Day: July 25, 2011

Webinar: Energy Efficiency and Job Creation Through Innovative Finance Policies

Energy Efficiency and Job Creation Through Innovative Finance Policies
Wednesday, July 27, 2011, 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m EDT/2:00 p.m CT/1:00 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. PT
Register at https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/132151310
Questions? Contact Jacquelyn Pless (Jacquelyn.Pless@ncsl.org)

In a time when states are facing falling revenues, high unemployment, and high energy costs, energy efficiency projects are a good means to save state governments, businesses and consumers on energy costs, while creating jobs. Although some states have seen large returns through investments in energy efficient buildings and building retrofits, a lack of viable financing options in many states has created a barrier to widespread implementation. This webinar will explore state energy efficiency financing policies, including on-bill financing. It will highlight specific state case studies and look at the reasons behind their success or failure.

Cal-Adapt: Exploring California’s Climate Change Research

Cal-Adapt has been designed to provide access the wealth of data and information that has been, and continues to be, produced by the State’s scientific and research community.  The data available in this site offer a view of how climate change might affect California at the local level. Here you can work with visualization tools, access data, and participate in community sharing to contribute your own knowledge.

Policy Options for Reducing Energy Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from U.S. Transportation

Download the report.

This report examines U.S. transportation’s consumption of petroleum fuels and the public interest in reducing this consumption to enhance national energy security and help control emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHGs).

Energy-Efficient Buildings Can Be Hazardous To Health

Buildings that are being weatherized and made energy-efficient and air tight can be hazardous to one’s health, according to a new Institute of Medicine (IOM) report. The report, Climate Change, the Indoor Environment, and Health, prepared by a committee chaired by Harvard School of Public Health’s (HSPH) John Spengler, recommends that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensure that building weatherization and energy-efficiency efforts not generate new indoor health issues or worsen existing air quality. Among concerns cited are energy-efficiency updates (retrofits) of older buildings, use of untested or risky upgrades, and other alterations that could generate mold-causing dampness, poor ventilation, excessive temperatures, and emissions from building materials that may contribute to health problems.

“America is in the midst of a large experiment in which weatherization efforts, retrofits and other initiatives that affect air exchange between the indoor and outdoor environments are taking place, and new building materials and consumer products are being introduced indoors with relatively little consideration as to how they might affect the health of occupants,” Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation at HSPH, said in an IOM press release. “Experience suggests that some of the effects could be negative. An upfront investment to consider the consequences of these actions before they play out and to avoid problems where they can be anticipated will yield benefits in health and in averted costs of medical care, remediation, and lost productivity.”

The report was written at the request of the EPA, which asked the IOM to summarize current scientific understanding of the effects of climate change on indoor air and public health, and to offer priorities for action.

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Lessons from the Atlanta Metropolitan Region: Summary of a Workshop

Read/download the full report.

The U.S. population is more than 80 percent urban. Recognizing that many metropolitan areas in the United States have been experimenting with various approaches to sustainability, and that despite the differences among regions, there are likely some core similarities and transferable knowledge, Roundtable members selected the metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia region as a case study. The Atlanta region provided a compelling example for exploring urban sustainability issues because of the region’s rapid growth rate, well-documented challenges with water, land use, and transportation; and its level of engagement with federal government agencies on matters related to sustainability.

Pathways to Urban Sustainability: Lessons from the Atlanta Metropolitan Region: Summary of a Workshop explores the Atlanta region’s approach to urban sustainability, with an emphasis on building evidence based foundation upon which policies and programs might be developed. The two day workshop held on September 30 and October 1, 2010 examined how the interaction of various systems (natural and human systems; energy, water and transportations systems) affect the region’s social, economic, and environmental conditions. The intent of this workshop summary is to analyze a metropolitan region so that researchers and practitioners can improve their understanding of the spatial and temporal aspects of urban sustainability.

UK: Low carbon transport to airports project report

Via Docuticker.

Source: Department for Transport (UK)

Aim:

The aim of the Low Carbon Transport to Airports (LCTA) project was to look for options to increase the proportion of passengers and staff travelling to airports using low carbon transport.

The project focussed on:

• Initiatives which promote better use of existing public transport networks.

• Initiatives which encourage more carbon efficient private journeys through:– reduced journeys per passenger; and – reduced emissions per journey.

• New public transport services, not including major infrastructure.Our initial focus was on the six largest passenger airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Luton, Birmingham and Manchester) with the aim of producing recommendations that could eventually be applied at airports across the UK.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 41 KB)

Cambridge Journals celebrates success with free online access

Cambridge Journals is celebrating recent achievements by making all its online journals content from 2009 and 2010 free for six weeks.

Cambridge has enjoyed accelerating success in recent years with increasing numbers of journals published, improved impact factors and multiple enhancements made to Cambridge Journals Online (CJO). Usage has significantly increased with the digitisation of new and archive content, and more people are now able to access Cambridge Journals than ever before. Currently over 1.3 million articles are downloaded from CJO every month.

To celebrate these successes, and to reach out to new customers, Cambridge Journals has announced that it is making all online content published during 2009 and 2010 free between 15th July and 30th August 2011.

During the trial, the Cambridge Journals team will also be looking for feedback to help shape the future of the service. The Cambridge Journals Online (CJO) website is continually developing, informed by consultation with key customers in the academic and library communities. Users will be encouraged to give their feedback on CJO and content, to ensure the service keeps on developing according to their needs.

Simon Ross, Global Director of Cambridge Journals, says: “Cambridge Journals forms one of the most important bodies of academic research material available in the world today, and we have recently seen massive growth in the number of people using and accessing our journals. We are celebrating this success with our loyal customers, and providing new customers with an opportunity to see what Cambridge Journals have to offer. We encourage anyone with an interest in serious academic research to go onto CJO and have a look around.”

To access the free articles, go to: http://journals.cambridge.org

Executives Have Eye on Sustainability, But Struggle to Act

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Sustainability is on the radar of many public equity firms, but they are also daunted by the meaning of sustainability, how to get policies and programs started, and who should be in charge of such issues.

Best Practices for Sustainable Wind Energy Development in the Great Lakes Region

Download the document. From the introduction:

Wind energy offers the opportunity to generate electricity in a way that has environmental and economic advantages over conventional power generation sources. These include providing local and regional jobs and revenue, increased energy independence, price stability, potential cost savings, as well as significant water use savings and reductions in air pollution emissions. The opportunity to reap these benefits in the Great Lakes region is particularly good due to the region’s outstanding wind resources, both on land and over the Great Lakes. For these reasons, wind is also likely to continue to play a leading role in achieving state and provincial renewable energy goals.

However, wind energy, like all energy development, has impacts. The challenge is to understand those impacts and make decisions with the best information available to maximize the positive impacts while minimizing the negative ones. The best practices described in this document are intended to give policymakers, regulators, developers and community leaders useful tools and critical information they need to make well-informed decisions about wind energy development.

 

10 action times for your sustainability strategy, ala ‘Green to Gold Playbook’

Read the full post at SmartPlanet.

Most businesses have become convinced of their need to act with sustainability in mind, but how do you make sure that strategy results in competitive advantage? That’s the knowledge that “The Green to Gold Business Playbook,”seeks to impart.

The tome is a follow-up to the bestseller “Green to Gold,” which makes the case for why businesses should adopt a sustainability strategy in the first place. It was written by Daniel Esty, a Yale University professor and director of the Center for Business and the Environment at the school, and P.J. Simmons, chairman of the Corporate Eco Forum, a network of Global 500 executives interest in sharing best practices about corporate sustainability and eco-innovation. So, that should give you an idea of where the ideas in the book originate.

Because this sort of thing can be overwhelming (after all, this is a 440-page book with all the indexes and such), I thought it would be useful to provide the authors’ top 10 Action Items. The themes here provide the construct for the rest of the book, so you have an idea of where you’ll be pointed.

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