financial and technical support. Duterte has been labeled a strongman and a firebrand. Vox described him as the Donald Trump of Manila, although the former Davao City mayor has been in politics for decades. Trump and Duterte have become fast friends – Trump reportedly praised Duterte’s war on drugs, which is so violent it sparked a January report from Amnesty International . Via Reuters Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Philippines president Duterte signs Paris agreement

Germany plans to slash CO2 emissions up to 95 percent by 2050

November 15, 2016 by  
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Germany’s coalition government just announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 80 to 95 percent by the year 2050. The leaders reached the agreement just in time for the COP22 Climate Conference in Marrakech , and the project also includes plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one fifth by 2030. While the agreement does include a clause that the targets will be reviewed again in 2018, it still represents a major breakthrough. The Guardian notes that German environment minister Barbara Hendricks first presented CO2 reduction targets for various industry sectors in 2015, but they were stymied by special ministers from different parties in the coalition government . The finalized agreement does contain some compromises, including: lower reduction targets for power plants, and the loss of a planned minimum price for pollution certificates in the European Union’s carbon trading arrangement. Despite concerns about job losses due to the phasing out of brown coal (which releases the highest amount of CO2 emissions per ton when burned), German economic minister, Sigmar Gabriel believes the plan is “a good and well-balanced solution.” Other countries will only follow in the footsteps of our very ambitious climate policy if we manage to combine the fight against climate change with the protection of industrial jobs, even in energy-intensive sectors,” Gabriel told The Guardian. Related: Here’s how much Arctic sea ice melt you are personally responsible for Despite that, the Association of German Industry did not like what president Ulrich Grillo called “arbitrary and tonne-high reduction targets for individual sectors.” On the other side, Greenpeace International lauded the German government for sticking to sector-specific reduction targets. “By committing to halving emissions in the energy sector, the government’s climate action plans effectively hail the phase-out of the coal industry and the end of the era of the combustion engine, said Greenpeace International climate expert, Karsten Smid. Via The Guardian Images via fahrertuer and freefotouk, Flickr Creative Commons    

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Germany plans to slash CO2 emissions up to 95 percent by 2050

Jaguar’s new I-Pace electric SUV is ready to take on the Tesla Model X

November 15, 2016 by  
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Jaguar is taking aim at the Tesla Model X by unveiling the I-Pace – an all-electric concept car that previews an SUV set to launch in 2018. The I-Pace features a 90 kWh battery, a driving range of around 220 miles, and it generates 394 horsepower and 516 foot-pounds of torque from two electric motors . Jaguar also says the I-Pace will be able to reach 60 mph faster than most sports cars at around four seconds. Jaguar debuted the I-Pace this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show and according to the automaker, the concept is not far off from the production version. Since the I-Pace doesn’t use a conventional engine, designers were able to maximize space for passengers and their stuff. Thanks to its cab-forward design, the I-Pace will have more interior room than many larger SUVs. Once inside, you’re greeted with a large center-mounted 12-inch touchscreen and an additional 5.5-inch touchscreen. The traditional instrument cluster has been replaced by another 12-inch screen with a color head-up display. Related: Jaguar Unveils 850 Horsepower C-X75 Plug-in Hybrid Supercar “This is an uncompromised electric vehicle designed from a clean sheet of paper: we’ve developed a new architecture and selected only the best technology available,” stated Wolfgang Ziebart. + Jaguar All photos @ Jaguar

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Jaguar’s new I-Pace electric SUV is ready to take on the Tesla Model X

Daylit eco-friendly home in London is built around a 100-year-old pear tree

November 15, 2016 by  
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The 425-square-meter Pear Tree House is a self-build project for the firm director Jake Edgley’s own family home. To preserve the 100-year-old pear tree—a remnant of the site’s past as a Victorian fruit orchard—the architects split the house into two volumes that frame the tree in an internal courtyard and are linked by a green-roofed glass walkway. The entire structure is elevated on pile foundations to avoid damage to the tree roots. The walls of the home that face the courtyard are glazed to bring natural light , views, and ventilation into the home and allow the street-facing facade to remain mostly closed for privacy. Related: Edgley Design restores a run-down home with stainless steel cladding The interior of the home is also arranged for optimal solar orientation , from the kitchen in the northeast that takes advantage of morning light to the southwest living areas that are bathed in afternoon light. The interior layout features mostly open-plan spaces that can be easily modified if and when the homeowners’ mobility becomes limited. Board-marked concrete walls on the ground floor give the home texture, while timber surfaces such as the bespoke joinery made from oak veneer lend warmth to the restrained interior palette. + Edgley Design Via Dezeen Images via Edgley Design , by Jack Hobhouse

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Daylit eco-friendly home in London is built around a 100-year-old pear tree

Trump says he wants to "renegotiate" the global climate accord

May 20, 2016 by  
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In case you weren’t already terrified of the prospect of Donald Trump winning the election, a new Reuters interview revealed yet another reason for concern: Trump has made it clear he has no qualms about potentially sabotaging last December’s historic climate deal. In the interview, he stated, “I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else.” The deal is the first time in nearly twenty years that the world’s nations have been able to agree on a unified plan to combat climate change. Needless to say, the US pulling out or altering their commitments after the deal has been made could spell disaster. Trump’s reasons for potentially pulling out of the deal are simple — he claims he doesn’t trust other nations, particularly China , to hold up their end of the agreement. This claim is especially bizarre given China’s recent commitment to shutting down its coal-fired power plants, drastically increasing its renewables market, and expanding its nature conservation efforts. Of course, perhaps this is exactly what we should expect from a man who once tweeted that the concept of climate change is a Chinese hoax invented “to make US manufacturing non-competitive.” While Trump has promised to do his best to undo the most significant progress we’ve made to combat global warming, chances are he’ll face an uphill battle. As the Washington Post points out , it’s possible the agreement will be completely ratified before the next president can even take office, in which case Trump would be forced to comply with the agreement for the next four years. Related: Trump taps climate denier, fossil fuels advocate as energy adviser In fact, the agreement was drafted specifically with this type of scenario in mind, and designed to endure the changing of political administrations in member countries. An unnamed state official interviewed by the Guardian agreed with this assessment, and also added that even if Trump were to pull out of the Paris deal, US businesses are already well on the path to a lower-carbon economy and the US would still meet its carbon goals. However, even if his threats aren’t likely to be carried out, they’re important to keep in mind in the run-up to the election. Via Reuters Images via  Gage Skidmore

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Trump says he wants to "renegotiate" the global climate accord

Episode 9: How activists view business at COP21; Biotech for sustainability

December 18, 2015 by  
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The GreenBiz 350 podcast explores the changing world of jobs, cities, activism and corporate strategy in a post-Paris Agreement world.

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Episode 9: How activists view business at COP21; Biotech for sustainability

US and China agree to a historic ban on the commercial ivory trade

October 1, 2015 by  
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A landmark decision was made last week by the US and China to ban the commercial trade of ivory within the countries’ boundaries. Poaching practices in Africa are out of control and endangering the lives of African elephants every day and there is still much to be done to address the problem. Both countries hope that this agreement will light a fire under Hong Kong for its current legal ivory trade, 90% of which is being smuggled into mainland China. Condemning wildlife poaching is a big step in the right direction. Read the rest of US and China agree to a historic ban on the commercial ivory trade

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Why Agreement on Climate Finance is Critical to COP16’s Success

December 1, 2010 by  
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Last year’s Copenhagen negotiations recognized that developing countries need financial support. Developed countries made financial

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Suzuki debuts concept electric scooter for short distance commutes

September 25, 2010 by  
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Eco Factor: Zero-emission scooter powered by electric batteries. Suzuki Motor Company has announced the completion of a new electric scooter, the e-Let’s, which is based on Suzuki’s Let’s4 Basket scooter

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Suzuki debuts concept electric scooter for short distance commutes

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