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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
By Michael Green
Posted on: December 8, 2015
[Paris, France] New language currently being discussed at COP 21 would call for cooperation on transferable mitigation outcomes between negotiating states. The text supported by the European Union and Brazil would allow for trading of emissions reductions and leaves the door open to offsets in the market. According to the mechanism drafted, countries would put in place an overall emissions cap and continue to push towards stronger goals over time.Emission trading has long been a preferred model for the EU as well as Brazil. Countries in the European Union have been operating under their own... read more
By Richard Eidlin
Posted on: December 6, 2015
During a late Friday morning briefing for hundreds of observer organizations participating in the UN Climate Summit, Christina Figueres, executive secretary of COP21, summed up one of the key challenges facing delegates: “the importance of finding a path for the wholesale transformation of oil and gas companies.” This is a huge task, of course, and yet for the 30,000+ attendees (20,000 government representatives and 10,000 NGO observers) the overwhelming focus is on scaling up solutions. It is clear what the problems are; now it’s time for action.Moving Towards SolutionsAt the macro level,... read more
By Michael Green
Posted on: December 6, 2015
The COP21 climate talks are underway this week in Paris, France with Friday being focused on the challenges and needs of the private sector. While world leaders are discussing how to mitigate future climate change risks, agriculture remains a key industry in the negotiations. Farmers are the definition of a frontline community for business, meaning it is a group that is currently being most directly affected by climate change. Globally, small farmers make up one of the most important frontline communities who are already facing the challenges of a rapidly changing climate due to our... read more
By Michael Green
Posted on: December 4, 2015
Thursday, December 3rd marked an important day in the two week long agenda here at the global climate negotiations in Paris, France. Future Generations Day pays homage to those who will inherit the world which we have created. While we are already feeling the threats of climate change, from the floods in South Carolina to the droughts and fires of California, according to scientists, the most severe symptoms of our changing planet will not occur till mid to late century. By then, many of the leaders here in Paris will be gone and only their actions will speak for them.By mid-century, many of... read more
By Michael Green
Posted on: December 2, 2015
Paris, France (December 2, 2015)—On Tuesday morning, the President of the United States met with leaders from small island states at the UN Climate negotiations in Paris, France. During his opening speech Obama reconfirmed his international commitments saying, “...tomorrow, we’ll pledge new contributions to risk insurance initiatives that help vulnerable populations rebuild stronger after climate-related disasters.” The meeting further highlights the challenges for countries around the world who are being forced to adapt to rising sea levels. In the past two decades we have seen a sea level... read more
By Zach Bernstein
Posted on: December 2, 2015
The debate over whether climate change is real is essentially settled. Now the question is, what are we going to do about keeping temperatures from rising out of control? In order to actually pass a carbon tax, the business community will need to get involved.The main point of discussion was a bill introduced by Whitehouse and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) in June, the American Opportunity Carbon Fee Act. The bill would set a $45/ton price on carbon emissions beginning in 2016, then rise two percent a year. It would include border price adjustments, so that products imported from countries without... read more
By Dale Read
Posted on: November 24, 2015
When examining the challenges of “green” claims, it is critical to understand the basis for those claims. The heading of environmental, health, wellness and safety spans many diverse claims: The composition and sourcing of materials; responsible social or labor practices; energy usage practices; the processing, handling and shipping of components or finished products; the chemical composition or treatments of these products; and the short-and long-term health and safety impacts of these products on people who come in contact with them.Various “green” claims often focus on one aspect or... read more
By David Brodwin
Posted on: November 24, 2015
As France struggles to recover from a massive, coordinated terrorist attack, 40,000 advocates and scientists are converging on Paris for the largest and most important climate conference in history. The U.N. conference will begin on Nov. 30, and representatives from 195 countries will meet to hammer out what they hope will be a binding international agreement to limit emissions of carbon dioxide, the most important climate-changing gas.It may seem like pure coincidence that Paris is ground zero, both for jihadi terrorism and for a climate treaty. But these two events are hardly unrelated.... read more

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