The climate crisis needs climate leadership from businesses now

September 29, 2020 by  
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The climate crisis needs climate leadership from businesses now Maria Mendiluce Tue, 09/29/2020 – 01:00 As the world grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial inequality and more, the impacts of climate change cannot be ignored. Most weeks bring fresh headlines of wildfires, droughts and rapidly melting ice caps. They’re a reminder that climate action cannot wait for calmer times.  Encouragingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has not diminished the recognized need for bold climate action and actually has strengthened resolve among citizens, companies, governments and investors to drive real progress. Consequently the need to develop a robust leadership position on climate action is more urgent than ever and central to any company’s strategic vision.  Companies can harness this moment to join the race to zero and set a course out of the crisis though climate leadership. For a business to be considered a leader on climate it must respond to the climate crisis with ambition, deliver on that ambition with action and speak up to secure wider change through advocacy. This means aligning corporate ambition with the best available climate science, setting a target to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, at the latest, and setting strong interim targets to get there through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Companies then need to identify and implement action to deliver on their ambition, including engaging with supply chains. The small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that make up the supply chains of many of the world’s largest companies can access help in setting and achieving climate targets through the new SME Climate Hub . Companies also need to be transparent about progress toward their goals through disclosure and reporting. Beyond that, companies need to advocate for climate action at all levels of government, to industry peers and trade groups, ensuring alignment with lobbying practices and net-zero targets. Companies are stepping up The good news is many of the world’s largest companies are already stepping up their ambition. Just this month, companies including PayPal, Walmart, Ford and Facebook have increased their level of climate commitment, announcing bold strategies to accelerate the zero-carbon transition. To date, nearly 300 companies have joined the Business Ambition for 1.5 Degrees C campaign, led by SBTi, including those in hard-to-abate sectors such as the world’s largest cement maker, LafargeHolcim.  LafargeHolcim’s commitment represents real ambition. The company is not only aligning its own 2030 decarbonization pathway with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius, it also is helping to develop a pathway for the entire cement sector, in conjunction with the SBTi. It is clearly the kind of leadership the world needs. Meanwhile, Amazon is taking action against its bold commitment to be carbon-neutral by 2040. Just this month, the online retail giant launched a new program to help make it easier for customers to switch to more sustainable products through labeling and certifications, Climate Pledge Friendly . Last month, the company announced it is buying 1,800 electric delivery vans from Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, building on its previous deal to buy 100,000 electric vans from Rivian Automotive out to 2030.  And companies including renewable energy pioneer Ørsted recognize the importance of working with governments to accelerate climate action and speaking up to make it clear they support bold climate policies.  “It’s quite clear that governments cannot do it alone, and companies cannot do it alone. We need to work together. Governments need to set ambitious targets for carbon reduction and renewable energy deployment and create the visibility needed for companies to deploy the vast amount of capital and drive the innovation that is needed to further mature and scale renewable energy and to further bring down costs,” said Jakob Askou Bøss, senior vice president at Ørsted.  These are some examples, but we want to see many more. We urge all companies to engage with these three A’s: ambition; action; and advocacy. Our new guide, Climate Leadership Now , outlines how companies can progress their climate strategy towards a climate leadership position fit for this decisive decade. Now is the time to join the Race to Zero and show leadership in the global effort to tackle the climate crisis.  Now is the time for companies to lead on climate, to lead us out of this crisis.  Topics Climate Change COVID-19 Climate Strategy 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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Funding climate tech and entrepreneurs of color should go hand in hand

June 11, 2020 by  
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Funding climate tech and entrepreneurs of color should go hand in hand Heather Clancy Thu, 06/11/2020 – 01:00 Not-so-news flash: The venture capital community has an abysmal track record when it comes to funding entrepreneurs of color.  Here’s the backstory in numbers. According to the nonprofit investor network BLCK VC, just 1 percent of venture-funded startup founders are black (that data comes from the Harvard Business School). Just as shocking, although maybe not surprising given the tech industry’s troubled past on diversity writ large, 80 percent of VC firms don’t have a single black investor on their staff.  Over the past week, big-name firms SoftBank and Andreessen Horowitz took baby steps toward addressing this, but far more needs to be done — especially when it comes to finding and funding climate tech. The specifics: SoftBank has created a separate $100 million fund specifically dedicated to people of color: Cool, but that amount is minuscule alongside the $100 billion in the SoftBank Vision Fund.  The new Andreessen Horowitz effort is a donor-advised fund launched with $2.2 million (and growing) from the firm’s partners with a focus on early-stage entrepreneurs “who did not have access to the fast track in life but who have great potential.”  Let’s cut to the chase. These are well-intentioned gestures, but they don’t even begin to address the bias that pervades the VC system, at least the one that exists in the United States. “Black entrepreneurs don’t need a separate water fountain,” observed Monique Woodard, a two-time entrepreneur and former partner at 500 Startups who backs early-stage investors, during a BLCK VC webcast last week that was livestreamed to more than 3,000 people. (She wasn’t specifically addressing the two funds.) “You have to fix the systemic issues in your funds that keep black founders out and keep you from delivering better returns.” What’s wrong with “the system”? Where do I begin? One black venture capitalist on the webcast, Drive Capital partner Van Jones, likened getting involved in the VC community to a track race in which you’ve been seeded in lane eight and handicapped with a weight vest and cement boots. “There is no reason we should be having the conversation today that we had in the 1960s,” he said during his remarks.  Elise Smith, CEO of Praxis Labs, a startup that develops virtual reality software for diversity and inclusion training, tells of putting on “armor” to engage with the predominantly white ecosystem supporting entrepreneurs — where her experience has been questioned repeatedly and her mission described as niche or as a passing fad.  Smith says one of the biggest issues faced by black founders: the inability of many investors to recognize problems faced by communities of color. “What happens when the problem you want to solve isn’t one that is faced by the people who make decisions about what is funded?” Or, as Garry Cooper, co-founder and CEO of circular economy startup Rheaply. puts it: “I have to overachieve to achieve.” He adds: “You are running a race twice as hard as your white counterparts.” He knows firsthand. Rheaply, which makes software that helps organizations share underused assets, raised $2.5 million in seed funding disclosed in March from a group led by Hyde Park Angels. Cooper started speaking with potential investors more than a year ago and was struck by how difficult it was for him even to score an introduction. While he has praise for his “committed” funding partners, Cooper is the only black founder represented in his lead investor’s portfolio. “It’s shameful that I know all the black VC founders in Chicago,” he said.   Along with some of his allies, Cooper is sketching out what he describes as a “pledge” intended to help expose this issue more visibly. The idea is to encourage hot startups — regardless of the race or gender of the founders — not to seek funding from firms that don’t represent the black community on their team of investors or within their portfolio. Stay tuned for more details as they are finalized, but Cooper says the response to this idea so far has been gratifying. As a climate tech startup founder, Cooper agreed with my personal conviction that any VC firm funding solutions to address climate-related technology solutions must pay particular attention to the issues of equity and inclusion. And yet, when I’ve asked well-known VCs about their strategy for this, none has offered specific strategies for recognizing the needs of people of color in the ideas they consider. I must admit: I never have asked any of them specifically about their strategies for funding entrepreneurs of color. But this is something I’m going to change. “The problems are so enormous, we need every brilliant committed mind thinking about this,” Cooper said.  That sentiment is echoed by Ramez Naam, futurist and board member with the E8 angel investor network, which recently launched the Decarbon-8 fund dedicated to supporting climate tech. Naam said investors funding climate tech startups must recognize the intersection between the climate crisis and the crisis of racial justice. That’s why Decarbon-8 will be intentional about seeking entrepreneurs of color. “We think that means it also makes sense to find entrepreneurs and teams who are minorities that are in the groups that are most impacted themselves. Because if we are going to help some people build companies in this, and they’re going to profit, as the entrepreneurs should, we’d like some of that to go back into those people, in those communities.”  Truth. This article first appeared in GreenBiz’s weekly newsletter, VERGE Weekly, running Wednesdays. Subscribe here . Follow me on Twitter: @greentechlady. Topics Finance & Investing Climate Tech Environmental Justice Diversity Featured Column Practical Magic Featured in featured block (1 article with image touted on the front page or elsewhere) On Duration 0 Sponsored Article Off Rheaply founder and CEO Garry Cooper.

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Funding climate tech and entrepreneurs of color should go hand in hand

How to celebrate Earth Day virtually in 2020

April 17, 2020 by  
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With social distancing in full force this Earth Day , the 50th anniversary of this environmental movement is certainly one for the history books. Just because you can’t go outside in large groups this year doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of inventive ways to celebrate Earth, though. The Earth Day 2020 theme is “climate action,” and while we aren’t able to come together physically this year, technology is presenting some unique opportunities to show your love for the Earth virtually. Learn the history The first Earth Day took place on April 22, 1970, when 20 million Americans (about 10% of the U.S. population at that time) took to the streets and college campuses to protest environmental ignorance and promote environmental awareness. The movement, now recognized as the world’s largest civic event each year, launched the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts. Related: How Earth Day began and how it helps the planet Take a virtual tour Because many of us are now homeschooling kids, Google has created 360-degree tours of 113 different national park sites, including monuments, historic sites and shorelines. The Nature Conservancy also features a series of virtual field trips designed for grades 5-8. Live webcams have also gained popularity since social distancing began. People may be staying indoors for the most part, but animals are still keeping up with their daily routines. Check out live feeds of marine animals at Monterey Bay Aquarium or a series of different feeds, from remote locations throughout Africa to rescue animal facilities around the world, with Explore.org . Earthx , in partnership with National Geographic, is streaming everything from speaker series to film festivals to student activities via its website. Participate in a running challenge A healthy running challenge that raises awareness for the environment is a win-win to celebrate this year’s Earth Day. The 2020 Earth Day Run presented by The Virtual Run Challenge encourages participants to spend the month of April (though you can start anytime) to collectively run the distance of the equator — 24,901 miles. Log your running and walking miles every day and connect with others for a common goal; participation is free. Related: Orca Running offers a Social Distance Run Virtual Strides is celebrating Earth Day by hosting the 5K/10K/Half-Marathon Earth Run virtually. After runners (or walkers) finish their course, they can upload results and photos to the website. Registration isn’t free, but a portion of the proceeds from the race (around $4 from each registration) will be donated to EarthShare, a non-profit that supports critical environmental causes. In the past, the organization has raised more than $300 million for programs benefiting air, land, water, wildlife and public health. Download the Earth Challenge 2020 app By downloading the Earth Challenge 2020 app , you’ll help gather critical environmental data near your area, providing scientists and other “citizen scientists” with research to help maintain a cleaner planet. Users measure air quality and plastic pollution where they are and add each reading to a global database. Related: Earth Day 2020 goes digital For example, Earth Challenge 2020 launched its monarch butterfly project on April 1 with a goal to fill 1 billion data points before the month’s end. When users launch the app, they are able to snap pictures of insects that they see, submit them to be verified and allow scientists to better understand the distribution of butterflies and migration patterns. This kind of knowledge is essential to identify the different regions that need habitat restoration. Take action From April 20 to April 25, more than 100 speakers from five continents will participate in the largest online climate conference ever held to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Topics ranging from climate finance and agriculture to circular economy and politics will be discussed and can be viewed virtually via the partnership program We Don’t Have Time . Sign up with the official Earth Day website volunteer database for the latest resources and information on at-home or online activities as well as ways to spread the word to your friends. You can also create your own “act of green” and share it with the rest of the Earth Day community. The official Earth Day website also has a planning guide to help get people inspired and organized; check the map for ideas and to see how other people around the world are celebrating. Spread the word Digital tools are making it easier than ever to connect, especially through social media. You can bring your friends, teachers and family together to raise awareness and do their own part for the environment. Utilize Vote Earth to take the pledge to vote for climate candidates . The global initiative has already mobilized millions of people who wish to show their concern for the Earth and demand change at the polls. Sign up on the website to pledge to vote for candidates who support sustainability in your next election, and you’ll have the option to receive automatic email reminders to vote. + Earth Day Images via Carl Heyerdahl , University of Michigan School of Environment and Sustainability , Arek Adeoye , U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region

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Orca Running offers a Social Distance Run

April 9, 2020 by  
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Since putting on its first race in 2014, Orca Running has grown to organize 25 road and trail races per year in Washington State. But coronavirus decimated this thriving business — known for its green practices and dedication to partnering with nonprofits — in mere weeks. Owner Porter Bratten had to think fast to keep paying his employees and his own mortgage as well as to motivate the thousands of runners who participate in Orca Running events. So he dreamed up the Social Distance Run. “It came out of an ‘oh shit’ moment where everybody stopped signing up for all the races until there was no money coming in at all,” Bratten told Inhabitat. “Furthermore, everybody was very sad about all the races getting canceled and everything else going on.” He landed on the idea of a training program culminating in a virtual race, with a few fun twists to make it more interesting than your average virtual race. “I knew that I did not want to come across as trying to take advantage of the situation, but being upfront that this is a thing that you can participate in to keep you healthy and you can also keep the business going.” Billed as an eight-week running and fitness challenge, participants sign up to train for one of six distances, ranging from 5K to 50K. They can communicate through a lively Facebook group and enter their training runs on Strava. Bratten and his crew email training plans to people based on their chosen distance, sponsor weekly challenges with raffle prizes and keep up a steady stream of “Dad jokes.” As it says on the race registration page, “Like a pack of introverted hyenas, we keep our distance but still look out for one another.” Orca Running offers different packages, ranging from a $6 “Hermit in the Wild” membership that includes a training plan, access to the Facebook group and Strava run club and emailed jokes, to the $100 Benefactor level, which comes with a T-shirt, medal, race bib, discount for a future Orca Running race and a box of Pop-Tarts. Emotional support for runners in the Social Distance Run While people post their run times and cheer each other on, runners of all ages and abilities also find emotional support through the Social Distance Run Facebook group. Facebook group members talk about everything from what shoes to buy to which trails are open during the pandemic as well as their emotional struggles, physical injuries and their frustrations with people who fail to social distance when sharing trails. People frequently mention their gratitude for the group. “A lot of people are cooped up with their family, their spouse,” Bratten said. “This is an opportunity to have some alone time. Everybody feels better after they run, even if it’s a crappy run. And they can share about it, if their family doesn’t care, they can share it on the Facebook group and can celebrate the little things.” Orca Running’s fundraising efforts Fundraising has always been a part of Orca Running’s mission. “We’re hoping to donate at least $10,000 to GlobalGiving’s Coronavirus Relief Fund ,” Bratten said, through a combination of Orca Running’s donation plus additional runner donations through the company website. Related: Plogging — Sweden’s new fitness trend combines jogging and trash pickup Each of Orca Running’s races has at least one nonprofit partner. Its trail races, held under Orca’s Evergreen Trail Runs brand, all benefit the Washington Trails Association . The road races each have different partners, including Habitat for Humanity, Canine Companions for Independence and the Mt. Si Food Bank. Two races are whale-themed. The San Juan Half benefits the local Whale Museum, and the Orca Half supports the Whale Trail, a West Seattle-based nonprofit that posts interpretive signage about whales along the west coast from Canada to Mexico. Bratten, who lives in coastal Anacortes, Washington, has long felt an affinity for orcas . As a child, he remembers seeing orcas from his aunt and uncle’s sailboat. His elementary school had an orca mascot. When he was naming his race organization, orcas seemed like a good fit. “Even though they’re an international animal, they live all around the world, they feel like they’re a symbol of the Pacific Northwest because some of them live here year-round. It seemed like something that I have a lot of connection with, and that the region has a connection with, and it’s a good tie-in with the environment.” Eco-friendly racing practices and challenges Bratten and his crew are always working on ways to make Orca Running’s races more sustainable. “The trail races are generally a lot less waste per runner because so many more things get reused. There’s no shirt or medal that’s getting shipped from China,” he said. Trail racers can’t go as fast because of the hazards of roots, rocks, mud and lots of uphill and downhill, so they tend to focus less on speed. But road racers are often after a personal best time or are using a race to qualify for a more prestigious marathon. Road racers expect to keep running through an aid station, where volunteers typically hand them disposable cups of water. Stopping to fool around with refilling a water pouch consumes precious seconds. Orca Running has started using refillable hydropouches for some of its races, which work pretty well, Bratten said. But he’s still hoping the technology improves so that water stops take less time. Orca Running is also looking at more sustainable shirt production. “A tech shirt is made from oil , and a cotton shirt can use a lot of water.” He hopes to switch to recycled tech shirts next year. Trail runners love trees , so Evergreen Trail Runs sponsored a volunteer day to plant trees with King County Parks, in accordance with the county’s goal to plant a million trees by the end of this year. Bratten hopes to institute a sapling program, where runners can click a box at registration to take home a sapling to plant after the race. With races on hold, Orca can only dream of and plan for future greener practices. In the meantime, Bratten encourages people to get outside — at a safe social distance — and get some exercise . “Everybody should go out and go for a run. You’ll feel better.” + Orca Running Images via Orca Running

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Orca Running offers a Social Distance Run

Tofurky Trots offer alternative Thanksgiving races for vegetarians

November 22, 2019 by  
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The average American consumes about 3,000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner, so it is no wonder that Turkey Trots have caught on around the nation. Thanksgiving has now eclipsed Independence Day as the most popular day to run a race, according to Runner’s World , drawing more than one million people to over 1,000 events nationwide. It’s a fun time for walkers and runners of all ages. But as everyone knows, Thanksgiving is not a fun day for turkeys — hence, Tofurky Trots. Sponsored by the maker of the preeminent faux turkey on the market, the Tofurky Trots, a vegetarian alternative race, lag way behind the Turkey Trots in popularity. But they are already become a Thanksgiving tradition for a small group of people. In Portland, Oregon, Northwest VEG is in its sixth year of partnering with Tofurky to host a Thanksgiving race. “It’s my favorite event,” said Jaclyn Leeds, executive director of Northwest VEG . “It’s just a really fun, wholesome way to start off Thanksgiving. And it combines all of my favorite things: food and community and nature and doing something good for animals. And it’s dog -friendly.” Northwest VEG is a nonprofit dedicated to bringing awareness to the power of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle and helping support people in their transition toward making healthier, more sustainable and compassionate food choices. Founded in 2003, it is based in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. Tofurky Trot history The first recorded Thanksgiving Day race took place in 1896 in Buffalo, New York . It was an 8K with only six participants and four finishers. But the tradition took hold, eventually leading to the many Turkey Trots of today. Portland’s first Tofurky Trot in 2012 was also an informal event, with just 43 racers. Leeds participated as a trotter that year. She’d just graduated from law school, and she, a few of her classmates and Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott put the race together. “The next year, Tofurky got a little more proper about the whole thing and invited Northwest VEG to be the race organizer,” Leeds said. “So it was Tofurky’s event with Northwest VEG organizing. Now, it’s Northwest VEG’s event with Tofurky as the title sponsor.” While Tofurky Trots have caught on strongly in Portland — the large number of vegetarians and vegans plus the proximity of Tofurky’s headquarters in Hood River, Oregon probably have something to do with that — southern California has also hosted the races. Pasadena organized one in 2013, and this year, Los Angeles vegetarians will trot on November 23. Tofurky Trots in 2019 More than 600 trotters braved Portland’s late-November weather in the last two years. This year, record numbers have preregistered for the race. “This is the first year that we added a promotional turkey trot tee if they signed up by VegFest,” Leeds said, referring to an annual Northwest VEG-sponsored festival in early October. “So that inspired a lot of earlier registrations.” The collectible T-shirt angle is a little sneaky. “I want people to register before they can see the weather forecast,” Leeds said. Indeed, Thanksgiving morning can be rainy, icy and generally unpleasant in Oregon. Trotters are doing more than getting exercise. Their $35 registration fee benefits local animal sanctuaries as well as Northwest VEG. The five original beneficiaries were Wildwood Farm Sanctuary , Out to Pasture Sanctuary , Green Acres Farm Sanctuary , Lighthouse Farm Sanctuary and Sanctuary One . Northwest VEG hasn’t yet announced the beneficiaries for 2019. “This is the first year that I’ve implemented more of an application process,” Leeds said. “There are now so many sanctuaries that I need people to commit to being present at the event and tabling and being willing to promote it.” Participants can sample foods from Tofurky and Portland’s own Snackrilege . GT’s Living Foods will set up a photo booth in conjunction with its Living in Gratitude campaign. Every time somebody posts a picture on social media holding GT’s Living Foods kombucha, the company will donate 10 meals through Feeding America . The Factory Farming Awareness Coalition , an educational nonprofit committed to empowering people to save the environment, animals and their own health, is organizing this year’s Los Angeles Tofurky Trot. It will start with a pre-race yoga session, then kick off at Griffith Park Crystal Springs Picnic Area. Professional body builder and vegan Torre Washington will give a post-trot talk. The weather is much more likely to be favorable at the Los Angeles event, but fun will be had at both locations. Both trots are dog-friendly, assuming the dogs are well-behaved and leashed. Neither race is chip-timed, but the first adult and child finishers will win prizes. There will also be awards for best dog costume (in Portland) and cutest dog (in Los Angeles). Organizing your own trot Tofurky offers two ways to start your own trot, either as a sponsored cause or a self-organized event for fewer than 20 people. Tofurky will support your race by sending T-shirts and creating a race landing page. Why trot? “It’s a really fun way to start off a family holiday,” Leeds said, emphasizing that all levels of fitness are welcome. People feel good about raising money for farm sanctuaries, and they’re still home early enough to cook — and feast. + Northwest VEG Images via Northwest VEG and Teresa Bergen / Inhabitat

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The votes are in for key environmental issues of the 2018 midterms

November 7, 2018 by  
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Most of the results are in from Tuesday’s election, and when it comes to environmental issues, the outcomes sent a lot of mixed messages. While renewable energy and the fight against climate change won in some states, fossil fuel companies are celebrating in other states. Read on for the results to important environmental issues of 2018 elections across the country. Changes in Washington On the national stage, the Democrats won control of the House of Representatives, putting up a roadblock to any major environmental legislation President Trump would like to pass. In the past two years, the POTUS has pushed for an attack on the Endangered Species Act and a farm bill with limited controls on water pollution and pesticides. So for environmental activists, this change is a big win. Also, many of the Republicans who were ousted from the House were climate-science deniers, and voters replaced them with Democrats who are supporters of investments in clean energy. But in the Senate, there was a big blow in the Florida race between incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Governor Rick Scott. During his time as a Senator, Nelson had consistently voted in favor of climate action and attacked anyone who denied climate science. Nelson lost to Scott, who has a history of challenging the science behind climate change. There will likely be a recount in this race, because it was so close. Climate activists were also hoping that Democrat Beto O’Rourke would unseat Texas Senator Ted Cruz, but Cruz held on and ended up defeating O’Rourke. There were a couple of wins in the Senate for climate activists. Mitt Romney won the race in Utah (he scored higher on climate issues than his opponent, Democrat Jenny Wilson). In Nevada, challenger Jacky Rosen defeated the incumbent Republican Senator Dean Heller. During his time in office, Heller expressed doubts about the science of climate change, and he also voted against any effort to reduce carbon pollution. Results of state ballot initiatives The environment did not score a lot of wins when it came to state ballot initiatives, but there were a few victories. Related: A quick guide to the environmental issues you’ll find on the ballot Alaska Salmon Initiative – defeated The first measure on Alaska’s ballot was an initiative that would have forced the state’s Department of Fish and Game to hand out permits for projects and activities that might harm fish. The measure also focused on improving habitats for anadromous fish , like salmon, by looking at water quality, stream flow and temperature. Arizona Proposition 127 – defeated This clean energy proposal would have required 50 percent of electricity from utility companies to come from renewable sources by 2030. California Proposition 3 – pending, projected defeat The most significant proposition on California’s ballot related to environmental issues was Proposition 3. But with over 93 percent of precincts reporting at the time of writing, 52 percent of voters have rejected it, and the projection is that it will not pass. This initiative would have allocated close to $8 billion in funds for surface and groundwater storage, watershed protection (habitat restoration) and water infrastructure. Colorado Proposition 112 – defeated This ballot proposition would have banned oil and gas drilling on 85 percent of non-federal lands in the state, but it failed to pass. The fossil fuel industry invested millions into this election to defeat Proposition 112. Florida Constitutional Revision 4 – passed Florida took a major step against offshore drilling in this election. Constitutional Revision 4 bans offshore drilling and will put an end to oil and gas mining on lands under state waters. Lumped into this revision is a ban that will prevent individuals from vaping inside closed workplaces. The ban included all electronic devices that generate vapor, such as electronic cigarettes, and will only be enforced in indoor workplaces. This movement for clean water and air passed by 69 percent. Georgia Amendment 1 – passed This proposal allows up to 80 percent of the revenue from sales and use taxes of outdoor recreational goods to go toward land conservation: protecting water quality, conserving forests and wildlife habitats and improving state and local parks. The measure had overwhelming bipartisan support and passed by 83 percent. Montana Ballot Issue #14 I-186 – defeated This initiative would have helped regulate new rock mines in the state by requiring them to have plans for reclamation, restoration or rehabilitation to receive permits. The new mines would have also been required to have adequate plans to avoid water pollution . Nevada Question 6 – passed This initiative aims to put the state on track for renewable energy by 2030. Voters said yes to all utility companies investing in renewable energy over the next 12 years. The measure also requires electric companies to transform half of their electrical output to renewable sources by the projected date. Rhode Island Bond Measure – passed Voters approved this bond measure that authorizes $47.3 million in funds for various environmental projects throughout the state. The measure outlines where the money will be allocated and the different types of projects that will be funded, including coastal resiliency and access, clean water and treatment, dam infrastructure, bikeway initiatives, farmland access and local recreation. The largest project on the ballot is related to improving water quality and will receive $7.9 million. The measure passed with nearly 79 percent of voters’ support. Washington Initiative 1631 – defeated Initiative 1631 in Washington was designed to target greenhouse gases while rewarding companies that promote clean energy. The law would have imposed the nation’s first fees on carbon emissions, starting out at $15 for every metric ton of carbon and increasing every year by $2. The money from the fees was also going to go back into the environment and help improve air quality, raise awareness about clean energy and examine environmental issues in various communities. Companies that complied with the environmental standards could have also received credits from the added revenue. The U.S. oil industry pumped about $30 million into the race to stop this initiative from passing. Via EcoWatch , Green Tech Media and Forbes Images via Jomar , Tom Coe and Aaron Burden

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The votes are in for key environmental issues of the 2018 midterms

Starbucks $1 Million Compostable Cup Challenge

October 11, 2018 by  
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Taking a page from the race to space and solving … The post Starbucks $1 Million Compostable Cup Challenge appeared first on Earth911.com.

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Starbucks $1 Million Compostable Cup Challenge

Elon Musk reveals boring tunnels are for Hyperloop

May 23, 2017 by  
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Cleantech pioneer Elon Musk wants you to drive a Tesla electric car or truck, power your home with SolarCity solar panels and store renewable electricity with Tesla Powerwall battery packs. Oh yeah, he also wants to zip you from DC to NYC in less than 30 minutes via Hyperloop pods that can reach speeds of more than 600 miles per hour racing through evacuated tubes. Now Musk has revealed that part of the reason he started The Boring Company , besides finding a solution for LA’s “soul-destroying traffic,” is to launch and test Hyperloop by using his new Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) to dig underneath the City of Angels . “Fast to dig, low cost tunnels would also make Hyperloop adoption viable and enable rapid transit across densely populated regions, enabling travel from New York to Washington DC in less than 30 minutes,” the company’s new FAQ page states regarding its specific goals, adding that “the electric skate can transport automobiles, goods, and/or people. And if one adds a vacuum shell, it is now a Hyperloop Pod which can travel at 600+ miles per hour.” Related: Elon Musk’s Boring Company video envisions underground LA as a crazy slot car race The FAQ page mentions that The Boring Company aims to fix congestion in major cities by building an underground network of road tunnels “many levels deep” with the ability to keep adding levels. The key to making this work would be “increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more.” Costs would be mitigated by reducing the tunnel diameter, which the site claims can be accomplished by placing vehicles on a “stabilized electric sled.” Speeding up tunneling is another way to reduce costs, with the stated goal for the TBM to defeat the snail in a race. Hyperloop One has already built a full-scale test track at the company’s development site in Nevada. Countries from India to South Korea  to the United Arab Emirates  to Russia  have expressed interest in Hyperloop technology. It is clear that the race to build the first Hyperloop rapid transit system is underway and similar to his other ventures, Musk is eager to take the lead. + The Boring Company + Hyperloop One Via Archinect Images via The Boring Company

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Google and Ford will join forces to make self-driving cars, report says

December 22, 2015 by  
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It’s not news that a number of different companies have been working to develop self-driving cars . Tesla and Google are clear front runners in the race, but some big car makers are looking to get in on the action as well. Nissan, Toyota, and Ford have all dipped their toes into the autonomous vehicle technology pool. With so many companies chasing their own dreams of cars that need no driver, one wonders how anyone will be able to translate technological advances into an actual product that people can buy and drive, err, ride in. Reportedly, Google and Ford are teaming up to do just that, pooling their knowledge and resources to create a new company specifically focused on self-driving cars. Read the rest of Google and Ford will join forces to make self-driving cars, report says

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Google and Ford will join forces to make self-driving cars, report says

Bangladesh wants to become the world’s first “solar nation” by 2021

January 29, 2015 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

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The Bangladeshi government wants every household in the nation to be solar powered by 2021. In the race to become the “first solar nation,” they hope to achieve this goal by focusing on what they call solar home systems (SHS). Solar home systems are provided by the government to homes that do not have access to the main power grid , thus supplying power where there previously was none. Read the rest of Bangladesh wants to become the world’s first “solar nation” by 2021 Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “clean energy” , “sustainable energy” , Bangladesh , country , first solar nation , Homes , households , national , nationwide , off the grid , power , remote areas , renewable energy , SHS , solar home systems , solar panels , Solar Power , world bank

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Bangladesh wants to become the world’s first “solar nation” by 2021

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