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2012: A Breakthrough For Renewable Energy?

Clean Air Act Roundtable

Senators, EPA Administrators, Business and Health Experts Share Perspectives on Clean Air Act at WRI Roundtable
Senators, EPA Administrators, Business and Health Experts Share Perspectives on Clean Air Act at WRI Roundtable . “Smog was a daily occurrence, something you could taste and see.” This reflection came from William Ruckelshaus, the first U.S. EPA administrator, recalling the early 1970’s when he worked in the Nixon administration to pass the historic Clean Air Act. He continued: “The result of this was a public deeply concerned about the environment, and a Congress which gave into public demand by setting federal laws to regulate emission levels.” Ruckelshaus was speaking at a roundtable discussion hosted by WRI, moderated by Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). The event featured Ruckelshaus and former EPA Administrator William Reilly, as well as business and public health experts.
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2012: A Breakthrough For Renewable Energy?

Despite conventional wisdom, there is a growing body of evidence showing that renewables are no longer decades away from being a viable and affordable alternative to fossil fuels. Instead, onshore wind and solar photovoltaics are close to a tipping point to compete head-to-head with coal and natural gas in many countries. In fact, it’s likely that 2012 could be the year when investment in renewable energy (not counting hydropower) will surpass fossil fuels, signaling a profound shift toward a global clean energy economy.
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The Size of the Prize: Midwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit

The Size of the Prize: Midwest Industrial Energy Efficiency Summit was held on January 11, 2012, in Chicago, Illinois. It was cosponsored by: World Resources Institute, Midwestern Governors Association, Midwestern Energy Efficiency Alliance, and the Great Plains Institute. It featured a welcome address by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and panels on recent investment and policy trends, technical and economic potential for industrial energy efficiency in the Midwest, and investment drivers and opportunities.
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Weird Winter Weather And The Climate Connection

Weird Winter Weather And The Climate Connection. According to the National Climatic Data Center , January was 5.5 degrees F higher than the long-term average and the fourth warmest January in the United States on record. The weather in 2012, in other words, is starting off right where 2011 ended, with a rollercoaster of extremes. Climate change is already altering our planet and many of today’s impacts are harbingers of things to come.
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What Shale Gas In China Means For The United States

What Shale Gas In China Means For The United States . Considering the speed with which shale gas has shifted the U.S. energy outlook, this is an important moment to consider the implications of the development of China’s shale gas resources. China appears to have significant reserves of natural gas trapped in shale. “Shale gas could be a game changer in China’s energy future in the same way that it changed the future energy context here in the United States,” explains Sarah Forbes in testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission during a hearing on China’s Global Quest for Resources and Implications for the United States.
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How Businesses Can Integrate Ecosystem Services Into Performance Systems

How Businesses Can Integrate Ecosystem Services Into Performance Systems. Over the past decade, more companies have recognized the value that healthy ecosystems provide to business. Proactive companies have started managing their connection to ecosystems in order to avoid being blindsided by unexpected risks arising from the degradation of ecosystems. WRI’s new report, Nature in Performance, helps business managers incorporate ecosystem service considerations into environmental management systems, sustainability reporting, and other performance systems.
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Re-introducing the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review, Version 2.0

Re-introducing the Corporate Ecosystem Services Review, Version 2.0. Companies depend on and impact the services that healthy ecosystems provide such as freshwater, wood, water purification, carbon sequestration, pollination and natural hazard protection. Degradation of these “ecosystem services,” therefore, can pose a number of risks to corporate performance, as well as create new business opportunities. The WRI and WBCSD Corporate Ecosystem Services Review Version 2.0 is an updated guidance document and set of resources to help business managers develop ecosystem-related strategies.
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New Assessment Finds Management Efforts are Insufficient to Protect Mesoamerican Reef

New Assessment Finds Management Efforts are Insufficient to Protect Mesoamerican Reef . The first-ever Eco-Audit of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR) countries finds that despite some positive management efforts, more needs to be done to protect the region’s coral reefs. The evaluation scored overall reef management as Fair (2.7 out of 5) across the region and for all thematic areas. This score indicates that, in general, the MAR ecosystem is not being adequately managed. The first-ever Eco-Audit of the MAR countries was carried out by the Healthy Reefs Initiative (HRI), in collaboration with WRI, and nearly 40 local organizations, government agencies and companies.
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Candidate Species Marketplace Can Help Protect Gopher Tortoise Habitat

“Candidate Species” Marketplace Can Help Protect Gopher Tortoise Habitat. Hundreds of imperiled wildlife species across the country are candidates for protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), yet landowners currently have very little financial incentive to protect them. WRI’s issue brief, Insights from the Field: Forests for Species and Habitat, released jointly with Advanced Conservation Strategies , details the insights from a pilot market-based initiative to conserve one such candidate species, the gopher tortoise, and the southern forests on which it relies.
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Carbon Canopy Initiative Aims To Sustain Appalachian Forests For Climate And Certified Timber

Carbon Canopy Initiative Aims To Sustain Appalachian Forests For Climate And Certified Timber. The new issue brief, Insights from the Field: Forests for Climate and Timber highlights the innovative forests initiative Carbon Canopy. Led by Dogwood Alliance and Staples Inc., Carbon Canopy is a consortium of companies, corporate and non-industrial private woodland owners, and NGOs that seeks to leverage markets for ecosystem services with the aim of increasing the area of southern U.S. forests certified under sustainable management.
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Transparency And Accountability (MRV) In The Durban Climate Deal

Transparency And Accountability (MRV) In The Durban Climate Deal. The Durban climate deal reached in December 2011 marked an important milestone in the design of a system to measure, report, and verify (MRV) countries’ greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and their actions to reduce them. The deal succeeded in making the MRV system operational. However, the text still falls short on several important issues.
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Ambition In The Durban Climate Deal

Ambition In The Durban Climate Deal. The UNFCCC’s ultimate goal is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a “level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.” Kelly Levin explores whether negotiations at the COP17 in Durban managed to secure an adequate level of collective ambition to meet this goal.
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