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Communications and Messaging

Could High-Efficiency Homes Turn a Mortgage Backed Security Into a Green Bond?

October 9, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

Could mortgage backed securities (MBS), backed by loans for high-efficiency houses, be the "impact investment" many investors are seeking as a way to fund America's clean energy future? If so, the MBS, the "toxic asset" of the 2008 financial crises, could become a virtuous "green bond."[read more]

Center for Carbon Removal: Beyond Mitigation in a 2C World

October 9, 2015 by Tom Schueneman

Carbon Removal

Later this year ministers, scientists, diplomats and heads of state from more than 190 countries will convene in Paris for COP 21 with the ambitious goal of adopting a binding international treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions from human activity. The enormity of that task can be distilled to one number: two.[read more]

A World-Wide Climate Agreement by the End of 2015

October 8, 2015 by Henry Auer

A Real International Climate Agreement?

Nations around the world are filing notice of their proposed contributions for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the next 10-15 years, or more. This is being done ahead of the next (21st) United Nations “Conference of the Parties” (COP) that convenes starting the end of November 2015.[read more]

Are the Benefits to the Weatherization Assistance Program's Energy Efficiency Investments Four Times the Costs?

October 8, 2015 by Meredith Fowlie

The urgency of climate change demands solutions that work. So, a clear-eyed assessment of how well policies and programs perform is critical, no matter the results. Using rigorous evidence to inform policy design and implementation is the only way to ensure that we effectively confront climate change.[read more]

3 Ways Public Dollars Can Embrace Risk, Catalyze Emerging Market Clean Energy

October 7, 2015 by Justin Guay

Energy Investment Risk and Public Funding

It's easy to feel as though clean tech is an unstoppable juggernaut when you see unfathomably large clean energy targets in emerging markets like India. But unless those of us with mandates that go beyond making money embrace risk we could strand the development of important clean tech markets.[read more]

The Papal Encyclical and Climate Change Policy

October 6, 2015 by Robert Stavins

Coral Davenport, writing in the New York Times, was the first in the press to note that the encyclical on the environment released by Pope Francis, with tremendous praise from diverse quarters, “is as much an indictment of the global economic order as it is an argument for the world to confront climate change.”[read more]

President Hillary Clinton Will Oppose Crude Oil Exports

October 5, 2015 by Robert Rapier

Let’s take a look at Hillary’s energy proposals. Her energy policy proposals have been rife with pandering and flip-flops. Of course they all do it to some extent. John McCain wasn’t above it, flip-flopping on ethanol and pandering by proposing a cut in gasoline taxes leading up to the election.[read more]

How Shale Reduced U.S. Energy Risks from Hurricanes

October 2, 2015 by Geoffrey Styles

Hurricane Risk and Energy Resources

Just in time for the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina last month, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on the reduced vulnerability of US energy supplies to Atlantic hurricanes, as a result of the energy shifts of the last decade.[read more]

India Commits to Accelerate Clean Energy and Climate Action, Clearing Path to Paris Climate Talks

October 2, 2015 by NRDC Switchboard

India and Climate Talks

Signaling a commitment to fight climate change, India submitted its targets as a part of the Paris climate agreement. India committed to reduce its emissions intensity by 33 to 35% from 2005-levels by 2030, a long-term commitment to curb its GHG emissions under the UNFCCC.[read more]

Community Solar: PV for the Rest of Us

October 2, 2015 by Coley Girouard

Community Solar and Local Energy

More and more, across the U.S., consumers want access to solar energy. However, only 13.5% of homes have rooftops suitable for solar. In what many are hailing as the solution - community solar - the remaining 86.5% of households could benefit from solar power as if the panels were installed on their homes.[read more]

Low Oil Prices: Why Worry?

October 1, 2015 by Gail Tverberg

Oil Prices and Economic Anxiety

Most people believe that low oil prices are good for the United States, since the discretionary income of consumers will rise. There is the added benefit that Peak Oil must be far off in the distance, since “Peak Oilers” talked about high oil prices. Thus, low oil prices are viewed as an all around benefit.[read more]

Sorry Environmentalists, Shell's Arctic Decision is All About the Money

September 30, 2015 by Cutler Cleveland

Shell and Arctic Drilling

Environmentalists can hardly contain themselves with news that Royal Dutch Shell abandoned oil exploration in the Alaskan Arctic for “the foreseeable future.” To be sure, the oil companies are under tremendous pressure to keep carbon “in the ground.” But that is not what triggered Shell’s decision.[read more]

Building a Global Climate Agreement that Will Work: Country Action by All Major Emitters

September 30, 2015 by Jake Schmidt

Global Cimate Emissions and Reductions

Almost 20 years ago opponents to climate action ran advertising campaigns throughout the US with the tagline "it's not global and it won't work". This framing still seems to pop up from policymakers and companies that want to deny the need for climate action.[read more]

Pope Francis Urges Action on Climate in His U.S. Visit

September 29, 2015 by Henry Auer

Pope Francis and Climate Policy

Pope Francis's recent visit to the United States addressed the issue of global warming as a worldwide concern on several occasions. He stressed that we have to begin now, acting in concert, to stabilize the planet and improve our common home, the earth in its entirety.[read more]

Volkswagen Needs to Adopt 21st Century Sustainability Management

September 29, 2015 by Steven Cohen

Volkswagen's deliberate and systematic effort to violate clean air rules is a shameful scandal, but it is also an example of management incompetence. Like BP's inability to manage its drilling contractors in the Gulf of Mexico, it is an example of massive and predictable management failure.[read more]