Thursday, May 16, 2013
The British Antarctic Survey scientist Joe Farman, who helped identify the "hole" in the ozone layer over the southern pole, has died.
Dr Farman published the discovery with Brian Gardiner and Jon Shanklin in the journal Nature in 1985.
The research prompted the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement that controls chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) production across the globe.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-22510685
At a meeting in Sweden, the eight members of the Council accepted India, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Singapore.
However following dissent from Canada, a decision on the EU's application has been deferred.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22527822
Deforestation in the Amazon region could significantly reduce the amount of electricity produced from hydropower, says a new study.
Scientists say the rainforest is critical in generating the streams and rivers that ultimately turn turbines.
If trees continue to be felled, the energy produced by one of the world's biggest dams could be cut by a third.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22513233
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Researchers have published their most advanced calculation for the likely impact of melting ice on global sea levels.
The EU-funded team says the ice sheets and glaciers could add 36.8cm to the oceans by 2100.
Adding in other factors, sea levels could rise by up to 69cm, higher than previous predictions.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22527273
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
To celebrate the release of the new Disneynature film Chimpanzee, in cinemas 3 May, the Guardian is running a series of features to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees and other wildlife affected by the changing environment. Discover more about the film's star, Oscar, and learn how you can help save his habitat and watch wildlife in your neighbourhood, with these 10 essential books for the young naturalist
See full Article: guardian.co.uk
'Ethical Magazine', una revista gratuita, digital y sin ánimo de lucro que pretende informar sobre alternativas de consumo ético, está disponible desde esta semana en Internet con periodicidad mensual.
Se trata de un proyecto editorial que nace en el seno de El Hogar, una asociación que defiende desde hace seis años los derechos de los animales y que impulsa proyectos de educación y concienciación con esa finalidad. La base ética de la publicación es la lucha contra la opresión, la explotación y la discriminación en cualquiera de sus formas.
Ver Artículo completo: http://233grados.lainformacion.com/blog/2013/05/llega-ethical-magazine-una-nueva-revista-digital-sobre-consumo-%C3%A9tico.html
This week I was pleased to be a part of the Carbon War Room’s first ever Creating Climate Wealth summit to be held in Asia. CCW Singapore, at the stunning Marina Bay Sands Expo, is a core example of the valuable work that the Carbon War Room does.
After identifying sectors that could be enjoying gigaton scale reductions in their annual carbon emissions - but aren’t because the markets to enable those reductions are currently failing - a working track is launched. Then, at the Creating Climate Wealth summits, CWR bring together executives, investors, academics, entrepreneurs, and public sector representatives. The working track then leads the discussion into what needs to be done to unlock those gigaton scale solutions, and how we can do it. Those strategies will then be pursued so we can achieve substantial low-carbon growth in these areas.
See full Article: http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/creating-climate-wealth-singapore
Monday, May 13, 2013
ou won't be flying in any of these bad boys any time soon, but "solar powered drones that can fly for days at a time" has a great ring to it, no?
[W]hen a propane shortage nearly ended his record-setting ride in 1999, he began dreaming of a way to fly day and night without fuel, an idea that has reached fruition in a featherweight solar airplane set for an initial voyage across the United States starting on Friday, weather permitting. His brainchild, the Solar Impulse, will not be the first sun-powered plane to fly; its chief distinction is its ability to go through the night.
See full Article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/02/say-hello-to-the-solar-powered-airplane.html
The numbers are tiny, and it remains very much a niche market, but April’s sales figures suggest electric cars are beginning to catch on.
Electric cars have long been criticized for not being sufficiently mainstream to find a large audience in the U.S. And it’s true that the typical suburbanite family may not be ready for a short-range car powered by electrons instead of gasoline. But the April car sales data, reported Wednesday, suggest that electric cars are beginning to carve out a niche. The all-electric Nissan Leaf notched its second-best monthly sales total and surpassed the volume of its plug-in hybrid competitor, the Chevy Volt.
See full Article: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/05/02/nissan-leaf-leads-growth-in-april-electric-car-sales.html
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Trust is at the heart of today’s complex global economy. But, paradoxically, trust is also in increasingly short supply in many of our societies, especially in our attitudes towards big business, parliaments and governments. This decline threatens our capacity to tackle some of today’s key challenges.
Imagine the scene: Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, sometime in the 1960s. An exchange of spies is taking place. The two figures walk towards each other across the no-man’s land separating west and east. They meet in the middle, pause, and then each crosses over to the other side.
See full Article: http://www.oecd.org/forum/the-cost-of-mistrust.htm
Today we’re publishing the last in a series of three articles by Liisa-Maija Harju, Environmental Coordinator in the OECD Operations Service on the OECD’s environmental performance.
Did you know that the Eiffel Tour is going green? The planned €25 million investments will improve the landmark’s energy performance by 30%. The Eiffel Tour will start to generate its own electricity and hot water by the end of 2013. Solar panels and small, vertical wind and hydraulically-powered turbines will be installed 57 metres above the ground. Ninety-five per cent of the new lighting will be of LED-type that has a longer lifespan and consumes less energy than conventional eco light-bulbs.
Small, individual investments like this are needed because the building sector contributes up to 30% to annual global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and consumes up to 40% of all world energy, according to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Not to mention that the big clock is ticking: the World Meteorological Organization announced that the amount of GHGs in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011.
See full Article: http://oecdinsights.org/2013/03/27/sustainable-buildings-does-the-oecd-practice-what-it-preaches/
Los niveles diarios de dióxido de carbono en la atmósfera han superado una marca simbólica.
Por primera vez, las mediciones diarias de CO2 superan las 400 partes por millón (ppm), según los datos divulgados por la Administración Nacional de Océanos y Atmósfera de Estados Unidos (NOAA, por su sigla en inglés).
Los datos los recogió un reputado laboratorio de Hawai situado en el volcán Mauna Loa y que mide la concentración de ese gas en la atmósfera desde 1958.
Ver Artículo completo: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/noticias/2013/05/130510_ciencia_co2_dioxido_carbono_lav.shtml
Secretary-General, Calling for Stepped-Up Efforts to Meet Millennium Goals, Says Investing in Women’s, Children’s Health Yields High Returns
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at a special event on “Meeting the Challenges of the Health Millennium Development Goals and Beyond”, in New York, 6 May:
Before turning to the subject at hand, let me once [again] express my deepest and sincere condolences to the Government and people of Bangladesh on the loss of lives from the recent garment factory tragedy. The United Nations stands ready to work with you to address the issues that this very sad incident has raised.
Almost exactly one month ago, the world marked 1,000 days to the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals. We have made much progress. But time is passing and we must urgently accelerate our work. That takes commitment, political will and a determination to focus efforts on where they can have the biggest impact.
See full Press Release: Secretary-General, Calling for Stepped-Up Efforts to Meet Millennium Goals, Says Investing in Women’s, Children’s Health Yields High Returns
The EU’s ban on discarding caught fish in February 2013 has received widespread applause. Why?
Like fly fishing, sea fishing has become a fine art. Most fishing techniques will involve some take of fish which the fisher may not want or may not be allowed to take. This could be because they are undersized or of a species that the fisher does not have quota for. In some cases fishers are allowed to throw unwanted fish back into the sea, a practice referred to as discarding.
Discarding can be a significant share of the total, as is the case in some shrimp fisheries where unwanted catch may be up to 90% of the total catch. While gear technology and skilled fishers can reduce by-catch it is not possible to avoid it entirely.
See full Article: http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/3985/The_EU_fish_discard_ban:_Where_92s_the_catch_.html
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Three species of migratory duck have shifted their wintering grounds northward in response to increasing temperatures, say scientists.
The birds - the tufted duck, goosander and goldeneye - are common in Britain and Ireland during northern Europe's winter.
But their numbers in these countries have shrunk in the last 30 years.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22484907
Scientists are calling on world leaders to take action on climate change after carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere broke through a symbolic threshold.
Daily CO2 readings at a US government agency lab on Hawaii have topped 400 parts per million for the first time.
Sir Brian Hoskins, the head of climate change at the UK-based Royal Society, said the figure should "jolt governments into action".
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22491491
Friday, May 10, 2013
In addition to all their existing roles, boards now have the added responsibility of shepherding their leaders and organizations into today’s digital world.
We live in a connected world in which more than one billion people use social media and another five billion use mobile devices to communicate, collaborate and do commerce. In business, social, mobile, and cloud technologies are enabling emerging leaders and investors to re-imagine entire industries, companies, products, and services, according to the Kleiner Perkins 2012 Internet Trends Report. This emerging reality is creating unprecedented risks and rewards for corporate directors and shareholders of existing enterprises.
The result: It is time for directors to think anew about the meaning of corporate governance in the social age. In addition to all their existing roles, boards now have the added responsibility of shepherding their leaders and organizations into today’s digital world. Boards that avoid this obligation risk having their organizations fall prey to the speed and might of today’s social networks as they seek corporate reform and accountability. The boards and executives of Best Buy, Kodak, Blockbuster, Hewlett Packard, and Susan G. Komen have all learned this reality the hard way. So did the 12 nations of the Arab Spring.
See full Article: http://www.directorship.com/7-rules-for-corporate-governance-success-in-the-social-age/
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate citizenship, is not a new concept. The idea that businesses should be responsible and engaged members of their communities, both locally and globally, has been around for quite some time. However, the understanding of what that means in practice and what the larger significance of good corporate citizenship is has evolved over time. Today it is more important today than ever before.
Recently, I had a chance to participate in two great events that explored this topic in depth: CSR: Business Solutions for Emerging Markets conference organized by the Business Civic Leadership Center (BCLC) and Corporate Strategic Responsibility: What’s Next for CSR? organized by Partners for Democratic Change, together with the GE Foundation and the International Finance Corporation CommDev Office. They both attracted excellent speakers and active participants, asking key questions about what makes corporate citizenship successful and why it should be a key element of a company’s strategy.
See full Article: http://www.cipe.org/blog/2012/10/24/whats-new-in-csr/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=whats-new-in-csr#.UYy72kph6jg
Thursday, May 09, 2013
Editor’s Note: The following post comes to us from Kerry E. Berchem, partner and co-head of the corporate practice group at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. This post is based on an Akin Gump corporate alert; the full publication, including footnotes, is available here.
A fog of uncertainty hangs over U.S. public companies as 2013 approaches. The looming fiscal cliff, increased regulatory burdens, the ongoing European debt crisis, growing Middle East unrest and slowing global growth are just a few of the uncertainties companies will have to navigate as they chart a course for the coming year. Here is our list of hot topics for the boardroom in 2013:
See full Article: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/corpgov/2012/12/29/top-10-topics-for-directors-in-2013/
Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”) has recently introduced a new corporate governance measurement system (its fourth in the past four years), called the ISS Governance QuickScore (“QuickScore”). QuickScore replaces ISS’s previous corporate governance measurement system, the GRId 2.0 Profile (“GRId 2.0”), which lasted only a year and replaced the GRId 1.0 Profile, which itself was the successor to ISS’s Corporate Governance Quotient (“CGQ”). As it claimed with GRId 1.0 and GRId 2.0, ISS claims QuickScore will help investors to identify, monitor and assess “governance risk.”
See full Summary, in pdf format: http://www.venable.com/files/Publication/f9583253-d578-4f7d-9a6f-b35b8c4cd7df/Presentation/PublicationAttachment/a4e4d88c-5208-406a-9292-b917b5148560/ISS-Introduces-Yet-Another-Corporate-Governance-Measure.pdf
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Keys to successful governance
Is the board an asset or a liability? Shareholders would like the board to be an asset. But this requires that it is established in the right way. The objective of a company is to create value in a sustained way. Shareholders have invested their resources in the company and expect the value of these resources to grow, and they would like to be able to recover the profits on their investment when they need them.
To create value a company needs continuous innovation, growth, correct investments, international deployment and to be able to benefit from opportunities that may appear (acquisitions, diversifications). All these things should happen within a solid financial framework that generates and uses cash while maintaining a solid financial structure. In turn, this means that the company has to be capable of making good use of all the options available in capital markets with all their alternatives (equity, venture capital, private equity, short-term debt, long-term debt, bonds, listing on the stock exchange).
See full Article: http://www.iese.edu/en/about-iese/news-media/news/2013/april/maximize-your-board-potential/
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Participantes en la reunión sobre biocombustibles analizan tendencias y políticas para conciliar los beneficios con consideraciones como la seguridad alimentaria
La compleja evolución de las políticas en materia de biocombustibles y la forma en que los países en desarrollo pueden participar en este mercado energético en crecimiento, sin descuidar cuestiones conexas como la seguridad alimentaria y el progreso tecnológico, fueron tema de debate entre los expertos que participaron en una reunión celebrada el 19 de marzo.
La reunión, titulada Trends in Global Biofuels Markets: Sustainability Policy and Trade (Evolución de los mercados mundiales de biocombustibles: políticas de sostenibilidad y comercio) fue organizada conjuntamente por la UNCTAD, el Centro Internacional de Comercio y Desarrollo Sostenible y el Instituto de Estocolmo para el Medio Ambiente.
Los biocombustibles son actualmente la única alternativa rentable a los combustibles fósiles en el sector de los transportes, en particular gracias a su compatibilidad con los vehículos y las infraestructuras energéticas existentes. Ahora bien, la utilización de los biocombustibles y las iniciativas destinadas a fomentarla, basadas en preocupaciones ambientales, las fluctuaciones de los precios en los mercados agrícolas internacionales y la complejidad de las políticas energéticas han creado un panorama complicado para los gobiernos que intentan adoptar estrategias inteligentes en materia de energía, agricultura, seguridad alimentaria y crecimiento económico.
Ver Nota de Prensa completa: http://unctad.org/es/Paginas/InformationNoteDetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=39
Monday, May 06, 2013
Scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) monitored widespread changes in ocean chemistry in the region.
They say even if CO2 emissions stopped now, it would take tens of thousands of years for Arctic Ocean chemistry to revert to pre-industrial levels.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22408341
Nano-scale lattice is promising platform for water splitting's hydrogen harvest
Coating a lattice of tiny wires called Nanonets with iron oxide – known more commonly as rust – creates an economical and efficient platform for the process of water splitting, an emerging clean fuel science that harvests hydrogen from water, Boston College researchers report in the online edition of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
Boston College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang and his clean energy lab pioneered the development of Nanonets in 2008 and have since shown them to be a viable new platform for a number of energy applications by virtue of the increased surface area and improved conductivity of the nano-scale netting made from titanium disilicide, a readily available semiconductor.
See full Press Release: http://www.bc.edu/offices/pubaf/news/2011/rust_study021011.html
Sunday, May 05, 2013
S. 601 does contain small positive reforms, such as increasing non-federal control and management of projects and environmental review streamlining, but it is no model of fiscal responsibility. Its seven costly sins would authorize high levels of spending, fail to address underlying problems, and continue using federal tax dollars to pay for state and local project responsibilities:
See full Brief: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2013/05/7-problems-of-the-water-resources-development-act-of-2013
Friday, May 03, 2013
Berlin plans to fight the proposed EU-wide gender quota for boards of publicly-traded companies, according to a media report on Wednesday. German representatives in Brussels have been instructed to block the measure. Instead, the government wants member states to come up with their own rules.
German opposition to the EU's proposed gender quota for the non-executive boards of stock market-listed companies has reportedly reached a new level, following reports that Berlin is to begin actively lobbying other countries to vote against the plan.
The Munich-based Süddeutsche Zeitung reported Wednesday that the German representation in Brussels had been ordered to "immediately -- and on diplomatic levels -- promote the German position." The directive quoted by the newspaper used blunt language, saying that the goal of negotiations should be the outright "rejection of the proposed guidelines."
See full Article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/germany-to-lobby-against-eu-gender-quota-a-887174.html
Government advisers unequivocally link the country's extreme weather and global warming, and say the worst is yet to come
The hottest summer on record. The hottest January on record. The hottest day on record for Australia as a whole. Bushfires in every state and territory. Daily rainfall records and major flooding. Over a period of 90 days, these were some of the 123 extreme weather records broken during Australia's "angry summer".
Despite the dramatic headlines and "flame-seared images" that documented extreme weather over the summer, the Australian media largely failed to make the link to climate change. Of 800 articles published on the heatwave over a period of five days in January, fewer than 10 also discussed global warming. In the US and the UK, by comparison, the relationship between global warming and extreme weather events such as hurricane Sandy and the UK's second wettest year on record became a major talking – and election – point.
See full Article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2013/mar/07/australia-angry-summer-climate-change
China's power plants and factories are spewing out toxic emissions and covering the country with smog and grime. For the new leadership, protecting the neglected environment has become a question of preserving its power.
What does growth smell like? What does the biggest economic miracle of all time taste like?
In Guiyu, on the South China Sea, the smell of growth is a caustic, slightly nut-like odor emitted when a computer keyboard is placed on a hotplate. Electronic waste is processed in Guiyu, one of the most prosperous cities in Guangdong Province.
See full Article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/chinese-leaders-forced-to-counter-environmental-pollution-a-886901.html
Until recently, European companies could import illegally felled lumber with no fear of prosecution. New EU regulations are meant to take a tougher stance, but individual member states still write most of their own rules. Critics say Germany is falling short.
On January 11, a perfect blue sky framed the Safmarine Akwaba in the port of Bayonne, in the south of France. Between the blue sky and the white cranes, the 140-meter (460-foot) freighter, not yet even five years old, made for a postcard-perfect image of the shipping trade -- if only it weren't for the cargo.
That same cargo landed this ship on the blacklist of a British environmental organization called Global Witness on this particular January day. In its hold, the Safmarine Akwaba held 929 cubic meters (32,800 cubic feet) of tropical wood from Liberia. According to Global Witness, the buyer for this freight was Treemex, a lumber importer in the German town of Nordenham.
See full Article: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/european-union-seeks-tougher-regulation-of-logging-industry-a-887071.html
Thursday, May 02, 2013
The biosphere -- the Earth's thin layer of life -- dates from nearly four billionyears ago, when the first simple organisms appeared. Many species have exerted enormous influence onthe biosphere's character and productivity, but none has transformed the Earth in so many ways andon such a scale as Homo sapiens. In Harvesting the Biosphere,Vaclav Smil offers an interdisciplinary and quantitative account of human claims on the biosphere'sstores of living matter, from prehistory to the present day. Smil examines all harvests -- fromprehistoric man's hunting of megafauna to modern crop production -- and all uses of harvestedbiomass, including energy, food, and raw materials. Without harvesting of the biomass, Smil pointsout, there would be no story of human evolution and advancing civilization; but at the same time,the increasing extent and intensity of present-day biomass harvests are changing the veryfoundations of civilization's well-being.
In his detailed and comprehensiveaccount, Smil presents the best possible quantifications of past and current global losses in orderto assess the evolution and extent of biomass harvests. Drawing on the latest work in disciplinesranging from anthropology to environmental science, Smil offers a valuable long-term, planet-wideperspective on human-caused environmental change.
See full Details: http://books.google.ch/books/about/Harvesting_the_Biosphere.html?id=IKHopZG3drgC&redir_esc=y
A new report has laid bare the UK's pretensions to have cut greenhouse gas emissions over recent years.
Ministers have claimed global leadership in reducing CO2 emissions and urged other nations to follow suit.
But the official Climate Change Committee (CCC) said that the UK's total contribution towards heating the climate has actually increased.
See full Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22267231
Environment and human rights: the link is there, and so is the States’ obligation to protect them – UN expert
The United Nations Independent Expert on human rights and environment, John Knox, highlighted the urgent need to clarify the human rights obligations linked to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment. Such clarification, he said, “is necessary in order for States and others to better understand what those obligations require and ensure that they are fully met, at every level from the local to the global.”
“Human rights and the environment are not only interrelated, they are also interdependent,” Mr. Knox noted during the presentation of his preliminary report* to the Human Rights Council. “A healthy environment is fundamentally important to the enjoyment of human rights, and the exercise of human rights is necessary for a healthy environment.”
“All human rights are vulnerable to environmental degradation, in that the full enjoyment of all human rights depends on a supportive environment,” underscored the Independent Expert.
“The lack of a complete understanding as to the content of all environmentally related human rights obligations should not be taken as meaning that no such obligations exist. Indeed, some aspects of the duties are already clear,” he said. “Applicable human rights obligations are not lessened merely because the environment is concerned.”
See full Press Release: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=13089&LangID=E
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
No other factor comes close to providing a plausible explanation. Unlike the European Union, the US never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, in which participating countries committed to cut CO2 emissions by roughly 5%, relative to 1990 levels, by 2012. Nor is America’s continued emissions reduction a side effect of lower economic activity: While the US economy peaked in late 2007, the same time as emissions, the recession ended in June 2009 and GDP growth since then, though inadequate, has been substantially higher than in Europe. Yet US emissions have continued to fall, while EU emissions began to rise again after 2009.
See full Article: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/overcoming-objections-to-shale-gas-by-jeffrey-frankel
The lingo of sustainability didn’t offer a descriptive enough term for modern brands that integrate energy savings, waste reduction and innovative sourcing goals into the framework of the way they do business. So professors Peter Dauvergne and Jane Lister coined one: Eco-Business.
Their book on the subject, which hits stores March 15, looks back over 20 years of aspirational goals and commitments that major world brands have made toward sustainability — from promising to eliminate toxic chemicals or pledging zero waste to embracing clean energy.
See full Review: http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/articles/eco-business-explores-big-businesss-motivation-behind-green
Children are every country’s most vital resource. This is true not just morally, but also economically. Investing in the health, education, and skills of children offers the highest economic returns to a country. A new study by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows which high-income countries are doing well when it comes to making these investments – and which are doing poorly.
The report, Child Well-Being in Rich Countries, takes a holistic view of the conditions of children in the United States, Canada, and Europe – 29 countries in all. The top-ranked countries, where children are best off, are the social democracies of Western Europe. The Netherlands heads the list, followed by Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Germany.
See full Article: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/new-unicef-study-of-poor-children-in-rich-countries-by-jeffrey-d--sachs
For a child, receiving a vaccine takes just a moment (and perhaps a few tears). But such moments are crucial for getting children off to a healthy start in life, and for advancing progress on global health and development goals.
Along with Mohamed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, we attach great importance to the world’s first global summit, being held this week in Abu Dhabi, aimed at ensuring that all children have access to the full benefits of vaccines.
See full Article: http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/a-road-map-to-universal-vaccination-by-ban-ki-moon-and-bill-gates
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
See full Article: http://blogs.cfr.org/levi/2013/04/17/is-this-what-energy-independence-looks-like/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mlevi+%28Michael+Levi%3A+Energy%2C+Security%2C+and+Climate%29
The creep of the market into almost all areas of public life has brought with it a steady and damaging growth in corruption. Both the media and the political class insist the UK is largely free of corruption, a claim that no longer stands up.
Transparency International (TI) has released its Corruption Perceptions Index for 2012, raising concerns over “recent scandals” in the United Kingdom, exposing “serious fault lines in the country’s system”. As a result, Transparency International Transparency ranks the UK at 17 among the 176 countries and territories in the index and warns that the UK is struggling to remain in the top 20.
See full Article: http://www.opendemocracy.net/ourkingdom/stuart-weir/transparency-international-raises-serious-concerns-about-corruption-in-uk
What’s a cash-tight government to do when it wants to modernize a hospital, build a railway, or expand the power grid to reach underserved areas? It might explore outside, private sources of financing—that’s where public-private partnerships (PPPs) come in. The acronym has a promising ring to it, yet going back to the 1970s, its impact has been mixed. At their best, PPPs can provide rapid injections of cash from private financiers, delivery of quality services, and overall cost-effectiveness the public sector can’t achieve on its own.
But at their worst, PPPs can also drive up costs, under-deliver services, harm the public interest, and introduce new opportunities for fraud, collusion, and corruption. Our experience at the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency is that because PPPs most often are geared toward providing essential public services in infrastructure, health and education, the integrity risks inherent in these sectors also transfer to PPPs.
See full Press Release: http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/fixing-fraud-in-public-private-projects
Monday, April 29, 2013
Since founding Accountability Counsel nearly four years ago, we have been working to ensure that communities around the world have “access to nonjudicial remedy” to address conflicts with corporations. After years working as a human rights and environmental litigator, I started Accountability Counsel out of the belief that courts are not always the best venues to address such conflicts. Litigation is not an option for many of our clients, who face barriers to accessing courts that include corruption, financial hurdles, and the need for immediate action to address harms. Insufficient laws addressing corporate accountability are an impediment as well, made more so with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum. And even when litigation is an option, nonjudicial mechanisms can sometimes prove a more effective route in resolving disputes.
See full Press Release: In Human Rights, What Does ‘Access to Remedy’ Really Mean?
For the past five years or so, global companies have started to seriously address climate change by using one of their biggest levers for impact: the supply chain. Efforts include the CDP Supply Chain initiative, industry collaborations such as the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition, and individual company initiatives like those from Walmart. In spite of this, most supply chain emissions-reduction activities have not been reaching their full potential.
To understand current performance and past progress, most companies focus on measurement approaches that generally fall along a spectrum between big-picture modeling (e.g. some lifecycle assessments) and fine-toothed accounting (e.g. bottom-up carbon footprinting). Companies tend to use a blend of calculation options from the GHG Protocol’s Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard or Product Standard. Unfortunately, investments do not always lead to meaningful impact.
See full Article: Getting to Know Your Suppliers: The Three ‘A’s’ for Improving Climate Performance
Development Committee calls for “robust” replenishment of IDA, the World Bank’s Fund for the Poorest
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2013 – The Development Committee on Saturday endorsed the World Bank Group’s goal to end extreme poverty within a generation as “ambitious”, saying that this endeavor by the Bank was a “historic opportunity” to make a difference. The Committee equally confirmed the Group’s vision to promote shared prosperity and added these goals must be achieved without jeopardizing the environment, magnifying economic debt or excluding vulnerable people.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, who pushed this twin-pronged approach in his speech two weeks ago, welcomed the Committee’s support.
See full Press Release: Historic Goals to End Extreme Poverty Endorsed by World Bank Governors
Sunday, April 28, 2013
The farm will consist of up to 22 turbines, each around 410ft tall, which will create enough electricity each year to power nearly 40,000 homes
One of Britain’s biggest new wind farms has controversially been given the green light.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey yesterday announced that the huge Heckington Fen project in Lincolnshire had been approved.
The farm will consist of up to 22 turbines, each around 410ft tall, which will create enough electricity each year to power nearly 40,000 homes.
See full Article: http://www.mirror.co.uk/money/city-news/heckington-fen-wind-farm-approved-1594944