Policy and Advocacy
The ‘green’ business sector and the environment just had a huge win! U.S. President-elect Obama recently announced Hilda Solis as the newly appointed Secretary of the Labor Department.
The current California congresswoman is a member of the House environment and commerce committee as well as the House select committee on energy independence and global warming. One of Solis’s biggest achievements has been the Green Jobs Act of 2007.
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama solidified his environmental team this week, naming leading experts and veteran Environmental Protection Agency officials to top posts. The top cabinet position -- energy secretary -- was given to Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu, who specializes in the study of solar energy and is the first Nobel winner to be named to a U.S. Cabinet post.
The Obama administration is making quick strides in appointing personnel with an eye for green solutions ahead of next month's inauguration. The League of Conservation Voters called Obama's Environmental and Energy staff a "green dream team."
"We're not having to bang down the door at the Obama administration," said Melinda Pierce, deputy legislative director for the Sierra Club.
The 14th conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change concluded today in Poznan, Poland. After 12 days of negotiations the groundwork is laid out for important goals to be reached in hopes of ratifying a significant climate treaty at next year's convention in Copenhagen.
The way is "now clear" to sign a global climate agreement in 2009, Live Earth Co-founder and Nobel-winning former U.S. Vice President Al Gore said in an inspiring plenary presentation to the conference (see video below).
December 6th is the Global Day of Action, a chance for us all to step up, generate and acknowledge climate change demonstrations.
The goal is to coordinate synchronized events around the world to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change.
Nearly 100 countries are participating in this year's Global Day of Action. To find out how you can participate, click on your country on the left side of Global Climate Campaign's website. Or watch and share these videos made specifically for this day:
Snow sports are taking a big hit from the effects of global warming and now, enthusiasts are taking a stand and addressing the problem at the UN climate talks. At a WWF action outside the conference in Poznan, snowboarders performed a series of tricks as a way to express their support for action against rising temperatures.
Poznan, Poland is the place to be this week. The first solar car to travel around the world ended it voyage here, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference is occurring.
The vehicle drove 32,000 miles without a drop of petrol; instead, it used the sun's energy caught by a trailer of solar cells. The noiseless car traveled up to 55 mph and covered around 185 miles on a fully charged battery.
Watch the video:
Below you'll find five top executives who have decided to adopt "an ecological responsible agenda." Their turnaround is incredibly inspiring and proves that both small and large business owners can change their focus and go green.
- Ray Anderson: After 20 years, Anderson made a u-turn within Interface and implemented intensive recycling programs, turned to energy-efficient computer controlled boilers, used corn to create carpet, and utilized solar and wind power. Talk about a reversal in attitude!
- Sir Richard Branson: Thanks to Al Gore, billionaire Branson is now aware of the climate crisis and has decided to create Virgin Fuels/ the Virgin Green Fund). Currently, the Fund is investing in companies that work in biofuels, desalination plants, energy efficient lighting and solar power.
Plenty's chief editor, Mark Spellun, sat down with RFK, Jr. during the Waterkeeper Aliiance's Eco-Salon series.
The 14th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) kicked off in Poznan, Poland today.
- Advance understanding and commonality of views on "shared vision" for a new climate change regime
- Strengthen commitment to the Partnership for Climate
Al Gore introduced a five point plan that "…would simultaneously move us toward solutions to the climate crisis and the economic crisis--and create millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced," at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. Gore claims that the two major crisis’s we currently face can be alleviated through the same steps:
- Incentives for construction of concentrating solar-thermal power plants in the southwest, wind farms in the Midwest, and plants in geothermal "hot spots."
- A $400 billion investment over 10 years to build a "national smart grid" to distribute renewable energy.
- Aid to automakers to convert to the production of plug-in hybrids. Smart-grid technology that enables the cars to be charged during off-peak hours.
- A nationwide effort to retrofit buildings, which account for 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, to be more energy-efficient.
- Climate regulations to cap carbon dioxide emissions.
After two standing ovations, Al Gore left the crowd feeling inspired and empowered because he not only gave us hope that we can get out of this crisis but we will do it unified as a country. Gore reiterated the plan in a New York Times op-ed. Watch the video of Gore's keynote at the Summit below: