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News Round Up: Things this week that got my attention

October 23, 2017

 

Local Features....Penn State football continues to roll and our Tailgate Ambassadors continue to make sure we are raising our recycling game as well; Paul Hawken is speaking about his new book Drawdown on Nov 14 and Penn State researchers search for better batteries.

 

Around the World

1. Internal carbon pricing becoming the new normal (GreenBiz and Bus Green)

According the to the CDP, 1,300 companies now have set an internal price on carbon and set up a carbon accounting system to award and penalize business units on their carbon. Why? They say it helps them track waste and prepares them for global carbon trading schemes, such as in China, and to respond to the Paris Agreement. What is an internal carbon price and why do it?

 

2. Meanwhile KPMG reports that "almost three quarters (72 percent) of large and mid-cap companies worldwide do not acknowledge the financial risks of climate change in their annual financial reports" in the new KPMG report The Road Ahead on corporate responsibility reporting

 

3. Starbucks Global Director of the Environment Rebecca Zimmer and others visited Penn State this past week.  I was impressed with their 99% sourcing of ethically sourced coffee and sustainability training program for 300,000 employees developed with ASU called Greener Apron (nice little video here from an employee)

 

4. From the inspirational category....Troubled By Flint Water Crisis, 11-Year-Old Girl Invents Lead-Detecting Device 

Gitanjali Rao, 11, was frustrated with the drinking water crisis, so she grabbed some ideas of MIT, talked her school into giving her lab space,

and created a better water testing device. The water crisis was an environmental justice case study as 41% of residents live below the poverty line and 56% of residents are African-American. The Rao was brave to wade into a controversial issue that directly impacted the lives of 1,700 residents in Flint, killed 12 people, led to a recent settlement of nearly $100 million. "The children will lead them"!

 

5. Environmental Activist wins prestigious Alexander Soros Award 

"Brazilian environmental and human rights activist Antônia Melo da Silva received the Alexander Soros Foundation Award earlier this month in recognition of her work organizing opposition to the Belo Monte dam and other infrastructure projects in the Amazon."

 

6. Loss of 3/4 of insects spells "ecological armageddon"

"The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for all landscapes dominated by agriculture, the researchers said."

 

Lynn Dicks at the University of East Anglia, UK: “It provides important new evidence for an alarming decline that many entomologists have suspected is occurring for some time.”

 

“If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate – about 6% per year – it is extremely concerning,” she said. “Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot. They pollinate flowers: flies, moths and butterflies are as important as bees for many flowering plants, including some crops. They provide food for many animals – birds, bats, some mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Flies, beetles and wasps are also predators and decomposers, controlling pests and cleaning up the place generally.”

 

7. Pollution killing more people than wars, disasters and hunger combined

"Pollution is killing more people than war and natural disasters, according to a report from medical journal The Lancet.

Almost 50 international researchers were involved in this two-year project. The results show pollution played a role in the deaths of one in six people in 2015."

 

 

 

8. Target Commits to New Climate Goals and 100% Renewable Energy

The retailer has committed that by 2020 it will:  source only organic cotton, use 100% renewable energy (including solar panels on 500 stores), drive water efficiency and support communities impacted by climate change. Target is also committed to the Science-Based Target Inititiative which defines "science-based target" as "targets adopted by companies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are considered 'science-based' if they are in line with the level of decarbonization required to keep global temperature increase below 2°C compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."

 

 

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