Taking Your Environmental Aspirations to Work

by kespeland on September 21, 2009

Reuters news service is reporting on some new research from HSBC, a global financial services firm:

“Global revenues from climate-related businesses such as energy efficiency rose by 75 percent in 2008 to $530 billion and could exceed $2 trillion by 2020, HSBC Global Research estimated on Friday.”

And for those savvy investors looking to maximize return in emerging markets, the story goes on to say:

“’The four core investment pillars will be low-carbon energy production, energy efficiency, control of water, waste and pollution and climate finance,’ the report said… ‘This is a very significant trend given the substantial share of climate stimulus funds that have been directed at energy efficiency and energy management by governments across the globe,’ HSBC analysts said.”

But could this trend represent anything more than the basic drive to take advantage of new sources of capital (e.g. stimulus funds) and make a healthy profit? Perhaps. Perhaps there are entreprenuers involved who relish the idea of making a difference while making some cash.

To wit: Last week I helped introduce a crowd of Louisvillians to the newly inaugurated Bluegrass Chapter of an organization called Net Impact. Its aim is essentially to help MBAs and business leaders use the power of business to solve social problems, whether that’s empowering a marketing assistant to launch a new recycling program at work or providing resources to a “social entrepreneur” who wants to start a business that puts disadvantaged youth to work. While I simply facilitated a conversation with its founder for an audience gathered at an event space at the Louisville Zoo, it’s clear there are many folks in town who believe that business can change the world. At least, one little bit at a time.

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RFK Jr. Helps Launch Green Housing, Jobs Partnership

by kespeland September 16, 2009

Environmental attorney Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. spoke to a crowd gathered today in the parking lot of Liberty Green, a new green affordable housing development east of downtown Louisville. Kennedy was on hand to help highlight a new federal, state, and city partnership to build more such housing, with the help of federal stimulus dollars and newly trained green collar workers.

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More Energy Efficiency Stimulus Funds for KY Cities

by kespeland September 16, 2009

Kentucky’s smaller cities and counties, as well as a small number of schools, will be the beneficiaries of the latest round of federal stimulus dollars aimed at improving energy efficiency. The state’s 10 largest cities and counties are already receiving direct grants from the government, so this grant of more than 10 million dollars will help fill the gap.

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Agriculture Could Play Key Role in KY Energy Future

by kespeland September 11, 2009

Agricultural and forestry leaders came together in Louisville this week to determine how their operations could help control the state’s greenhouse gas emissions as well as how they might contribute to Kentucky’s renewable energy goals. The University of Louisville’s Kentucky Renewable Energy Consortium organized the forum. And Consortium spokesman Cam Metcalf says participants realized the magnitude of the state’s energy needs.

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A Good Week for the Atmosphere

by kespeland May 22, 2009

Well, mostly. We did have air quality alerts here on Thursday and today (Friday), caused essentially by too many cars on the roads and high temperatures.

But on Capitol Hill, administrators and legislators alike made progress on curbing the kinds of emissions that can lead to those alerts.

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Climate Change Bill Moving Through Congress

by kespeland May 19, 2009

Kentucky leaders are watching the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill make its way through Congress.

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Obama Could Announce Fuel Efficiency Standards Tuesday

by kespeland May 18, 2009

Top news outlets, including the Associated Press, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that the Obama administration is poised to announce, possibly as early as Tuesday, a one-size-fits-all standard for fuel efficiency for all cars and light trucks by 2016.

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Green in the Spotlight on Capitol Hill This Week

by kespeland May 15, 2009

The U.S. House of Representatives is shining its legislative spotlight on the environment this week. House Democrats have been hashing out the details of the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill sponsored by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey (D-Mass.). The bill is the first climate change legislation to get environmentalists pretty excited.

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Appalachia Consumes More Energy than Other U.S Regions

by kespeland March 18, 2009

A new report commissioned by the Appalachian Regional Commission finds that nearly 80,000 new jobs could be created over the next 20 years if states in the region implement energy efficiency programs.

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Unclear How State Will Implement Energy Plan

by kespeland November 24, 2008

The plan proposes creating a Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. It would require 25 percent of Kentucky’s energy to come from some renewable sources but also from increased energy efficiency by the year 2025. Energy and Environment Cabinet secretary Len Peters says the emphasis will be on efficiency, and power plants will not be required to meet any particular target.

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