Latest Blogs

1 day 4 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - The UN Climate Conference of Parties, which took place over the last two weeks in Lima, Peru turned out to be quite a roller coaster ride. It began with soaring optimism in the wake of the recent agreement between US and China to take serious action, followed by a US pledge to add $3 billion to the International Climate Fund. That was on the heels of an EU announcement to cut their emissions by 40% below 1990 levels. Awareness of the issue seemed to be steadily growing as the World Meteorological Association announced that 2014 was on track to become the warmest year on record. It was a bit like a fundraiser, where some generous donor steps up with a big contribution, hoping to inspire others to do the same. Or so it seemed.

The talks at Lima were designed to set the stage with the draft of an agreement that would be finalized next year in Paris. But the drive towards meaningful action met with stiff resistance as disagreements between rich and poor nations took center stage as to how the required contributions from each should be computed and what kind of aid should be directed from the former to the latter in helping them to deal with the impacts. The talks bogged down for days at a time over the question of "common but differentiated" responsibility for rich and poor countries. How each country would present and assess their contribution before the Paris meeting was a key issue for these talks. While it’s true that industrialized countries, and the US in particular, have contributed most of the cumulative emissions, developing countries including China, India, and Mexico contribute more than half of all emissions today.

Negotiators, determined to reach an agreement, canceled their flights home and stayed on past the scheduled end date. In the end, some thirty hours into overtime, they did reach an accord in which all nations present, over 100 in all, agreed to outline a pledge to set targets in time for next year’s meeting in Paris. Chief US negotiator Todd Stern said it was a "good outcome and one that will get us started on the way to Paris.”

Coming out with an agreement that all participants signed onto was a moral victory of sorts, though it fell short of expectations. Many observers despaired of the fact that the text grew weaker as the talks went on. What had been hoped for was a tops-down plan that would arrive at carbon reduction levels based on the need to stay within the two degree temperature rise that has been cited as a kind of point of no return for the climate. Instead, the cuts will be generated in a bottoms-up process in which each country will cut what they think they can with no mechanism to ensure that the overall level does not exceed the allocated carbon budget. According to Oxfam, "The outcome here does little to break the world from a path to three degrees warming or higher."


2 days 19 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has got behind the ‘Clean India Movement’ and helped to clear up the Navlakhi Grounds in Vadodara, India. More than 250 Bombardier employees volunteered to help and urged the local people of Vadodara to help keep the grounds and city clean.


2 days 19 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Recently, there has been a story in the news that links low-paid workers including firefighters, teachers and other public sector employees in America to pensioners and single mothers in East London.


2 days 23 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Typical corporate sustainability programs drive change from the top down. The multinational company sets targets and standards for its global supply chain, and aims to improve sustainability down to the level of workers and farmers. However, there are large sections of population at the bottom rung that are not even a part of the mainstream supply chain, and remain excluded from the sustainability programs.


5 days 2 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Over the last two decades, support for sustainable agriculture and its acceptance within mainstream agriculture has grown significantly. Sustainable agriculture not only prioritizes environment and social welfare, but it also provides economically viable opportunities for growers, laborers, consumers and various others who are a part of the food system.


5 days 9 hours ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - We all know that it is difficult to get anything done in Washington these days, so it should be no surprise to learn that the latest spending bill is packed with disappointing compromises. Raising the limits on individual campaign contributions and relaxing regulations on the sale of credit default swaps and their ilk, is not likely to make life better for most Americans, though they will likely make for some champagne toasts among the Wall Street class, while the democratic process is further eroded.

More damaging, however, are those provisions that encourage the continued emission of greenhouse gases.  There are two that are particularly egregious; they might be called Christmas presents for polluters. It would seem that all of us got some coal in our stockings.

The first is a provision that overturns protections that restricted the use of US government funds for the construction of coal plants overseas. The bill would ease restrictions on financing through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank. The previous measure restricted financing to those projects that would be implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS), a technology that has been demonstrated to have the ability to pull carbon from the exhaust stream where it could be stored or sequestered, possibly in large underground rock formations. The technology, which could help mitigate atmospheric carbon levels, adds cost and reduces power output, so without a price on carbon or regulations like the one that this bill overturns, there would be little incentive for developers looking to produce power at the lowest possible cost, to implement it.

At a time when both the US and China are stepping up their commitments to address the problem, this is clearly a step backward. Says Friends of the Earth President, Erich Pica, “This undercuts one of the most important contributions President Obama has made to climate policy internationally.”


5 days 10 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) - Martini, the drink, may evoke nostalgic memories of easy-listening music and ​stylish lounges. But ​the brand's parent company, Bacardi, ​is ​​not dwelling in the past when it comes to sustainability​, having t​aken serious steps to tread more lightly on the planet​.​


5 days 17 hours ago

(3BL Media/Just Means) – Can you imagine getting waste materials such as wood, office and cardboard paper, organic waste, in short,​ any type of cellulose fiber, and turn it into a resilient​, super green ​material for a wide range of applications? Well,​ ​someone​ has​ ​ done ​just ​that and turned it into a successful business with clients such as Google and Whole Foods.


6 days 12 hours ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The petitions website, Change.org, empowers people globally by allowing them to create online petitions to press upon businesses and governments to act on issues that impact the society. Among the startups in Silicon Valley, Change.org commands a reputation of being a mission-driven organization, despite being a for-profit company.


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