Tag Archives: CDP

US Mayors Are Working Diligently On Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

By Carolyn Fortuna, CleanTechnica

If you were a mayor of a US city, what would you be doing to convert your municipality to renewable energy? What energy efficiency measures would you pursue? If you and other mayors are working to achieve a zero emissions community currently, what obstacles stand in your way from achieving these goals?

A recent report,Leveraging New Technologies to Modernize Infrastructure and Improve Energy Efficiency in America’s Cities,” provides timely information on how mayors are working in the US to incorporate energy technologies and infrastructure improvements. Continue reading here.

Photo: Lincoln, Nebraska is among the participating cities. See page 16 of the report. 

ELECTRIC VEHICLES & CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

UNION PACIFIC NEWS

Union Pacific Railroad Works to Cut Its Carbon Emissions, U.S. News & World Report

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Union Pacific railroad plans to expand its use of renewable fuels and explore using battery-powered locomotives in the coming years to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company said Monday that it plans to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases 26% by 2030 when compared to its 2018 levels. Photo Credit: Union Pacific

NEW APP

Caremiles App Helps Drivers Calculate Vehicles’ Climate Impact, CleanTechnica

One way to find out how your car — whether it’s an EV or not — is impacting the environment is by looking into the caremiles app. This is a new app with a focus on helping drivers calculate their personal vehicles’ impact on the climate. And with every mile tracked, caremiles plants a tree. I had a chance to interview caremiles founder Kashif Sohail and asked him a few questions.

ENERGY STORAGE

US installs record 3,515 MWh of energy storage in Q3, Renewables Now

Wood Mackenzie projects that up to 4.7 GW of utility-scale storage will become operational in 2021.“The pace of energy storage installations will continue breaking records for years to come, particularly once Congress enacts an ITC [investment tax credit] for energy storage.”   Jason Burwen, interim chief executive of the US Energy Storage Association.
Image Credit: Portland General Electric

ALSO IN THE NEWS

Grid stability and 100% renewables, PV Magazine

New research from Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson seeks to remove any doubts about grid stability in a world powered entirely by renewable energy. The latest study models 100% wind, water and solar powered grids across the United States, finding no risk of blackouts in any region and also broad benefits in cost reduction, job creation and land use. NPPD Photo

FEATURED WEBINAR RECORDING

Benefits of Scaling Local Solar and Storage

In this Clean Energy States Alliance webinar, Local Solar for All’s Karl Rabago discussed how advanced utility planning modeling shows that scaling local distributed energy resources (DERs) can lead to a least-cost clean grid. Using Vibrant Clean Energy’s sophisticated WIS:dom®-P utility planning model, Local Solar for All recently released a study that examines how DERs can support decarbonizing the grid by 2035. Photo Credit: Fresh Energy

An Urgent Call To High-Emitting Sectors: It’s Time For Climate Action

Contributed by Mindy Lubber, Forbes 

If we want to avert the most catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis, we will need bold, broad, and immediate action. We must act now and we will need everyone to do their part — countries, policymakers and regulators, each investor, every company.

That’s why we’re launching the Ceres Ambition 2030 initiative, designed to meet the urgency of this moment. We now know that the most ambitious actions of a few companies, or even a few hundred, aren’t enough. With Ambition 2030, we are working to decarbonize entire sectors, starting with six of the highest-polluting: electric power, oil and gas, steel, food, banking and transportation. Read more here.

Mindy Lubber is CEO and president of the sustainability nonprofit Ceres and a founding member of the global steering committee for Climate Action 100+. She was the recipient of the Champions of the Earth award —the United Nations highest environmental honor — for her leadership on climate change and sustainability. Lubber was also named Barron’s 100 most influential women in U.S. finance.

Ceres Initiatives Also Include

About Ceres
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. Through our powerful networks and global collaborations of investors, companies and nonprofits, we drive action and inspire equitable market-based and policy solutions throughout the economy to build a just and sustainable future. For more information, visit ceres.org.

MORE CLIMATE ACTION RESOURCES

As You Sow: Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.

CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. Over the past 20 years we have created a system that has resulted in unparalleled engagement on environmental issues worldwide. Find out more about how we work.

Coalition For Green Capital (CGC) is a nonprofit with a mission to halt climate change by accelerating investment in clean energy technologies. CGC achieves this by advocating for, creating and implementing Green Bank finance institutions. Green Banks are a proven finance model that uses public and philanthropic funds to mobilize private investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other decarbonization technologies. For over a decade, CGC has led the Green Bank movement, working at the federal, state and local level in the U.S. and in countries around the world. By increasing investment and accelerating the construction of clean power, CGC is helping deliver a cleaner, better future.

Environmental Protection Agency: Climate Change
EPA’s climate change website is back, with more content to come. Please return as we add new information and features. Learn more about the objectives of the EPA Climate Change website. Understanding and addressing climate change is critical to EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment. EPA tracks and reports greenhouse gas emissions, leverages sound science, and works to reduce emissions to combat climate change.

Interfaith Center On Corporate Responsibility is a coalition of faith- and values-based investors who view shareholder engagement with corporations as a powerful catalyst for change. Our mission statement, “inspired by faith, committed to action” sets forth our pledge to be active owners, and to engage meaningfully with the companies in our portfolios through the process of shareholder engagement that we pioneered nearly 50 years ago. 

Our guiding principle as shareholders is that sustainable corporations must look beyond the next earnings report to account for the full impact of their business on society and must view the well-being of all of their stakeholders―including their workers and the communities where they operate — as integral to their long-term value.

Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations: As You Sow, Sustainable Investments Institute, and Proxy Impact. Proxy Preview provides the most comprehensive data on hundreds of shareholder resolutions – including environmental, corporate political spending, human rights, diversity, sustainable governance issues, and much more. Shareholder resolutions are a key form of engagement for U.S. investors interested in changing the environmental and social impacts of companies. Register for a free account to view Proxy Preview reports and watch a webinar at the website link above.

RESOURCES FOR GOVERNORS & MAYORS 

The U.S. Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement. The alliance represents:

  •  61% of the U.S. economy.
  •  57% of the U.S. population.
  •  43% of U.S. emissions.

Climate Mayors, founded in 2014, is a bipartisan, peer-to-peer network of more than 470 U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and 74 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. 

Next Era’s Bet on Renewable Energy Was a Winner All Along

By Kyle Stock, Bloomberg

NextEra’s wind and solar farms, now scattered across about half the U.S., produce enough juice to power Greece. The company has plans to nearly double its renewable capacity — enough turbines and panels — to power 11 million homes. That’s about 10 percent of the country. From there, the next 10% should come far cheaper. Read more here.

Previously Posted: 5 Major US Utilities That Haven’t Promised to Fully Decarbonize: Some of the holdouts will surprise you, by Julian Specter, Greentech Media

Photo: NextEra built Nebraska’s 5-megawatt solar array on 35 acres east of Fort Calhoun, which became operational in late December of 2019. NextEra contracted with OPPD to sell the power it produces to the utility for at least 20 years. See: Here comes the sun: OPPD awards contract for community solar, The Wire

More On NextEra & Nebraska

About Power Purchase Agreements

Solar Power Purchase Agreements, Solar Energy Industries Association 
A solar power purchase agreement (PPA) is a financial agreement where a developer arranges for the design, permitting, financing and installation of a solar energy system on a customer’s property at little to no cost. 

TRANSMISSION

Dynamic Line Rating: Expanding Transmission Grid Capacity for Clean Energy, by Jeff St. John, Greentech Media

Renewable energy projects are “awaiting interconnections because of the inefficiency of the transmission we have,” Jon Wellinghoff, FERC chairman from 2009 to 2013 and CEO of Grid Policy, told GTM. “If we start providing developers with incentives to improve that efficiency, we’ll see interconnections will happen much more quickly, more smoothly, and at a much lower cost.”  While President-elect Joe Biden’s most aggressive clean energy plans may face roadblocks from Republicans in Congress, transmission development could be a realm where federal policymakers could align, [Hudson Gilmer, CEO of DLR provider LineVision] noted. “Modernizing our grid, especially using advanced technologies, is an area that both sides of the aisle can agree on.” 

NATIONAL & LOCAL SOLAR INFORMATION

Solar Jobs, Solar Installations, & Homes Powered by Solar in Top 10 US Solar States, by Zachary Shahan, CleanTechnica

In October, I published reports on the top US solar states per capita, the top US solar states as a percentage of electricity, and the top US states in terms of total installed solar power capacity. Based on that first ranking system, I’m going a bit broader and looking at some more solar stats.

Local Resource: Solar Energy Generation In Nebraska, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy

DOE FUNDS STUDY ON CO-LOCATING SOLAR & POLLINATOR HABITATS

UIC receives $1.8M from DOE to study effects of pollinator habitats at solar energy facilities, by the University of Illinois at Chicago, Newswise

The three-year project, “Evaluation of Economic, Ecological, and Performance Impacts of Co-Located Pollinator Plantings at Large-Scale Solar Installations” will examine the economic, ecological and performance impacts of pollinator habitats co-located at five large-scale solar photovoltaic facilities in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.


LEGO’S CARBON REDUCTION GOALS

The LEGO Group’s carbon goal approved by Science Based Targets initiative, WebWire

The LEGO Group has committed to reducing its absolute carbon emissions by 37% by 2032 to ensure the company plays its part in limiting the effects of climate change1. The target has been approved by the Science Based Target initiative as consistent with levels required to keep global warming to below 1.5°C, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

About The Science Based Targets Initiative
The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies’ targets. More information can be found here.

RE100 Member
Since 2012 the LEGO Group has invested approximately $890 million in offshore wind power. In May 2017 the company joined RE100 and achieved its ambition to balance 100% of its electricity use with energy from renewable sources. RE100 members include over 270 of the world’s most influential businesses.

GLOBAL IMPACT INVESTING

The unglamorous approach to impact investing in energy, PV Magazine article contributed by David Riester, a partner at Lacuna Sustainable Investments

Even the most cynical among us (rest assured I will have my moments herein) must be heartened by the near $1 trillion dedicated across the globe to “double-bottom line” investments, especially considering that ten years ago, using the same methodology, the pool of capital was $50 billion. Yet, as I stare at a press release for the twelfth ESG focused “SPAC”, I wonder: is the impact investment community directing its energy sector allocation optimally? The coming pages will touch upon 1.) Where the money is going now, 2.) Where it should go, and 3.) Why it isn’t going there.

special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) is a company with no commercial operations that is formed strictly to raise capital through an initial public offering (IPO) for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. – Investopedia

VEHICLE-TO-GRID CHARGING

Vermont’s Green Mountain Power deploys vehicle-to-grid charger, by Paul Ciampoli, American Public Power Association

Vermont power company Green Mountain Power (GMP) has successfully deployed what it says is a first-of-its kind vehicle-to-grid charger to reduce energy use on the grid during peak demand.

DISINFORMATION CAMPAIGNS

Solar Energy is Hitting a Growth Spurt. So Is The Disinformation Around It, Texas Observer
Disinformation about renewable energy isn’t new. For decades, fossil fuel companies and conservative think tanks have painted wind turbines as a bird-killing, unreliable, and property-value damaging source of energy. “We’re starting to see the same forces shift over, focusing on solar farms,” says Dave Anderson, a researcher with the Energy and Policy Institute who tracks fossil-fuel-funded disinformation about renewable energy. 

NU to offer more transparency about investments amid calls to divest from fossil fuels

By Chris Dunker, Lincoln Journal Star

Students across the University of Nebraska system have called on administrators to fully divest from fossil fuel companies, part of a nationwide movement in higher education. Ted Carter, NU’s system president, said achieving that goal would be difficult in a short time frame.

There’s no way to flip a switch and immediately divest, he said, as investments are often intertwined across various funds in complicated ways. But Carter, who is wrapping up his first year at Nebraska, said the university will begin looking for opportunities to do so, citing the passion students have demonstrated for the issue. Read more here.

Referenced in the article: Carbon Underground 200

Additional Resources

As You Sow
Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be a willing part of the solutions. We make that happen.
Resources Include: 

As You Sow has seven Invest Your Values online tools, including Fossil Free Funds, which provide a searchable database for each value.
Resources on Climate Change

Billion Dollar Green Challenge
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge (The Challenge) encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Participating institutions will achieve reductions in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects. In 2011, The Sustainable Endowments Institute launched The Challenge in collaboration with 16 partner organizations to help nonprofit institutions achieve sizable energy savings through the use of green revolving funds. Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management

CDP
Formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions. We believe that improving corporate awareness through measurement and disclosure is essential to the effective management of carbon and climate change risk. We request information on climate risks and low carbon opportunities from the world’s largest companies on behalf of over 515 institutional investor signatories with a combined $106 trillion in assets.

Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Our mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Initiatives include: Commit to Climate, We Are Still In, Climate Action 100+ and Clean Trillion

Proxy Preview
Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations: As You Sow, Sustainable Investment Institute, and Proxy Impact. The annual Proxy Preview report is the #1 resource for shareholders looking to align their values and corporate engagement. Proxy Preview is the most comprehensive data on hundreds of shareholder resolutions – including environmental, corporate political spending, human rights, diversity, and sustainable governance issues. Shareholder resolutions are a key form of engagement for U.S. investors interested in changing the environmental and social impacts of companies. Register for a free account to view the 2020 Proxy Preview report and watch a webinar at the above website link.
Shareholder Resources
Proxy Voting 101

Second Nature
Since 1993, Second Nature has worked with over 4,000 faculty and administrators at hundreds of colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education. In late 2006, twelve visionary college and university presidents initiated the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). They were motivated by their conviction that higher education had the capacity and responsibility to lead on climate and sustainability action for the sake of their students and society.
See: The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments
University Climate Change Coalition (UC3)
Resource Library

Corporate Clean Power Commitment Unstoppable At Climate Week NYC, In Spite Of COVID-19

Climate Group News 

Corporate clean energy ambition is growing in spite of COVID-19, as yet more global companies from the US, Europe and Asia sign up to green their entire electricity usage.

Intel (information technology, US), ASICS (apparel, Japan), Sanofi (healthcare, France), SKF (bearing and seal manufacturing, Sweden), and VELUX Group (roof window manufacturer, Denmark) are all joining the RE100 initiative, led by international non-profit the Climate Group in partnership with CDP. The announcements come on the second day of Climate Week NYC – the time and place where the world gathers to showcase amazing climate action and discuss how to do more.

RE100 now brings together more than 260 of the world’s most influential companies committed to 100% renewable power, in more than 140 markets worldwide. Collectively, they are creating demand for 281 terawatt hours per year in renewable electricity – enough to power a G20 country (e.g. Australia (247.6 TWh/yr). BloombergNEF estimates suggest RE100 companies, with a combined revenue of US$6.6 trillion, will need to invest over US$98 billion in clean energy to meet their RE100 goals – a vast source of finance for rebuilding a green economy. Read more here. 

ON DAY ONE OF CLIMATE WEEK NYC

RE100 Leadership Awards 2020: The Winners
The winners of the Awards, held in partnership with ENGIE North America and category partners Enel Green Power and DWS, are announced at the first ever virtual Climate Week NYC,

Apple, CHANEL, Iron Mountain, Novo Nordisk, Salesforce, Schneider Electric, and TSMC are independently judged to be ‘going above and beyond’ in the transition to 100% renewable power, for achievements ranging from engaging suppliers and policymakers to bringing clean energy to local communities.

ADDITIONAL CLIMATE GROUP INITIATIVES

  • EP100, in partnership with the  Alliance to Save Energy,  brings together  a growing group of energy-smart companies  committed to improving their energy productivity and doing more with less.
  • EV100 is a global initiative bringing together forward looking companies committed to accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) and making electric transport the new normal by 2030.

RE100 MEMBERS ARE ALSO IN THE NEWS HERE

Report: Natural gas is a loser for long-term utility shareholder value

By Matthew Bandyk, Utility Dive

Investment into new natural gas infrastructure like pipelines and power plants is “incompatible” with long-term shareholder value, and thus it is in the best interest of the investor community to push utilities away from natural gas, according to a new report from corporate social responsibility group As You Sow and environmental consulting firm Energy Innovation.

The report points to data from Lazard showing that unsubsidized solar plus battery storage already, in some cases, is cheaper than natural gas. It cites the example of NV Energy [a Berkshire Hathaway Energy company], which in 2019 procured 1,200 MW of solar at $20 per MWh and 580 MW of four-hour battery storage for $13 per MWh. The low end of Lazard’s 2019 estimate for the levelized cost of electricity from a new natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant is $44 per MWh. Read more here.

 

 

Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be a willing part of the solutions. We make that happen. As shareholder advocates, we directly engage corporate CEOs, senior management, and institutional investors to change corporations from the inside out. Website: As You Sow

More About Lazard’s Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis
Renewable Energy Prices Hit Record Lows: How Can Utilities Benefit From Unstoppable Solar And Wind?, Forbes article contributed by Silvio Marcacci, Communications Director, Energy Innovation

Additional Related Reading
Utility Investors Risk Billions In Rush To Natural Gas: Is It A Bridge To Climate Breakdown?, Forbes article contributed by Michael O’Boyle, director of electricity policy at Energy Innovation, where he leads its U.S. power sector transformation program.

 

 


Energy Innovation
is a nonpartisan climate policy think tank delivering high-quality research and original analysis to help policymakers make informed energy policy choices. Energy Innovation accelerates the clean energy transition by supporting the policies and strategies that most effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Website: Energy Innovation

MORE ON CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY

FREE SCIENCE BASED TARGETS WEBINAR TOMORROW

Demystifying and Achieving Science-based Targets through Sustainable Procurement & Supplier Engagement, April 22 at 12 pm. Presenters: Cynthia Cummis, Director of Private Sector Climate Mitigation, World Resources Institute, and Noora Singh, Director, Global Sustainability, PepsiCo. Register here.

The Science Based Targets Initiative is a collaboration between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), World Resources Institute (WRI), and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and one of the We Mean Business Coalition commitments. 

NFL SOLAR PROJECTS

POWERHOME installs solar system on Pittsburgh Steelers stadium, Solar Power World
“Heinz Field is the fourth NFL facility to utilize POWERHOME to help meet sustainability goals,” said Jayson Waller, CEO of POWERHOME. “Large commercial sites like this help us educate consumers about the simplicity and benefits of renewable energy. We hope to encourage thousands of Steelers fans to consider solar energy and think more about the environment.”

SOLAR PANELS

HYDROGEN

Renewable Energy Magazine: What Place for Hydrogen? An interview with Professor Armin Schnettler, Executive Vice President and CEO of the New Energy Business at Siemens Energy, on the impact of hydrogen on the global green energy market.

LONGi joins the Global Initiative RE100; commits to 100% renewable power across its entire global operations by 2028

LONGi News Release, PR Newswire

LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “LONGi”), the world’s leading solar technology company, announced that it has officially joined the global RE100 initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, on March 12th, 2020. LONGi commits to sourcing 100% renewable electricity across its entire global operations by 2028 with an interim target of 70% by 2027.

The global RE100 initiative aims to unite Global Fortune 500 companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Philips and Goldman Sachs, to the committed goal of 100% renewable energy in the shortest possible timeframe. In order to achieve this climate goal, each company in the RE100 will commit to source 100% of the electricity used across their global operations from renewable energy. Continue reading here.


228 RE100 companies have made a commitment to go ‘100% renewable’. Read about the actions they are taking and why here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

GREENTECH MEDIA PODCAST

Watt It Takes: Turning Real Estate Into Clean-Power Assets
This week on Watt It Takes: Powerhouse CEO Emily Kirsch sits down with Robyn Beavers, the co-founder and CEO of Blueprint Power. Blueprint works with real estate companies to turn their buildings into clean energy power plants. Blueprint developed software that helps building owners optimize their use of co-generation, fuel cells, solar or batteries.

BUILDING INTEGRATED PV (BIPV)

GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofer: The time is now for building integrated PV and solar roofs, PV Magazine

Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, part of the world’s largest roofing company, thinks that the time is now for building integrated PV (BIPV). He told PV Magazine: “You have the backing of GAF — a 100-year old company and the world’s largest roofer.” He added, “I can assure you — without naming names — the largest solar companies in the U.S. are getting into roofing. I think that Tesla has it absolutely right. They’re playing the long game, as are we. The industry will evolve from rack-mounted to BIPV.”

OF POTENTIAL INTEREST TO NEBRASKA MANUFACTURERS

EPA encourages manufacturers to save energy, Yale Climate Connections
More than 1,000 plants have signed up for the Energy Star Challenge for Industry.

RECOMMENDED VIEWING

Seven of the best new documentaries about global warming, Yale Climate Connections
The films screened at the recent Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Throughout these diverse pieces was a common probing of the disproportionate impacts of climate change on the health and wellbeing of indigenous communities, people of color, and economically disadvantaged individuals.

NEW APPA INFOGRAPHIC: ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY 

 

What makes a utility environmentally responsible?, American Public Power Association

Environmental responsibility is a key cornerstone of public power. In meeting this, utilities fulfill a variety of roles, such as:

 

SOLAR RECYCLING 

Washington State Passes Bill That Will Improve Solar Recycling Program, Solar Power World
This week the Washington State House and Senate passed a bill that will update the state’s solar recycling policy. This bill will inform the final design and adoption of a comprehensive solar recycling program that is data-driven and considers the lifespan of modules that can last up to 50 years in the field.

GLOBAL NEWS

Amazon’s Bezos pledges $10 billion to climate change fight

Reporting by Laila Kearney and Rama Venkat, Reuters

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will commit $10 billion to fund scientists, activists, nonprofits and other groups fighting to protect the environment and counter the effects of climate change, he said on Monday. Bezos, the world’s richest man, is among a growing list of billionaires to dedicate substantial funds to battling the impact of global warming. “Climate change is the biggest threat to our planet,” Bezos said in an Instagram post. “I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change on this planet we all share.” The Bezos Earth Fund will begin issuing grants this summer as part of the initiative. Read more here.

Previously Posted: Jeff Bezos unveils sweeping plan to tackle climate change, CNBC

Additional Recommended Reading

Bloomberg Green: Warren Buffett Is One of the World’s Richest Fossil-Fuel Billionaires

By Tom Metcalf, Bloomberg

The 10 largest fortunes with links to greenhouse gas emissions are valued at $537 billion. But while some on the list are digging in—the Koch family, for example, continues to fund politicians who resist climate change action—there are plenty of signs that the status quo is shifting, thanks in part to many of those on this very list. Volkswagen is targeting becoming carbon emission free by 2050, with planned investments and development costs in areas such as hybridization, electric cars and digitization expected to total roughly 60 billion euros between 2020 and 2024. Oil giant Lukoil saw the total amount of electricity it generated from renewable sources in 2018 increase by 30% compared to 2017, while its total investments in renewable sources in 2018 increased five-fold compared to a year earlier.  Sustainability is a strategic priority for Fiat Chrysler, which expects to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25-30% between 2018 and 2024 across its four major regions. Buffett’s impact, too, is shifting. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Flickr / William Alden

Additional Recommended Reading

The nonprofit, CDP, is also referenced in the Bloomberg article. Read more about it and other organizations that provide climate action resources for individuals, groups and corporations, below:   

As You Sow
Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. Our vision is a safe, just, and sustainable world in which protecting the environment and human rights is central to corporate decision making. Corporations are responsible for most of the pressing social and environmental problems we face today — we believe corporations must be a willing part of the solutions. We make that happen.
Resources Include: 

As You Sow has six Invest Your Values online tools, including Fossil Free Funds, which provide a searchable database for each value.
Resources on Climate Change

Billion Dollar Green Challenge
The Billion Dollar Green Challenge (The Challenge) encourages colleges, universities, and other nonprofit institutions to invest a combined total of one billion dollars in self-managed revolving funds that finance energy efficiency improvements. Participating institutions will achieve reductions in operating expenses and greenhouse gas emissions, while creating regenerating funds for future projects. In 2011, The Sustainable Endowments Institute launched The Challenge in collaboration with 16 partner organizations to help nonprofit institutions achieve sizable energy savings through the use of green revolving funds. Green Revolving Funds: A Guide to Implementation & Management

CDP
Formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, CDP is a not-for-profit charity that runs the global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions. We believe that improving corporate awareness through measurement and disclosure is essential to the effective management of carbon and climate change risk. We request information on climate risks and low carbon opportunities from the world’s largest companies on behalf of over 525 institutional investor signatories with a combined US$96 trillion in assets. 

Ceres
Ceres is a sustainability nonprofit organization working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Through powerful networks and advocacy, Ceres tackles the world’s biggest sustainability challenges, including climate change, water scarcity and pollution, and inequitable workplaces. Our mission: Ceres is transforming the economy to build a sustainable future for people and the planet.
Initiatives include: Commit to Climate, We Are Still In, Climate Action 100+ and Clean Trillion
Global Initiative: Ceres Investor Network on Climate Risk and Sustainability

Coalition for Green Capital 
The Coalition for Green Capital’s mission is to drive greater clean energy investment into existing and new markets, in the United States and in developing countries with the goal of creating a 100% clean energy platform. To realize this opportunity, CGC incubates local clean energy finance organizations – often called Green Banks – and structures public, private and mission-driven capital for investment through those organizations. A large network of local clean energy finance organizations can access hard-to-reach projects, expand clean energy equity, and provide a scalable model for a thriving network for clean energy investment.

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility
Currently celebrating our 49th year, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility pioneered the use of shareholder advocacy to press companies on environmental, social, and governance issues. Our coalition of over 300 global institutional investors currently represents more than $500 billion in managed assets. Leveraging their equity ownership in some of the world’s largest and most powerful companies, ICCR members regularly engage management to identify and mitigate social and environmental risks resulting from corporate operations and policies. While ICCR members never shy away from making the moral case for action, our fundamental proposition as investors is that responsible and sustainable business practices – and a strong corporate culture of ethics – are in the long-term interest of both companies and investors.
Resources include: 
ESG Investing & Financial Performance Reports

Proxy Preview
The annual Proxy Preview report is the #1 resource for shareholders looking to align their values with their investments. Proxy Preview is a collaboration between three organizations: As You Sow, Sustainable Investment Institute, and Proxy Impact. Proxy Preview provides the most comprehensive data on hundreds of shareholder resolutions – including environmental, corporate political spending, human rights, diversity, sustainable governance issues, and much more. Shareholder resolutions are a key form of engagement for U.S. investors interested in changing the environmental and social impacts of companies. Register for a free account to view the 2019 Proxy Preview report and watch a webinar at the website link above.
Shareholder Resources
Proxy Voting 101

Responsible Endowments Coalition
The Responsible Endowments Coalition works to build and unify the college and university-based responsible investment movement, both by educating and empowering a diverse network of individuals to act on their campuses, and by fostering a national network for collective action. We empower people to defend human rights and the environment while making both corporations and universities accountable to global stakeholders. Our goal is to foster social and environmental change by making responsible investment common practice amongst colleges and universities, and to support the next generation of activists for the endowment movement. Resources are available for: Students / Alumni / Committees, Administrators and Trustees. 

Second Nature
Since 1993, Second Nature has worked with over 4,000 faculty and administrators at hundreds of colleges and universities to help make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of higher education. In late 2006, twelve visionary college and university presidents initiated the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). They were motivated by their conviction that higher education had the capacity and responsibility to lead on climate and sustainability action for the sake of their students and society.
See: The Presidents’ Climate Leadership Commitments
Additional Initiatives Include:
Carbon Offset Resources for Colleges and Universities
University Climate Change Coalition (UC3)
Resource Library

Sustainable Endowments Institute
The Sustainable Endowments Institute (SEI) conducts research, education, and outreach to advance resilient institutional responses to climate change. Initiatives Include:

  • The Billion Dollar Green Challenge (See above).
  • GRITS, an online platform designed to streamline the tracking and calculation of project-level energy, financial, and carbon savings data for all sustainability projects and efficiency improvements.
  • The Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign: Since June of 2011, SEI has acted as a campus and endowment consultant for the Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign, working with student groups and partner organizations to advocate for colleges and universities to divest their endowment funds from fossil fuel companies. For more information on the campaign, visit: Power Shift Network and GoFossilFree.org.

Additional Resources

Morgan Stanley Institute For Sustainable Investing’s Study & Survey

Multinationals pushing governments to enable renewable energy deployment

By Robin Whitlock, Renewable Energy Magazine

RE100, the global corporate initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, has now counted 200+ multinational companies targeting 100 percent renewable electricity, by 2028 on average; with one in three already above 75 percent renewable. One in two are preparing to use their influence with stakeholders, such as policy makers and utilities, to push for faster transition to renewables. RE100 membership has grown by over a third in the last year, with the energy-critical Asia Pacific region accounting for over 40 percent of new joiners. Three more companies joining today include the Ralph Lauren Corporation. Read more here.

For additional information: RE100

FEATURED SOLAR SCHOOLS REPORT

Powering A Brighter Future: A Report on Solar Schools in Virginia, Generation 180
Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are the primary method Virginia schools use to finance solar installations. Nationwide, PPAs account for nearly 90% of K-12 solar school installations since 2014.4 Through a PPA, a third party purchases, owns, and maintains the solar panels, and the school or district agrees to buy the electricity produced by the system for the length of the agreement, often 25 or more years. PPAs are popular with schools because they make it possible to install solar with little-to-no upfront investment or ongoing maintenance costs. In addition, the school or district typically pays a lower electricity rate than it previously paid the utility, resulting in immediate energy cost savings.

MODEL CHARITABLE SOLAR PROJECTS

Solar field, pre-K both examples of public-private fund-raising efforts, The Toledo Blade
Charitable projects with both public and private roots took center stage in Toledo on several occasions during 2019, with the most recent being the official start of a solar-energy project on the former Jeep factory site whose revenues will benefit nearby neighborhoods.

BLACK HILLS ENERGY

Colorado utility sees “opportunistic window” to save money with solar and wind plus storage, PV Magazine. Black Hills Energy is seeking 200 MW of solar power or wind plus energy storage capacity as part of an RFP, driven – not by any requirements – but by 2019 summertime bids solar and solar plus storage bids of 2.4¢/kWh and 3.6¢/kWh and the pending step down of the 30% investment tax credit.

Black Hills Energy serves 1.2 million customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

This Energy Transition Is Different. Here’s Why, by contributor Andy Stone, Forbes
Renewable energy employment already far surpasses employment in fossil fuels, and the gap will continue to grow.  Economics clearly favor an energy transition. All of this serves to show that conditions are in fact ripe for us to reach the goals outlined under the Paris Accord.  Despite arguments to the contrary, at our time of existential crisis when rapid change is required, we have the tools at hand to get the job of energy transition done.

Andy Stone is producer and host of the Energy Policy Now Podcast from the University of Pennsylvania’s Kleinman Center for Energy Policy, and consultant on policy and communications issues with energy sector advisory firms.

FEATURED SOLAR WORKFORCE RESOURCES

  • The Solar Training Network is a workforce development program led by The Solar Foundation and funded by the Department of Energy. Through original research, solar-focused career fairs, regional employer-instructor summits and an online interactive directory, the Solar Training Network improves understanding of the solar jobs landscape and lays the groundwork for a better qualified and more diverse solar workforce.
  • The Solar Energy Industries Association: Careers in Solar Energy