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By John O'Neill
Posted on: January 26, 2016
Just before Christmas, Congress passed dozens of tax-law changes that affect businesses large and small, and since many apply retroactively, their impact is immediate.Some of the changes will advance a sustainable economy, by supporting the use and production of renewable energy for instance. Others will inhibit it, for example, by enabling U.S. companies to shift income offshore. All will drive up the deficit because few, if any, are paid for.The changes add certainty to the tax code because Congress made permanent more than 20 temporary tax breaks (the so-called tax extenders). These... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: January 22, 2016
The on-demand economy (which includes companies like Uber, Airbnb and TaskRabbit) has brought a firestorm of controversy about the nature of work and the meaning of the social contract. On one side of the controversy are the entrepreneurs in these companies. On the other side are advocates for worker rights. The entrepreneurs emphasize the freedom and opportunity created for workers who can pick their own hours and, in some cases, their pay rates. The worker advocates emphasize the loss of protections like minimum wage, employer-paid health care and other benefits – which apply to employees... read more
By Hazel Henderson
Posted on: January 20, 2016
Robert Pollin, author of Greening the Global Economy and Joseph Romm of the Center for American Progress, author of Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know, are both influential in the USA but little known to global audiences.  Both argue that climate change generated by the burning of fossil fuels and other unsustainable human activities can best be addressed by more efficient use of all resources and an accelerated shift to renewable energy: solar, wind driven by the Sun, hydro and geothermal from within the Earth.Joseph Romm reaches his conclusion as a physicist with deep scientific... read more
By Tara Ritter
Posted on: January 15, 2016
A group of rural organizations, leaders and experts in the U.S. recently outlined the challenges climate change pose to rural communities and developed a set of policy priorities. The document, entitled “Rural Climate Policy Priorities: Solutions from the Ground,” is endorsed by 23 organizations (including ASBC) and identifies transformative and long-term policy approaches to climate change that encourage resilience, equity, democracy and local ownership and control.Why the specific focus on rural? On average, rural residents are more food and energy insecure and have higher rates of poverty... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: January 15, 2016
Ever since Adam Smith wrote "The Wealth of Nations" in 1776, politicians and economists have debated why some countries prosper while others remain poor. Recently, the debate has become even more heated, as national leaders tackle sustainability issues. For example, last month heads of state gathered in Paris to debate carbon emissions, and challenges flew back and forth. No country wants to suffer from rising seas and other aspects of climate change, but at the same time, no country wants to place itself at a disadvantage, for example, from rising fuel costs.To date, there has not been much... read more
By Bryan McGannon
Posted on: January 11, 2016
We’re only days away from the last State of the Union address of President Obama’s term in office. If the past is any indication, there will be a lot of reflection on past achievements, but also a laundry list of priorities for Congress to tackle in his final year.In the past, the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) has kept a close eye on these speeches, especially when it comes to proposals that will help American businesses thrive. There are a lot of things the president should be talking about in his speech—here are three things we hope he focuses on.Climate ChangeThis is an area... read more
By Michelle Thatcher
Posted on: December 22, 2015
And the Florida Chapter of the U.S. Green Chamber of Commerce is helping by endorsing and supporting the proposed Floridians for Solar Choice Amendment.For the first time in Florida history, companies would be allowed to install solar panels on homes and businesses and sell the residents or business owners the electricity produced."The Florida Green Chamber of Commerce will continue pushing for sustainable energy policy that will benefit our state economy, our local communities, and the environment which we all depend on every day," said Chris Castro, President of the Florida Chapter, “Solar... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: December 21, 2015
The Paris climate conference ended last week with a widely acclaimed agreement: 56 nations have pledged to reduce their carbon emissions and together these promises add up to a major reduction in overall planetary carbon emissions.But can we actually achieve the reductions pledged? The Paris agreement is strangely silent on this question. It does not say anything about what rules, regulations, taxes or incentives will be established or what sanctions will be imposed if a country fails to meet its pledge. The agreement leaves it up to each country to figure out how to honor its pledge (or not... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: December 14, 2015
With Christmas spirit in the air, Democrats and Republicans in Congress have finally found two things to agree on. First, leaders of both parties want to give money away by extending tax cuts and preferences that would otherwise expire this year. And second, neither party wants to actually pay for these generous gifts – nor confront the consequences of not paying for them.How different Washington is from the rest of the country! Outside Congress, if you spend too much on holiday presents, you must scrimp over the next few months to pay down the credit cards.Santa's congressional gift bag has... read more
By Richard Eidlin
Posted on: December 9, 2015
Tuesday at Le Bourget, the temporary home of 40,000 climate activists, business leaders, local government officials, environmental NGOs and national delegates from across the globe, was a blur of activity. With a draft 46-page ‘agreement’ released last Saturday, a wide range of committees are at work to craft a final declaration that participating countries, here to serve present and future generations, can get behind by the close of COP21 on December 12, or, possibly, one day later.Despite the challenges of a consensus-driven process, the take is that the COP21 process is working. The need... read more

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