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

New Exxon CEO supports Paris climate deal, carbon tax

February 27, 2017 by  
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The world’s largest publicly traded oil company appears to be more concerned about climate change than the President of the United States . While Donald Trump works on rolling back Obama-era environmental regulations and wants to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, new ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods recently said in a blog post that the Dallas-based energy company supports the Paris climate deal and a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Those positions are in line with his successor Rex Tillerson, who is currently serving in the Trump Administration as the nation’s 69th secretary of state. “At ExxonMobil, we’re encouraged that the pledges made at last year’s Paris Accord create an effective framework for all countries to address rising emissions; in fact, our company forecasts carbon reductions consistent with the results of the Paris accord commitments,” Woods wrote, citing increased natural gas replacing coal and greater energy efficiency as important tools in reducing CO2 emissions. Woods also mentioned the company’s research and development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology and advanced biofuels such as algae, saying that the company has invested $7 billion in lower-emissions energy solutions. However, Woods did not mention renewables such as solar and wind as solutions to man-made global warming. Related: Trump to sign executive orders rolling back Obama’s climate protection policies A price on carbon is gaining appeal among some conservative circles. Recently a group of Republican elder statesmen called for a tax on carbon emissions to fight climate change. The proposal would substitute former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan with the carbon tax. In his blog post, Woods said that a national revenue-neutral carbon tax would increase energy efficiency, boost the economy and incentivize the market to move toward low-carbon energy solutions. “Governments can help advance the search for energy technologies by funding basic research and by enacting forward-looking policies,” Woods said. “A uniform price of carbon applied consistently across the economy is a sensible approach to emissions reduction.” Via Washington Examiner Images via Exxon and Wikimedia

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New Exxon CEO supports Paris climate deal, carbon tax

Why progressive sustainability ultimately will win

February 14, 2017 by  
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Given the ringing success of the SDGs and Paris Agreement, don’t be surprised that the nationalist right is rising up now.

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Why progressive sustainability ultimately will win

The State of Green Business, 2017

January 31, 2017 by  
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Adapted from the 2017 State of Green Business report. Download here.It’s hard to imagine a time more hopeful and horrifying for sustainable business.On the one hand are great achievements and milestones. The Paris Agreement on climate change was ratified last year, faster than any United Nations pact in history, a powerful confirmation of the importance the nations of the world attach to combating climate change.

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The State of Green Business, 2017

How Coca-Cola is cultivating a collective sense of purpose in Vietnam

January 31, 2017 by  
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Coca-Cola’s EKOCenters are allowing Vietnamese communities to thrive by connecting economic, environmental and social dots.

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How Coca-Cola is cultivating a collective sense of purpose in Vietnam

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson says Trump is wrong about climate change

January 12, 2017 by  
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In a startling statement, Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly disagreed with the President-elect’s position on climate change. While Trump has stated he wants to withdraw from the Paris agreement, and has characterized climate change as an anti-American “hoax,” Tillerson told Congress , “I think it’s important that the United States maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address the threats of climate change, which do require a global response. No one country is going to solve this alone.” Tillerson’s position is an interesting one, considering that he’s the former CEO of ExxonMobil, a company that’s been accused of misleading the public on the existence of climate change since the 1960s . In fact, the company continues to fund climate-denial research to this day. Despite this, Tillerson insisted that he believes the “risk of climate change does exist” and that the consequences could be serious enough to “warrant action.” Related: Americans don’t trust climate change science because of fossil fuel industry’s disinformation While Tillerson has said Trump is aware of his views and he would be willing to advise the administration to take climate change seriously (perhaps with a bit more caution than environmentalists would like), it’s unclear if this could actually change Trump’s approach in any way. The administration’s other nominees have come out firmly against the very concept of climate change – including Rick Perry, Trump’s proposed head of the Department of Energy , and Scott Pruitt, the pick for head of the Environmental Protection Agency . Although Tillerson appears to grudgingly accept the reality of climate change, that’s no reason for the American public to let our guard down. The would-be Secretary of State did not address whether he believes climate change poses a threat to national security – an opinion held by the nation’s foremost military expert. He also refused to discuss ExxonMobil’s longstanding war against scientific research on the subject, and he would not give a firm answer on whether he would suspend US funding to the UN Green Climate Fund. There’s also the troubling matter of the former exec’s troubling ties to Vladimir Putin , which critics fear could compromise his ability to perform his duties effectively. Via Mother Jones Images via William Munoz and Wikimedia Commons

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An old factory building in Paris hides a transformable multipurpose space

December 8, 2016 by  
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The director’s house of an old factory on the banks of the Seine in Paris now functions as an edgy  multipurpose space , part of a city-wide urban project organized by agency Semapa . DATA architects revamped the old building as a workspace, a workshop, a meeting place, and a base from which the urban project will spring. The Director’s house is located alongside Seine in Paris’ 13th arrondissement. DATA architects kept the exterior of the existing building in original condition, and focused on redesigning the interior by providing a complete makeover. The team gutted the building to create three floors of exhibition spaces . The main room has been separated from the staircase, bathrooms, storage and technical rooms by a wall. A large cylindrical structure dominates the main space. It combines glass and steel and allows visitors to climb the stairs to the upper floor. Related: [BP] Architectures’ M9-C is an Integrated, Energy-Efficient Mixed-Use Housing Development in Paris Suspended from the underside of the cylinder is the flagship element of the exhibition space. Thanks to a pulley the model appears and disappears into the heights of the cylinder, freeing the floor for other events like presentations and inaugurations. + DATA + Semapa

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An old factory building in Paris hides a transformable multipurpose space

Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

November 23, 2016 by  
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Canada has just announced it will kill coal power 10 years sooner than previously planned, with a goal of shutting down all coal-fired plants by 2030. The CBC reports that the move is a key part of the Canadian government’s plan to meet its Paris climate summit commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent less than 2005 levels by 2030. Getting rid of the country’s coal power plants means a reduction of about 66 tons per year of greenhouse gas emissions . It also means that by 2030, 90 per cent of Canada’s power will come from non-carbon-intensive sources, including hydroelectricity, nuclear, wind and solar power. Canada is also in the midst of introducing a nationwide carbon tax that can be imposed on provinces that don’t come up with their own plans for mitigating carbon emissions . Despite animosity from several provinces that held out up until a recent deadline, all provinces with the exception of Saskatchewan have now agreed to create their own carbon plans. Related: France will shut down all coal power plants by 2023 Yet, while the country is cutting out coal, it is looking favorably on other projects that will result in greenhouse gas emissions. This includes a major liquid natural gas (LNG) project in British Columbia, and the potential approval of more oil pipelines to move bitumen from the Alberta Tar Sands to market. Canada’s plan comes on the heels of recent announcements by France to shut down all coal power plants by 2023 , and Germany’s plan to cut carbon emissions by as much as 95 per cent by 2050. Via CBC Images via PDTillman and Sherco Generating Station , Wikimedia Commons

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Canada announces plan to kill coal power by 2030

China to Trump: Climate change is not a hoax

November 21, 2016 by  
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China just rejected US President-elect Donald Trump’s widely derided claim that global warming is a Chinese hoax created to harm the American manufacturing sector. Speaking at the UN climate summit in Marrakech, Morocco , China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said that his country couldn’t have invented climate change because previous Republican administrations actually put global warming solutions on the international agenda. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Jnu09xQ4lk “If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” said Liu. Related: John Kerry says Obama administration will work to stop Trump from leaving Paris agreement Trump has promised to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, a move that China has criticized . Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative for climate change, said that “a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends,” adding that “if they resist this trend, I don’t think they’ll win the support of their people, and their country’s economic and social progress will also be affected.” China and the US jointly agreed in September to ratify the Paris pact. While China is expected to live up to its climate pledge, the election of Trump, the only world leader to deny climate science, has generated uncertainty as to whether the US will meet its international obligations. Unlike Trump and today’s GOP, Reagan and Bush senior accepted climate science and were committed to climate action. A series of confidential memos during the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations, demonstrate the extent of how serious they took global warming and how much they thought that the US needed to take a leadership role. A 1989 memo from George H.W. Bush’s acting assistant secretary Richard J. Smith to then-Secretary of State James A. Baker III called global warming “the most far reaching environmental issue of our time.” Smith continued, writing that “if the climate change within the range of current predictions actually occurs, the consequences for every nation and every aspect of human activity will be profound.” Via The Guardian

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Trump, COP22 and asking the hard questions on climate change

November 21, 2016 by  
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Why Paris was just the beginning — and a Trump presidency can’t be the end — for global climate action.

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Trump, COP22 and asking the hard questions on climate change

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