Nick Engelfried

Nick Engelfried

Posts by This Writer

8 years 8 months ago

For years the sustainable business of solar energy has been regarded in the US as an environmentally attractive but relatively expensive energy option, likely to remain much more expensive than fossil fuel based energy for quite some time. However that may be changing, as the price of solar installations continues to drop. Meanwhile fossil fuels like coal and oil are likely to grow more expensive over the long term—though a certain amount of fluctuation in prices is inevitable. A newly released report confirms that in 2009 the price of installing solar power in the US reached a record low. The...


8 years 8 months ago

California may be doing more than any other US state so far to reduce dependence on fossil fuel energy and emissions. This week California yet again took great strides toward a low-carbon economy, cracking down on carbon emissions while also moving to ensure fossil fuels are replaced with renewable power sources. On Thursday as I’ve written previously, the state Air Resources Board approved one of the first cap and trade programs for reducing carbon emissions in the United States. But state regulators also took an important step Wednesday, when the California...


8 years 8 months ago

Roughly four years after passing one of the most important state climate bills in the United States, California is moving forward to implement a program that will reduce carbon emissions contributing to climate change. This week the state government unveiled important details about how AB 32, the state climate bill, will be implemented. Starting in 2012, most major polluters in California will participate in a “cap and trade” program that uses market incentives to gradually facilitate a shift to clean energy sources.

When Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 into law in 2006, the bill included a mandate that state regulators develop a cap and trade...


8 years 8 months ago

This past weekend at the second annual Japan-Arab Economic Forum, the governments of Japan and Tunisia formally sealed a deal to collaborate on a sustainable business project that takes advantage of Tunisia’s ample solar resources. Together the two countries will be building a solar power plant in the Sahara desert, which is rapidly becoming a hot spot for some of the most innovative solar power projects in the world. This is an encouraging sign that Japan, like neighboring countries such as South Korea and China, is serious about expanding its involvement in...


8 years 8 months ago

Consistent with the predictions of climate change scientists, 2010 has been a year of extreme and unusual weather on both a national and global scale. To be sure not every storm, flood, and wildfire this year can be attributed to buildup of carbon emissions in the atmosphere, but the overall pattern of record-setting and out of the ordinary weather events has just been too obvious to ignore. Yet while the media delights in covering the details of individual extreme weather events, most mainstream sources have failed to make an obvious connection: an increase in extreme weather is right in line with the predictions of climate scientists, and should be attributed...


8 years 8 months ago

If you think sustainable business is a trend confined to industrialized countries, or that wind and solar power is too expensive to take off in the developing world, it’s time to think again. The sustainable investor network Ceres reported this week that for the first time ever, the developing world is on-track to install more wind energy capacity than industrialized countries this year. All told, developing countries will install more than 22,000 megawatts of wind this year, laying the foundation for growing low-carbon economies.

According to Ceres, some of the countries making the most significant...


8 years 8 months ago

In the final hours of last year’s international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, the United States and other major economies drafted a non-binding agreement that calls for limiting the increase in global temperatures to no more then two degrees Celsius. Yet while many negotiators hoped this “Copenhagen accord” would at least allow discussion about deep cuts in greenhouse gases to continue, the countries most vulnerable to climate change are warning a two degree rise in temperatures spells doom for their nations. At this month’s climate meetings in Cancun, small island nations have been urging the world to limit set its sites on raising global...


8 years 8 months ago

Few observers expect this month’s international climate change negotiations in Cancun, Mexico to produce the kind of strong, binding climate treaty that will eventually be needed to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gases. However it does seem realistic to think countries could come to agreement on one of the critical (and theoretically easier) elements of such a deal: curbing carbon emissions by protecting the planet’s forest cover....


8 years 8 months ago

As this month’s international climate negotiations unfold in Cancun, Mexico, more than twenty nonprofits and faith groups devoted to environmental and social issues have called on the Obama administration to honor a pledge made by industrialized countries last year to help the developing world adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. At last year’s climate meetings in Copenhagen, industrialized nations including the United States promised to raise $100 billion per year to devote to this cause by the year 2020.

Yet with a new Congress coming to...


8 years 8 months ago

As I described Friday, a representative of Peabody Energy recently said, “We believe that energy poverty is the world's top priority, putting people first, not climate change.” I’ve already showed in a previous post why statements like this, which try to pit environmental concerns against poverty-reduction goals, are wrong-headed and hypocritical. Right on cue, a newly-released report has made it even clearer that trying to separate climate change from human welfare creates a false dichotomy—the reason being that low-income countries and populations will suffer...


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