Daily Archives: November 20, 2014

BICEP’s Principles


BICEP’s goal is to work directly with key allies in the business community and with relevant members of Congress to pass meaningful energy and climate change legislation that is consistent with our core principles.

BICEP offers a new arena for business involvement in advancing climate and energy policies to counter the far-reaching risks and challenges posed by global climate change.

BICEP’s members are primarily consumer companies that are not major greenhouse gas emitters, but will nevertheless be impacted by climate regulations and other climate-related impacts. BICEP members believe that climate change will impact all sectors of the economy and that various business perspectives are needed to provide a full spectrum of viewpoints for solving the climate and energy challenges facing America.

BICEP’s Principles

Our Vision

Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation that is consistent with our core principles.

BICEP was founded on the belief that the energy and climate challenges facing the United States present vast opportunities, along with urgent risks, for U.S. businesses. A rapid transition to a 21st century, low-carbon economy will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate.

We, the members of BICEP, seek long-term prosperity for our businesses, our economy, and the countries and communities in which we operate. We work in every state and our products and services are in the homes and impact the lives of Americans across the country. As individual companies, we have taken strong steps to reduce our emissions and become more energy efficient, but we recognize that the U.S. must act boldly and swiftly to enact effective energy and climate policies to address the challenges and seize the opportunities we face. Only the market certainty provided by clear policies will spur development of an efficient clean energy economy at the necessary scale, and allow the U.S. to remain globally competitive.

Our Goal

In accordance with the recommendations of an overwhelming majority of leading climate scientists, BICEP’s overall goal is broad, bi-partisan consensus among policy makers to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, with an interim goal of at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. We recognize that there are a number of ways to reach this level of mitigation.

We therefore stand behind the following principles in the development of U.S. energy and climate policy:

Our Principles

  1. Promote Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
  2. Increase Investment in a Clean Energy Economy
  3. Support Climate Change Adaptation, Technology Transfer and Forest Preservation

Essential Policy Elements

  • Establish aggressive energy efficiency policies.
    The United States should promote at least a doubling of the historic rate of efficiency improvement.
  • Adopt a renewable energy policy.
    The United States should require that 20 percent of the nation’s electricity be generated by renewable energy sources by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.
  • Increase investment in clean energy technology.
    The United States should encourage and incentivize public and private investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology.
  • Encourage transportation for a clean energy economy.
    The United States should enact standards, incentives, and other policies to promote efficient and alternative fuel vehicles, low-carbon fuels, reductions in vehicle miles traveled and transit-oriented development.
  • Promote an efficient energy market by adjusting fuel subsidies and pricing carbon appropriately.
    The United States should adjust energy subsidies to discourage higher polluting energy sources and provide incentives for cleaner ones. All energy prices and relevant subsidies should eventually reflect their full environmental, social and economic costs.
  • Support climate change adaptation domestically and internationally.
    The United States should support the development of adaptation technology to prepare for and adapt to extreme weather, water scarcity, reduced crop yields, and other climate impacts that harm local communities and global supply chains alike.
  • Support developing countries in reducing carbon emissions.
    The United States should support developing countries in designing and implementing low carbon growth strategies by encouraging technology transfers and forest protection.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

CERES Channel + Key Climate Reports

Ceres is a non-profit organization advocating for sustainability leadership. We mobilize a powerful network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy.

Here you’ll find videos of economic leaders, companies, investors and others talking about the importance of accelerating business solutions to help protect our planet.

see also:

and key Ceres reports:

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Tackling Climate Change in Washington

Ceres Channel

Published on Oct 29, 2014

Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP) members and other leading companies, including Mars Incorporated, VF, IKEA, JLL and Starbucks, step up efforts to advocate strong climate and energy policies while taking their own actions to #ActonClimate.

BICEP invites other companies to sign the Climate Declaration, and join the growing movement of companies calling for state and federal policy action on climate change. Sign the Climate Declaration at http://www.climatedeclaration.us.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Energy Subsidy Reform: Lessons and Implications – IMF – 2013

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Economist Says Best Climate Fix A Tough Sell, But Worth It : NPR

Yale economist William Nordhaus has been studying and writing about global warming since the 1970s.

February 11, 2014 4:00 PM ET
Richard Harris

All Things Considered

5 min 27 sec

We often talk about climate change as a matter of science. But the biggest questions are really about money. How much would it cost to fix the problem — and what price will we pay if we don’t?

The man who invented the field of climate economics 40 years ago says there’s actually a straightforward way to solve the problem. William Nordhaus has written a book that lays it out in simple terms.

Nordhaus has been at Yale University since 1967. Now 72 years old, he has silver hair and a warm demeanor. His ideas about climate change, he says, date to 1974, when he was a research scholar in Austria doing energy research and happened to share an office with a climatologist, who told him, ” ‘This is where energy research is going to be going,’ ” Nordhaus remembers. “I said, ‘Well, OK, tell me about it.’ And that’s how it started.”

Despite some scientific interest in climate change at the time, the topic “was zero on the intellectual Kelvin scale in economics,” Nordhaus says. “There was nothing at that point.”

He started to grapple with the basic problem: Climate change was looming because people were burning cheap fossil fuels.

Carbon dioxide is now building up in the atmosphere faster than ever, and each extra ton increases the risk of sea level rise, shifting climate and other changes that are likely to cost a huge amount of money to address in the future.

Right now, nobody pays for that, and it wasn’t even clear what the price should be until Nordhaus started running the numbers.

Michael Marsland/Yale University

“When we did our first calculations, they actually spun out these ‘shadow prices,’ ” he says. “And I remember looking at them and trying to think … what in the world does that mean?”

The shadow prices, he realized, actually represented the cost of putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. And with that, climate change suddenly became a problem that could be attacked with the tools of economics.

“Actually from an economic point of view, it’s a pretty simple problem,” he says.

If people would simply pay the cost of using the atmosphere as a dump for carbon dioxide, that would create a powerful incentive to dump less and invest in cleaner ways to generate energy. But how do you do that?

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Panel: Is There Enough Water To Support the Fracking Boom?

A group of national water experts will discuss the potential consequences of the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, during a panel discussion on Friday at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES).

In addition to addressing the impacts on water quality, participants will discuss how much water is required by fracking systems in comparison with other extraction techniques; whether U.S. states have the water capacity to meet these needs long term; and whether the appropriate regulatory framework is in place to assure that the fracking of natural gas can be done sustainably.

The discussion will begin at 3 p.m. in Kroon Hall’s Burke Auditorium. It is open to the public.

“We’ve heard a lot about water contamination and water quality in general when it comes to hydraulic fracturing,” said Véronique Bourg-Meyer ’15 M.E.M., one of the organizers of the event. “Impacts on water quality are important, but we also wanted to bring people with expertise to discuss the water use requirements of hydraulic fracturing and the technical aspects of this type of extraction, specifically with water scarcity being a growing concern in so many communities throughout the United States.”

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

From Hottest October to Coldest November, Is Climate Change Behind the Extreme Weather?


Published on Nov 20, 2014
http://democracynow.org – Record cold temperatures have been recorded across the country this week. The most extreme weather is hitting western New York, where at least seven people have died. At least six feet of snow has already fallen on parts of Buffalo, and another two to three feet is expected today. Tuesday was the coldest November morning in the country since 1976. Temperatures dropped below freezing in every state including parts of Hawaii on Tuesday and Wednesday. This comes just days after NASA reported last month was the warmest October on record. We look at the link between extreme weather and climate change with Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate.

Democracy Now!, is an independent global news hour that airs weekdays on 1,300+ TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9am ET at http://democracynow.org.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

7 Solutions to Climate Change Happening Now – Scientific American

Even as the world continues to spew more carbon pollution, change has begun—and is accelerating
November 17, 2014 |By David Biello

Clean Energy Boom: Big dams and little solar panels like these in China are helping produce electricity with less greenhouse pollution, one of several solutions to climate change advancing around the world.
© David Biello

A man who once flew all the way to Copenhagen from Washington, D.C., just to tell journalists that climate change wasn’t that big a deal is likely now to return to lead (or at least strongly influence) the environment committee of the U.S. Senate. As Sen. James Inhofe (R–Okla.) said at that time, in December 2009, he came to Copenhagen to “make sure that nobody is laboring under the misconception that the U.S. Senate is going to do something” about climate change. His thinking likely will not change by 2015; in fact, Inhofe has already decried the new U.S.–China climate agreement as a “nonbinding charade.”

Even though the U.S. is responsible for the largest share of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the country will not be able to take national legislative action on climate change anytime soon. Despite a president who avers that “those who are already feeling the effects of climate change don’t have time to deny it —they’re busy dealing with it,” the U.S. Congress seems content to let climate change languish as a priority. National climate action is already devolving into a fight over approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline that would enable more oil to flow from Canada’s tar sands and implementation of the Clean Power Plan, known to some as the “war on coal.” In fact, the likely new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R–Ky.) was reelected in part based on a platform reduced to a bumper sticker: “Coal. Guns. Freedom.”

As a result of similar complacency or intransigence around the globe, greenhouse gas pollution continues to rise and atmospheric concentrations have now touched 400 parts per million. Australia elected a climate skeptic as prime minister who promptly repealed its carbon tax—and pollution has promptly soared this year. In fact, the world has dawdled long enough that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now suggests that technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere will be required to prevent too much global warming this century.

But, believe it or not, action on climate change is taking place in the U.S. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” Pres. Barack Obama noted back in June 2013. So his administration has moved forward without Congress as a result, through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan and the new agreement to reduce pollution with China.

Here are seven solutions to global warming that are advancing and gathering steam in the U.S.—and around the world.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

GOP Unveils Immigration Plan: “Make America Somewhere No One Wants to Live”

A GOP immigration plan?
(photo: Alex Wong/Getty)

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, 20 November 14

enate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his party’s long-awaited plan on immigration on Wednesday, telling reporters, “We must make America somewhere no one wants to live.”

Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”

“For years, immigrants have looked to America as a place where their standard of living was bound to improve,” McConnell said. “We’re going to change that.”

Boehner said that the Republicans’ plan would reduce or eliminate “immigration magnets,” such as the social safety net, public education, clean air, and drinkable water.

The Speaker added that the plan would also include the repeal of Obamacare, calling healthcare “catnip for immigrants.”

Attempting, perhaps, to tamp down excitement about the plan, McConnell warned that turning America into a dystopian hellhole that repels immigrants “won’t happen overnight.”

“Our crumbling infrastructure and soaring gun violence are a good start, but much work still needs to be done,” he said. “When Americans start leaving the country, we’ll know that we’re on the right track.”

In closing, the two congressional leaders expressed pride in the immigration plan, noting that Republicans had been working to make it possible for the past thirty years.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

Advancing Resiliency: Competing for Innovative Investments


Published on Nov 17, 2014

Learn more at http://www.eesi.org/briefings/view/11…
Table of contents: http://youtu.be/U91jArGsnoA?t=15s

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing about programs and partnerships to develop innovative, effective approaches that maximize economic and social resiliency when investing public funds in local recovery and development.

Sam Carter
Associate Director for Resilience, Rockefeller Foundation
Download Slides: http://www.eesi.org/files/Samuel-Cart…
View Presentation: http://youtu.be/U91jArGsnoA?t=3m3s

Harriet Tregoning
Director, Office of Economic Resilience, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)
Download Slides: http://www.eesi.org/files/Harriet-Tre…
View Presentation: http://youtu.be/U91jArGsnoA?t=29m23s

Matthew Dalbey
Director, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Download Slides: http://www.eesi.org/files/Matthew-Dal…
View Presentation: http://youtu.be/U91jArGsnoA?t=49m19s

On September 17, HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience launched the National Disaster Resilience Competition, which will distribute $1 billion of HUD Disaster Recovery funds to aid recovery from prior disasters and improve future resilience. Projects to help communities recover from a disaster and make them more resilient will be eligible for grants ranging from $1 million to $500 million. In collaboration with the Rockefeller Foundation (RF), all eligible communities will have the opportunity to strengthen their proposals by attending Resilience Academies across the country. The academies are supported by RF, a non-governmental organization long at the forefront of helping improve community resiliency efforts around the world. The Resilience Academies will help communities maximize future long-term returns on public investments during and after the competition. Participation in these programs is limited to jurisdictions that were Presidentially-Declared Disaster Areas in 2011, 2012 or 2013—staggeringly that actually includes 48 states and 19 other jurisdictions.

Moreover, on October 23, the EPA invited communities to apply for technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities Program. This program will support the ability of communities to “increase resilience to natural disasters and strengthen the economy, while protecting human health and the environment.” Whether a community is investing to improve flood resilience or planning development in cities or rural areas, integrating resiliency requirements is critical to the ultimate success of the community’s efforts.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice