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World Water Week

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Courtesy of Stockholm International Water Institute

World Water Week - Green Blog Network

On the Water Front vol. 2 presents new analysis from global thought-leaders

New edition features 14 essays on water and water quality issues that build upon research presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm. 

On the Water Front vol. 2 offers a collection of the most innovative and important insights on water and water quality presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm. This compendium is a must-read for those interested in the latest knowledge, tools and strategies to resolve the planet’s most pressing water quality challenges.

World Water Week Announcement - Green Blog Network

Each of its chapters are authored by leading luminaries from science, business, and public policy and build upon research presented at the 2010 World Water Week in Stockholm, includingStockholm Water Prize Laureates Dr. Rita Colwell and Prof. Takashi Asano and have been edited and peer reviewed by the World Water Week Scientific Programme Committee.

Download it here to gain knowledge on how the public health sector will be impacted by climate change, the most potent policy cocktails to protect coastal waters, the best-practice solutions to wastewater reclamation and reuse, what the potential onset of peak water and peak phosphorus could mean to humanity, new ideas to mitigate the growing dangers of chemical and agricultural pollution to human and environmental health, and much more.


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Happy Thanksgiving from Global Green USA & Chance to Win Trip to San Francisco

[Message from Global Green USA] 

Dear Friend,

On behalf of everyone at Global Green USA, we’d like to wish you and your families a very Happy Thanksgiving.  We’d also like to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support to help ensure that we can continue to create green schools, affordable housing and climate friendly cities that are benefitting tens of thousands of families and children in Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Francisco, New York, Youngstown, Ohio and cities throughout the country.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about some of our 2010 successes and 2011 plans and inviting you to continue to be part of the Global Green extended family.

Right now, we also wanted to say thanks by sharing an exciting opportunity made possible by our board member Zem Joaquin.  Click here and enter for a chance to win an all expense paid VIP trip for two to GGUSA’s December 13th Gorgeous and Green Ecofashion Show.

Mad Men Contest Photo


If you are interested in more information or purchasing tickets to our Gorgeous & Green Event, please click HERE.

And there’s also still time to get tickets to our December 6th New York 11th Annual Sustainable Design Awards featuring Arianna Huffington, Adrian Grenier, One Tree Hill’s Sophia Bush and Good Morning America’s Sam Champion. Click HERE for more information.

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Green Is Good – Radio Interview Hotel Gavarni’s Xavier Moraga and Yahoo’s Christina Page

Hotel Gavarni’s Xavier Moraga and Yahoo!’s Christina Page – November 19, 2010

When Xavier Moraga began working at Paris’ upscale boutique Hotel Gavarni, he immediately began conceptualizing ways to green the legacy hotel. Today, the hotel is the first independent hotel in Paris to receive the European Ecolabel, a strict certification award for the greenest hotels in Europe.

Moraga was inspired to green his workplace following a trip along the Silk Road through Tibet. Seeing the ecological damage in the region really changed his entire mindset, even though he was raised to respect and conserve his environment.

“It takes teamwork,” Moraga says of Hotel Gavarni’s green status, which is reevaluated each and every year for European Ecolabel status. “Every person on the [Hotel Gavarni team] is really committed to making it green.”

Podcast: Play in new windowDownload (48.9MB)

Yahoo Christina Page Hotel Gavarnis Xavier Moraga and Yahoo!s Christina PageChristina Page, Director of Climate and Energy Strategy at Yahoo!, is tasked with reducing the footprint of a website network that serves more than 600 million users.

“We really ‘walk the talk’ as much as we possibly can,” Page says. “Yahoo! Green is the number one green-content website on the Web right now. There is great green content to be found on virtually all Yahoo! properties.”

Page has overseen Yahoo!’s data centers become increasingly more efficient. She claims that Yahoo!’s data centers are 40% more efficient than the competition, use 90% less water and cost far less than most others. The amount of water saved in Yahoo!’s eco-friendly data centers is enough to provide drinking water for approximately 200,000 people for a year.

Podcast: Play in new windowDownload (48.9MB)

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World Water Act – Please Watch Video Clip



Water for the World: New Video

The U.S. House of Representatives should be voting on H.R. 2030/S. 624, the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act, during its current “lame duck” session. This new Chronicles Group video presents the depth and dimension of the legislation:

The legislation is important to the world and the U.S. for moral and international security reasons because it presents an opportunity to bring water and sanitation to 100 million people. It would be greatly appreciated if you would widely circulate the video.


Thank you,

Jim Thebaut
The Chronicles Group



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How Can You Buy And Sell The Sky?

“We need to step out of our collective psychosis,” said Deepak Chopra, author and speaker at today’s Governor’s Global Climate Summit 3 taking place at the Mondavi Center, UC Davis in Northern California. “We are worried about the planet, but we should be worried about ourselves.”

He told the 1500 assembled delegates and attendees of the this sub-national and grassroots focused conference that a biologist had recently explained to him that were all the insects to disappear, the planet would collapse within five years; Were the human race to disappear from the planet, the Earth would flourish. He then introduced a film, Harmony, that is to air tonight on NBC, inspired and narrated by Charles, the Prince of Wales.  He left the podium quoting Chief Seattle’s letter to the president which includes the famous, rhetorical question, “how can you buy and sell the sky?” and reiterated the ancient teachings that the human body and the world are one, trees are but lungs.

But while the first morning of the Summit concluded on a spiritual note, it was mainly spent in discussing the need for a “Green Industrial Policy” and to define the specific direction to take the Green Energy Policy in.

Co-host Governor Schwarzenegger addressed the assembly and made it clear that the “green revolution is moving full speed ahead.” He stressed the bipartisan victory California enjoyed recently when it collectively and overwhelmingly said “No” to Proposition 23 which sought to gut the state’s landmark global solutions act, AB 32.

George Shultz, a veteran of Ronald Reagan’s cabinet shared his memories of his first cabinet position under Eisenhower. Back then, he said, Eisenhower had advised him that if the nation imported more than 20% of its oil we were “asking for trouble.” Sure enough, he recalled, two years later we had the first Arab oil embargo.

Gov. Schwarzenegger at the GGCS3 at UC Davis, Mondavi Center.

“How many times do you have to get hit on the head with a 2×4 before you decide to take action?” asked George Shultz.

Harrison Ford took the stage after the Governor, easily following in the footsteps of Climate Action Hero.  He has been a long supporter of and spokesperson for Conservation International whose main message at the summit is the carbon cost of deforestation. “Sixteen percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions is created from deforestation. That’s more than all the buses, cars, trucks on the planet combined,” said Ford.

The other speakers, including Linda Adams, California Secretary of Environmental Protection, could hardly keep the “cat in the bag” until tomorrow’s official announcement about R20, an organization incorporated in Geneva, Switzerland, which is to be a “green investment program,” said Linda Adams, secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency. It is intended to match investors from the World Bank and private corporations with local governments in developing and industrialized countries to accelerate alternative-energy projects. Adams added that today was a day to celebrate…to celebrate the victory for Mother Earth. “Protecting the environment protects our way of life…clean air, clean water, livable neighborhoods, walkable streets…”.

As Ford explained it, “it will lay the tracks for the world’s first compliance market for global deforestation activity.” In other words, the developing nations will have as much economic incentive to protect the environment as they do now to strip their forests and sell the raw resources.

Focus is also towards COP 16 taking place in the next few weeks in Cancun, Mexico. The Summit provides an opportunity for states and provinces to partner with and influence the position of their national governments leading up to the United Nations COP 16 conference. The GGCS3 is in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Environment Programme and co-sponsored by UC Davis.

“The politics of climate change have challenged the science, so it is critical that universities like UC Davis – with 21st century research and development units – uncover and deliver the facts so that the world’s opinions can flow from there,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.

Schwarzenegger added that last year’s Global Climate Summit was held in Los Angeles, the “entertainment capital of the world,” and this year the summit is being held at UC Davis, the “environmental research capital of the world.”

Shultz had praise for British Columbia’s Gordon Campbell and his model of a revenue neutral carbon tax, saying “It’s a good idea to create a level playing field for all sources of energy.”

Campbell emphasized that 90% B.C.’s energy is clean energy sourced meaning carbon neutral or no carbon. He continued by saying he was of the same mind as Gov. Schwarzenegger in reaching across borders on issues of climate action and energy. “We’re happy to share our clean energy with our friends, across the border.”  Campbell rounded up his panel address by saying that the way we move forward is in public-private partnerships. He concluded with a quote from Churchill, “Never, never, never give up. It’s too important.”

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Climate News Round Up From ISIS

The two stories below are taken from this week’s News Scan which is a weekly summary of the major climate-change related science, technology, and policy advances of direct relevance to the B.C. provincial and the Canadian federal governments and more generally to businesses and civil society. The News Scan focuses on cutting edge climate issues and solutions gathered by the fellows and faculty of ISIS, a research centre at the Sauder School of Business, in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS). Access to some referenced articles may require a journal subscription or purchase of the article, and appropriate links are provided for this purpose.

Fleet operators pushing toward ‘green’

June 12, 2010. Owners of many of the USA’s largest commercial fleets are experimenting with alternative-fuel vehicles, driven in part by tougher federal and state emissions rules and in part by the recession and uncertain fuel prices. One example is telecommunications giant AT&T, which is in the early stages of a 10-year, US$565 million initiative to replace more than 15,000 vehicles (of its total 77,000) with more fuel-efficient models, including those powered by compressed natural gas or other alternative fuels. Wal-Mart is also testing diesel-electric hybrid trucks and is retrofitting 15 trucks to run on reclaimed waste cooking grease collected from its stores, while the United Parcel Service (UPS) has 2000 vehicles (of its 100,000 global force) running on alternative fuels. The trucking industry is an important contributor to greenhouse gases in the US: the transportation sector (including non-commercial) accounts for 28 percent of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Key to these companies’ emissions-reducing strategies, according to UPS, is a diversified approach to new technologies for reducing fleet emissions.

The trend in the US toward experimentation for greening trucking fleets has strong implications for BC: the province’s transport GHG emissions constitute 36% of total emissions. The BC government has a number of transport emissions reductions initiatives, including education and tax incentives and mandatory emissions testing. In addition BC will implement a low carbon fuel standard, based on California’s standards, although some have criticized the standard because of possible environmental loopholes that may affect its total environmental efficacy. Comprehensive policy to support the emerging trend of alternative fuels to reduce transport emissions, both in Canada and the US, will help spur BC companies such as Westport that provide technological solutions to economically lower GHG outputs of trucking fleets. Read MORE On statesman

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Clean Tech In B.C.

Clean tech in BC

By Florian Guhr Axel Schaefer  

In the summer of 2009, the National Research Council of Canada and the Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation at the Sauder School of Business conducted an industry survey with the purpose of defining the needs of BC clean energy companies. 61 entities, including clean energy companies, research institutes, investors and associations responded to this survey.

The clean energy technology companies showed a promising picture with their ability to develop and market innovative technologies to global customers, but most are still relatively young and are working to become established in the market.  Focused on the evolving clean energy markets of North America, Europe and Asia, such companies are at the heart of BC’s green economy – an industry that accounted for about $8.8 billion in provincial GDP in 2008, accounting for 3.1% and 71,734 green economy jobs in total.[1] Since clean technology is not easily defined, these numbers can vary according to the definition. The target of the survey was clean technology companies with can be divided into the following groups: distributed power generation, clean transportation, bio energy, clean transportation and remediation.

Even during this time of economic recession, clean technology is said to have the potential to be one of the first industries to recover. BC’s greatest advantage as a clean energy hub is its abundance of energy resources, a skilled work force and the capabilities of its research institutions. Major disadvantages include the lack of access to capital and the absence of tax incentives which forces most of the companies interviewed to finance their R&D through their operational cash flow. The survey showed that financial aid, export aid and support for faster commercialization pathways are a high priority for these companies.

BC’s clean energy technology companies have felt the impact of the global economic slow down and are struggling to find funding sources and industry partners to build demonstration projects in the first place.  Through initiatives, such as the BC clean energy technology cooperative BC CETC and the UBC – CIRS, BC’s clean energy companies have opportunities to outsource parts of their technology development which allows for increased resources and focus on the commercial side of their activities. Other groups such as Cleanworks BC and the Cleantech CEO alliance focus on the promotion of BC’s clean tech strengths to the international markets. These opportunities allow for added freedom and a faster development cycle through the use of experts in clean energy technology fields. Cost and resource savings as well as reduced time to market will help BC’s clean energy companies to increase market shares, revenues and create new green jobs and services and help BC to move into a modern clean energy economy. BC, which already has an abundance of resources for renewable energy and research, is moving steadily in the direction of becoming a clean tech hub in North America.


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The West Is The Best

The West is the Best? Leaking carbon from the patchwork quilt

By Adam Bumpus Mar 24, 2010

A patchwork of climate regulation may be a way forward in the wake of COP15 and the US rejection of economy wide cap and trade at the federal level. Individual systems must be joined or harmonized across space to avoid leakage in the gaps.

Movements at the federal level in the US have shown that a nationwide cap and trade system – recently thought to be virtually inevitable – is “dead”, in the words of Senator Graham, a proponent of a new climate bill (see here). The senate simply did not have enough political votes in favour of cap and trade for nationwide regulation to pass. As we saw in Copenhagen (see here), the binding agreements that cover countries and societies that are economically linked are hard to come by. There are too many interests that pull such complex negotiations toward stalemates, even though the multinational companies that link many of these economies may be helped by comprehensive climate policy (see here). Instead, we end up with a variety of regional initiatives that create regulations in one area, none in another and, at the moment, are not harmonized to create comprehensive coverage. The patchwork quilt of carbon reductions has some distinctly large gaps in it.

While DC figures out what a comprehensive climate bill might look like, regional efforts continue apace, defining emissions reductions and placing a price on carbon. The Western Climate Initiative signed by independent jurisdictions, states, provinces and Native Sovereign Nations (see here) aims to put a price on carbon by 2012 with its own cap and trade system. It will be four times bigger than any existing cap and trade systems in the US (see here). Good news: pretty comprehensive cover for these jurisdictions: reducing emissions and spurring the green economy.

Western Climate Initiative connects into the eastern electricity markets and creates opportunities for carbon leakage.

But, recent WCI analysis has pointed to the fact that because of the way WCI jurisdictions in the East (see attached picture) trade electricity with the Eastern states (Eastern Interconnection), an increase in the price of carbon in WCI jurisdictions (and therefore short term electricity prices), means fewer electricity exports (see here). Therefore non-WCI electricity generation and carbon emissions go up. This is known as leakage (emissions ‘leak’ out of an area not covered by regulation). However, if the WCI jurisdiction places an energy import tariff (what is called in the report: FJD, First Jurisdictional Deliverer) on non-WCI energy (i.e. east to west electricity), leakage is reduced because non-WCI energy becomes less competitive to import. Interestingly, the reductions in non-WCI emissions weren’t affected by the amount of the tariff – as long as it was there, leakage would be reduced, but never eliminated. Where there is a price on CO2 allowances in the WCI, even import tariffs won’t eliminate increased emissions in the East. As the study shows, the best way to reduce overall emissions is by linking with other regulatory schemes (such as the RGGI, MGGRA – see here for overview), or a federal system that places a price on carbon everywhere. >>> READ MORE HERE >>>

Adam Bumpus is pursuing Advanced Research Work with the distinguished Sauder School of Business UBC.

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