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Posted on on February 8th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (

The Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) is currently calling for expressions of interest and an invitation to tender for three major knowledge management projects. Please respond if you are interested, or pass to others in your network who may be well placed to respond:

Call for expressions of interest: CDKN learning programme on climate compatible development at subnational level

CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture and synthesise learning from projects at the sub-national level.
Deadline for submissions of Expressions of Interest: 17.00 GMT 14 February 2013

Invitation to tender: National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa

CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture, synthesise and share learning from national climate compatible development (CCD) planning in Africa.

Deadline for submissions of Invitation to Tender: 17:00 GMT 25 February 2013

Call for expressions of interest: CDKN inside stories on climate compatible development

CDKN is looking to commission a set of policy briefs on developing countries’ practical experiences in climate compatible development.
Deadline for submissions of Expressions of Interest: 18.00 GMT 28 February 2013

Any questions about these tenders should be addressed not to me, but to CDKN’s Procurement team on: who will be pleased to respond.


KMAF-0014 – National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa.


CDKN is seeking a partner organisation to lead its new initiative to capture, synthesise and share learning from national climate compatible development (CCD) planning in Africa.

CDKN’s overall purpose is to support developing countries to design and deliver climate compatible development. We provide a combination of advisory work, research and knowledge-sharing, tailored to countries’ needs. We are partnering with progressive national and local governments to design and deliver policies that combine low carbon, climate resilient, and inclusive green growth. We are now working in 40 countries, disbursing GBP20 million a year. CDKN began in 2010 with funding from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and now also receives funds from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. It runs initially for a five year period to 2015.

As CDKN enters its fourth year, we are embarking on a range of initiatives to share learning from our programme to date. One of these is a major initiative to synthesise and share African solutions and best practice emerging from national climate compatible development planning to support learning, policy development and possible replication and up-scaling efforts in other countries.

With a number of mature and maturing projects in implementation, African governments have a strong body of evidence and experiences to communicate regionally and globally and ensure that it is transferable and catalytic. In the fourth year of CDKN, we are committed to bringing experience-based knowledge and insight from Africa to the forefront.

We welcome tenders from organisations and consortia that specialise in organisational learning to partner with us on this endeavour. The work will run to December 2014. This initiative will broadly involve:

  • Working closely with a core CDKN team to identify learning priorities and formulate key learning questions for our Africa projects, in consultation with key stakeholders;
  • Conducting learning processes around the key learning priorities and questions identified;
  • Liaising with CDKN partners (governments and researchers) and individual project teams (including external suppliers) to write up a first round of analysis;
  • Co-producing a variety of knowledge products with partners and project teams; and
  • Delivering an eight-month outreach programme to share the learning in a targeted and systematic way with the aim of influencing CCD policy and practice.

The Learning Partner’s team must include the following skill sets:

  • Specialism in organisational and project learning;
  • Experience in comparative case study research for policy audiences;
  • Understanding and knowledge of CCD planning at national levels in developing countries and Africa specifically;
  • Established track record of engagement with policy audiences in a range of African countries;
  • Demonstrable expertise in climate compatible development, including a firm grasp of common climate adaptation and mitigation issues in developing countries and Africa specifically;
  • Excellent Africa networks in the climate change and development arena;
  • Highly honed editing and writing skills in English; Portuguese and French fluency an asset but not essential;
  • Expert facilitation skills and previous experience in facilitating similar learning processes in multi-stakeholder settings;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in producing and disseminating policy briefing materials across a range of formats (e.g. PowerPoint, policy briefs, background papers, multimedia); and
  • Experience in the countries where CDKN has mature projects is desirable but not essential.

In order to express an interest in this opportunity, please complete the following 2 steps:

Step 1:

Send an email to the CDKN Procurement team ( including the following information:

  • Subject line: Expression of interest: KMAF-0014 – National climate compatible development planning: learning from experiences in Africa
  • Organisation/company name
  • A sentence confirming your interest in bidding for the work
  • The name of any partner organisations you anticipate that you will work with
  • A contact name(s), email address and telephone number for the most appropriate person(s) to send further information to regarding bidding

Step 2:

Your nominated contact(s) will receive an email from the CDKN Procurement team, including [an Expressions of Interest selection document] / [Invitation to Tender document], a Non Disclosure Agreement, a copy of CDKN’s Expense Policy and the CDKN Terms and Conditions.  Complete the documents where relevant and submit these to the CDKN Procurement team ( cdknetwork.procurement at before the deadline stated below.

Your documents [including the signed Non-Disclosure Agreement] should be submitted by the deadline of 17.00 UK time on 25 February 2013.

Please note, we will accept and respond to questions with respect to this opportunity and the associated documents, provided they are received by CDKN Procurement before 17.00 UK time on 15 February 2013.


Posted on on February 7th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (

please see the link:

For more information or to unsubscribe from the distribution list for WPP publications, please contact


Posted on on December 28th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Elisabeth Rosenthal is a medical doctor (Harvard Medical School  – internal medicine and residency at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and worked at New York Hospital in emergency. She turned then to covering SARS and AIDS in China and stayed in Journalism – first with the Science desk of the New York Times then she became a crusader on environment and part of the Green Blog. Now we feel she takes on even something bigger – the sick US Congress.


The following article is on the front page of the NYT today – page A1 – we did not change a thing except we used colors to highlight the problems (red), the solutions (gold) and the US inactions (violet). Good luck and good reading to all – and a healthy slip into the Obama II era.


Carbon Taxes Make Ireland Even Greener.

Published by The New York Times: December 27, 2012

DUBLIN — Over the last three years, with its economy in tatters, Ireland embraced a novel strategy to help reduce its staggering deficit: charging households and businesses for the environmental damage they cause.

The government imposed taxes on most of the fossil fuels used by homes, offices, vehicles and farms, based on each fuel’s carbon dioxide emissions, a move that immediately drove up prices for oil, natural gas and kerosene. Household trash is weighed at the curb, and residents are billed for anything that is not being recycled.

The Irish now pay purchase taxes on new cars and yearly registration fees that rise steeply in proportion to the vehicle’s emissions.

Environmentally and economically, the new taxes have delivered results. Long one of Europe’s highest per-capita producers of greenhouse gases, with levels nearing those of the United States, Ireland has seen its emissions drop more than 15 percent since 2008.

Although much of that decline can be attributed to a recession, changes in behavior also played a major role, experts say, noting that the country’s emissions dropped 6.7 percent in 2011 even as the economy grew slightly.

“We are not saints like those Scandinavians — we were lapping up fossil fuels, buying bigger cars and homes, very American,” said Eamon Ryan, who was Ireland’s energy minister from 2007 to 2011. “We just set up a price signal that raised significant revenue and changed behavior. Now, we’re smashing through the environmental targets we set for ourselves.”

By contrast, carbon taxes are viewed as politically toxic in the United States. Republican leaders in Congress have pledged to block any proposal for such a tax, and President Obama has not advocated one, although the idea has drawn support from economists of varying ideologies.

Yet when the Irish were faced with new environmental taxes, they quickly shifted to greener fuels and cars and began recycling with fervor. Automakers like Mercedes found ways to make powerful cars with an emissions rating as low as tinier Nissans. With less trash, landfills closed. And as fossil fuels became more costly, renewable energy sources became more competitive, allowing Ireland’s wind power industry to thrive.

Even more significantly, revenue from environmental taxes has played a crucial role in helping Ireland reduce a daunting deficit by several billion euros each year.

The three-year-old carbon tax has raised nearly one billion euros ($1.3 billion) over all, including 400 million euros in 2012. That provided the Irish government with 25 percent of the 1.6 billion euros in new tax revenue it needed to narrow its budget gap this year and avert a rise in income tax rates.

The International Monetary Fund, which oversees the rescue plan, recently suggested that Ireland should “expand the well-designed carbon tax” and its automobile taxes to generate even more money.

Although first proposed by the Green Party, the environmental taxes enjoy the support of all major political parties “because it puts a lot of money on the table,” said Frank Convery, an economist at University College Dublin. The bailout plan for 2013 requires Ireland to embrace a mix of new tax revenues and spending cuts.

Not everyone is happy. The prices of basic commodities like gasoline and heating oil have risen 5 to 10 percent. This is particularly hard on the poor, although the government has provided subsidies for low-income families to better insulate homes, for example. And industries complain that the higher prices have made it harder for them to compete outside Ireland.

“Prices just keep going up, and a lot of people think it’s a scam,” said Imelda Lyons, 45, as she filled her car at a gas station here. “You call it a carbon tax, but what good is being done with it to help the environment?”

The coalition government that enacted the taxes was voted out of office last year. “Just imagine President Obama saying in the debate, ‘I’ve got this great idea, but it’s going to increase your gasoline price,’ ” said Mr. Ryan, who lost his seat in the last election and now leads the Green Party. “People didn’t exactly cheer us on.”

A recent report estimated that a modest carbon tax in the United States that increased incrementally over time could generate about $1.25 trillion in revenue from 2012 to 2022, reducing the 10-year deficit by 50 percent, based on projections from the Congressional Budget Office.

“I think most economists — on the right and the left — think a carbon tax is a good idea,” said Aparna Mathur, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative research group that held a daylong seminar on carbon taxes in November.

Some economists estimate that a carbon tax could raise $400 billion annually in the United States, she said. But the issue remains a nonstarter in the American political arena. even though Gilbert Metcalf, the Obama administration’s deputy assistant Treasury secretary for environment and energy, long promoted carbon taxes as a Tufts University economist.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a conservative advocacy group, has even filed a Freedom of Information suit seeking the release of Treasury Department e-mails containing the word “carbon” to make sure that nothing is in the works. Like many other economists, Dr. Metcalf has argued that carbon taxation is preferable to government regulation or cap-and-trade systems because it sets a straightforward price on greenhouse gas emissions and is relatively hard to evade.

Although carbon taxes in some ways disproportionately affect the poor — who are less able to buy new, more efficient cars, for example — such taxes do heavily penalize the wealthy, who consume far more. As with “sin taxes” on cigarettes, the taxes also alleviate some of the societal costs of pollution.

For several years, the European Commission has encouraged debt-ridden members of the European Union to embrace environmental taxes, saying that its economists have concluded they have “a less detrimental macroeconomic impact” than new income taxes or corporate taxes.

“Europeans don’t like taxes either,” said Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action. “But this is good for the environment, and also good for our competitiveness.”

Some of Europe’s strongest economies, like Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands, have taxed carbon dioxide emissions since the early 1990s, and Japan and Australia have introduced them more recently.

Ireland took the plunge after its economy collapsed in 2008 as a result of loose credit policies that created a real estate bubble; in one year, tax revenues fell 25 percent. With a huge bailout in 2010 by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Ireland’s deficit soared to 11.9 percent of its gross domestic product, or over 30 percent with all loans factored in.

The environmental taxes work in concert with austerity measures like reduced welfare payments and higher fees for health care that are expected to save 2.2 billion euros this year. The carbon tax is levied on fossil fuels when they enter the country and is then passed on to consumers at the point of purchase. The automobile sales tax, which ranges from 14 to 36 percent of a car’s market price depending on its emissions, is simply folded into the sticker price.

That sent manufacturers racing to reduce emissions. Automakers like Mercedes and Volvo began making cars with high-efficiency diesel engines that shut off rather than idle when they stop, for example. “For manufacturers it’s all, ‘How low you can get?’ ” said Donal Duggan, a brand manager at an MSL showroom near central Dublin.

Other emissions taxes on cars, including the annual car registration fee, or road tax, are billed directly to customers, potentially adding thousands to annual operating costs. Ninety percent of new car sales last year were in the two lowest-emission tiers.

The taxes on garbage had an immediate impact. In Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County in southeastern Dublin, each home’s “black bin” for garbage headed to the landfill is weighed at pickup to calculate quarterly charges. Green bins for recyclables are emptied free of charge.

“There was a big furor initially, but now everything I throw out, I think, ‘How could I recycle this?’ ” said Tara Brown, a mother of three.

Of course, new environmental taxes bring new pain. Gas, always expensive in Europe, sells here for about $8 a gallon, around 20 percent more than in 2009 because of tightening market supplies and the new tax.

Still, Dr. Convery, the economist, is encouraging the government to raise carbon tax rates for 2013, declaring, “You don’t want to waste a good crisis to do what we should be doing anyway.”


Goals for a New Term of the Obama Presidency:

President Obama’s legacy will continue to be shaped by what he and Congress tackle in the next four years. Here are the New York Times board of Editors recommendations – this is the heading of the paper today. The link is – Read the series »


Time to Confront Climate Change.

Published: December 27, 2012…

Four years ago, in sharp contrast to the torpor and denial of the George W. Bush years, President Obama described climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing challenges and pledged an all-out effort to pass a cap-and-trade bill limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

Then came one roadblock after another. Congress did not pass a climate bill, cap-and-trade became a dirty word, and, with the 2012 elections approaching, climate change disappeared from the president’s vocabulary. He spoke about green jobs and clean energy but not about why these were necessary. In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he spoke only obliquely about the threat of rising seas and extreme weather events, both of which scientists have linked to a warming climate.

Since his re-election, Mr. Obama has agreed to foster a “conversation” on climate change and an “education process” about long-term steps to address it. He needs to do a good deal more than that. Intellectually, Mr. Obama grasps the problem as well as anyone. The question is whether he will bring the powers of the presidency to bear on the problem.

Enlisting market forces in the fight against global warming by putting a price on carbon — through cap-and-trade or a direct tax — seems out of the question for this Congress. But there are weapons at Mr. Obama’s disposal that do not require Congressional approval and could go a long way to reducing emissions and reasserting America’s global leadership.

One imperative is to make sure that natural gas — which this nation has in abundance and which emits only half the carbon as coal — can be extracted without risk to drinking water or the atmosphere. This may require national legislation to replace the often porous state regulations. Another imperative is to invest not only in familiar alternative energy sources like wind and solar power, but also in basic research, next-generation nuclear plants and experimental technologies that could smooth the path to a low-carbon economy.

Mr. Obama’s most promising near-term strategy may be to invoke the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act to limit emissions from stationary sources, chiefly power plants.

The agency has already taken a step in that direction by proposing strict emission standards for new power plants that virtually ensure that no new coal-fired plants will be built unless they capture their carbon emissions, which would require employing new technologies that have not been proved on a commercial scale. But that leaves the bigger problem of what to do with existing coal-fired power plants, which still generate roughly 40 percent of the nation’s power and obviously cannot be shut down quickly or by fiat.

The Natural Resources Defense Council recently proposed an innovative scheme that would set overall emissions targets but let the individual states — and the utilities that operate in them — figure out how to meet them by making their boilers more efficient, switching to cleaner fuels or by subsidizing energy efficiency and encouraging reduced consumption by individuals and businesses.

Any such regulations are likely to be strongly opposed by industry and will require real persistence on the administration’s part. If Mr. Obama takes this approach, he will certainly need a determined leader at E.P.A. to devise and carry out the rules. Lisa Jackson, the E.P.A. administrator who on Thursday announced her resignation after four productive years in one of the federal government’s most thankless jobs, was just such a leader.

She suffered setbacks — most notably the White House’s regrettable decision to overrule her science-based proposal to update national health standards for ozone, or smog. But she accomplished much, including tougher standards for power plant emissions of mercury and other air toxics, new health standards for soot, and, most important, her agency’s finding that carbon dioxide and five other gases that contribute to global warming constituted a danger to public health and could thus be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

That ruling, known as the endangerment finding, made possible the administration’s historic new emissions standards for cars and light trucks. It also provided the basis for the first steps toward regulating emissions from new power plants, and, possibly, further steps requiring existing plants to reduce global warming pollution.

In 2009, at the climate summit meeting in Copenhagen, Mr. Obama pledged to reduce this country’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. This seemed an impossible goal once Congress rejected the cap-and-trade bill. But the increased use of cheap natural gas, the new fuel standards, the mercury rules and other factors have already put this country on track for a 10 percent reduction by 2020.

By some estimates, reaching the 17 percent goal is well within Mr. Obama’s grasp. He has the means at hand to seize it.

This is part of a continuing series on what President Obama and Congress should tackle in the next four years.


Posted on on November 19th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry —  (LULUCF) — can provide a relatively cost-effective way of offsetting emissions, either by increasing the removals of greenhouse


Inline image 1

With many kind regards,
David Ellison
Mattias Lundblad
Hans Petersson

Institute of World Economics

Budaörsi út 45

1112 Budapest, Hungary
Mob: +36-30-929-5246
From US: +1-303-952-0237


Posted on on November 18th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Dear Pincas,

We’ve come a long way since Hunter founded Natural Capitalism Solutions ten years ago—and we couldn’t have done it without you. To celebrate our decade of implementing genuine sustainability, we’re looking back on 10 of the achievements you helped make possible.

In three emails we cover what we’ve done together to advance sustainability across a global network of businesses, governments, and communities. They’re not ranked and it’s far from an exhaustive list, so if you have a favorite story or memory to share, please do: send us an email, post your story on our Facebook page, or tweet using #ncs10year.

Toby Russell (C.E.O.)


The organization is based on the principles presented in the book Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, co-authored by the organization’s leader Hunter Lovins.

Natural Capitalism Solutions builds on the original Natural Capitalism Principles, a leading whole-system sustainability framework. Since the books’ publication in 1999, Hunter and her colleagues have gained a wealth of experience in helping companies and communities use these principles to capture the economic advantages of sustainability. The principles have evolved to identify opportunities to reduce capital investment and operating costs and generate market leadership advantages.

The principles used by Natural Capitalism Solutions are:

1. Buy time by using resources dramatically more productively.

This slows resource depletion, lessens pollution, and increases employment in meaningful jobs. It lowers costs for business and society, halts the degradation of the biosphere, makes it more profitable to employ people, and preserves vital living systems and social cohesion.

2. Redesign industrial processes and the delivery of products and services to do business as nature does, using such approaches as biomimicry and cradle to cradle.

This approach enables a wide array of materials to be produced with low energy flows, in processes that run on sunlight, emulating nature’s genius.  It shifts to circular economies in which materials are reused, remanufactured and waste is eliminated.

3. Manage all institutions to be restorative of natural and human capital.

Such approaches enhance human well-being and enable the biosphere to produce more wealth from its intact communities and abundant ecosystem services and natural resources.

Next event:
Fri Dec 07, 2012
New York, NY | Bard Residency #4

The first event was at Bard Center For Environmental Policy – National Climate Seminar –
This is a Prof. Eban Goodstein Project. // January 26, 2010 It was held in New York City.

to be followed by:

Fri Dec 14, 2012
Denver, CO | Denver University SLIC course
Thu Feb 28, 2013
Ogden, UT | 4th Annual Intermountain Sustainability Summit
Mon Apr 22, 2013
Elon, NC | Elon University’s Earth Day Celebration
Thu May 02, 2013
Chicago, IL | Chicago Family Business Council


The ten examples of achievements sent out in the three e-mails, are:

1) Paving The Way

NCS was one of only a handful of sustainability consulting groups when it was created. Today there are hundreds of such companies helping with businesses become more sustainable, cut their costs through efficiency, and drive their profitability by behaving more responsibly to people and the planet. All of the major consulting houses now have a sustainability consultancy, many trained by NCS staff, using approaches we developed, and making Hunter’s pioneering work in the business case for sustainability mainstream.

Over the past ten years we’ve watched our leadership in sustainability strategy, carbon accounting, employee engagement, and many other topics become conventional offerings by such firms as Accenture, McKinsey, Deloitte, and others. NCS has always chosen projects on the cutting edge of sustainability, pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a responsible company. A few examples of this include:

  • NCS conducted one of the first Life Cycle Assessments ever done with a food company for Clif Bar.
  • We briefed Walmart’s senior management, posing them the question, “What would a truly sustainable Walmart business model be…?”
  • NCS has helped a diverse group of stakeholders redesign accounting from the limited concept of the triple bottom line to The Integrated Bottom Line. This work is now being carried on by such groups as the International Integrated Reporting Committee and the U.S. based Sustainability Accounting Standards Board.
  • In the field of sustainability, 2012 is considered to be the year of Employee Engagement and NCS is proud to have pioneered employee engagement for sustainability since our inception.

Staying ahead of the rest of the field means that we continually assess industry best practices and push our clients to reach greater success. Our current priority is to help companies set goals that reflect an understanding of the science of climate change, and the need to achieve significant emissions reductions goals.

2) The Next Wave of Leaders

Education is at the heart of everything we do. Our higher education achievements may turn out to be our most important contribution. In the last ten years we have created two MBA programs, conducted three executive education certificates, taught in hundreds of schools, and inspired thousands of students across the world—helping to build an army of sustainability advocates.

This next wave of leaders will shape the future of our planet. Recent studies have found that 92-96 percent of recent college graduates want to work in companies that care about the environment—so our work is far from over.

Hunter currently teaches in sustainability MBA programs at both Bainbridge Graduate Institute, and Bard College. NCS continues to run the highly successful executive certificate program with the University of Denver Daniels School of Business.
NCS has just announced a partnership with Bainbridge Graduate Institute, In the Telling, a pioneer video transmedia eLearning company and Pearson, the world’s largest educational solutions company to create the first modules of The Madrone Project—cutting edge learning that integrates video stories with an array of other dynamic learning resources.

Imagine the best class you ever had…. No, imagine the best class that you wish you could have taken. What if the world’s leading sustainability thought leaders could come alive for your students using the best media of the YouTube generation. Video, social networking, and rich multimedia resources will enable the students to dive as deeply as they want into any topic.

The Madrone Project prototypes will be available early in 2013. Watch for it on our website.

3) Internship Program

One of our biggest educational accomplishment is our internship program. Over ten years we’ve educated more than 100 interns ranging from undergrads to experienced individuals looking for a career change. NCS interns gain experience at all levels of our work, from research to final product, and grow the skills they need to get a job in today’s economy. Our interns go on to grad school and gain employment at such organizations as Renewable Choice Energy, Peace Corps, UBS, Mile High Organics, the Shaw Group, Urban Farm Company of Colorado, and the Energy and Environment group at the British Consulate in Chicago.

We have loved each and every one of our interns. Each arrival brings a new energy to the office with his or her individual passions. Without their eagerness to learn about and implement genuine sustainability we wouldn’t be where we are today. Almost all of our amazing staff has been hired from our intern pool.

Meet our amazing current and past interns.

4) CLEAN Local Energy

Meeting the world’s energy challenges will require a massive and sustained scale-up of renewable energy. Public policy has driven rapid renewable energy market growth during the past decade, however, this alone will be insufficient to affect the necessary energy transformation. NCS’ CLEAN Coalition (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now), led by Craig Lewis, has been working to catalyze the adoption of distributed generation renewable energy development throughout the United States. .

The Clean Coalition has pushed the State of California to launch a 750 MW CLEAN Program in early 2013 with a vastly expanded program following within a year or two. In addition, the Long Island Power Authority has already launched a highly successful 50 MW CLEAN Program and is now seeking guidance on a vastly expanded program.

This work, in conjunction with our leadership in building the economic case for transitioning away from dirty energy and towards clean energy, contributes to NCS’ positive impact in the energy arena.

5) Small Business Solutions

For the past eight years we have been working with small businesses to help them profit by implementing more sustainable practices. Traditional energy efficiency advocacy has focused on large organizations and audits, rebates, and incentives. It’s ignored Main Street. Far too little attention has been given to no-cost changes people can make to how they do business. Over the years, NCS has helped little businesses in our towns and cities by creating tools like Solutions at the Speed of Business – an online sustainability implementation tool for small businesses that focus on what small businesses can do to implement genuine sustainability.

To spread sustainability and reach more small businesses, we developed Solutions 4 Sustainability (S4S) – a train-the-trainer program for small businesses networks. S4S helps cities, Small Business Development Centers, Chambers of Commerce and local economic developers gain the skills and tools to help their own small businesses implement profitable sustainability. We’ve offered these programs from Wyoming to the California Coast, in Iowa and in Colorado.

6) In Our Community

As a global leader in sustainability, NCS works with businesses, governments, and communities in over 30 countries to develop sustainable strategies and solutions. We use one-on-one consulting projects, cross-sector collaboration efforts, and cutting-edge research.

We also believe that it is important to drive change in our home communities and have a positive impact on our local community. From the mountains to the ranch, we love Colorado and work to strengthen its citizens and communities.

For 10 years we have implemented more sustainable programs with numerous Colorado business, cities, and local governments. We’ve worked with Boulder County Parks and Open Spaces assessing sustainable agriculture locally, helped New Belgium Brewing implement the integrated bottom line, led the Fort Carson Mountain Post initiative to set and implement the most ambitious sustainability goals in the armed forces, and assisted our own City of Longmont in conducting a feasibility study for a Colorado Energy Incubator.

Besides our local consulting, Hunter and staff continually present at local conferences including Boulder Clean Energy, Colorado Sustainability Summit, LOHAS, AREday, The City Club, Boulder City Council, Greenprint Denver and CleanMed and many more. We have assisted local events like those hosted by CORE and the Alliance for a Sustainable Colorado. Additionally we remain active with local community groups, helping them understand the business case for implementing more sustainable alternatives to solve pressing local challenges in energy, agriculture, and water.

7) Business Case for Sustainability

Building on its seminal work, Natural Capitalism, Natural Capitalism Solutions has worked the last decade building the business case for sustainability. Giving thousands of speeches presenting the business case at companies like Google and Walmart, publishing cutting edge research, and bringing the message to boardrooms and Main Street, NCS built the road now traveled by academic commentators like Harvard Business Review, and management consulting houses from McKinsey to Accenture.

Our recent report Sustainability Pays and Hunter’s new book The Way Out, cap our decade’s leadership in this field, and provide undisputable proof that business leaders can profit by integrating sustainability into all aspects of their operations. When the likes of Goldman Sachs and AT Kearny are advocating sustainability in the same breath as profitability, we know there’s a business case.

Nowhere has this shift been more pronounced than with NCS’ own clients. Diversey, a Johnson family company and an NCS client, has publically stated, “For every dollar (they) invest in sustainability, (they) get two dollars back.”

NCS continues to work with an array of clients to show them how to improve short- and long-term profitability through the adoption of sustainable practices in the following areas:

  • Natural Resource, Energy, and Operational Efficiency
  • Human Resources Management
  • Financial Operations
  • Marketing and Communication
  • Collaboration with NGOs and Government

8) International Development

NCS also shares its sustainability message across the world, working with a global network of governments, and communities to develop sustainable strategies and solutions. From advising the Energy Minister of Afghanistan to the Prime Minister of Bhutan, taking a major role at the recent United Nations Rio+20, which adopted NCS’ Bill Becker’s “Future We Want” program as the organizing theme for the conference, NCS has a key role in meeting the global challenges.

Our work internationally has helped spur progress on areas of sustainability and societal dilemmas such as:

  • In 2002 an NCS delegation to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, led to work to help the International Finance Corporation implement more sustainable practices in its operations. This led eventually to the creation of the Equator Principles, now governing a significant percentage of project finance loans from major banks around the world.
  • In 2008, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) engaged NCS to research and develop leading sustainable production practices for Asia, addressing how resource-efficient and low carbon manufacturing can lift people out of poverty, in such countries as China, Pakistan and India. The final report and subsequent presentations to the United Nations and Asian countries provided a blueprint to transform and support sustainable, green growth industries so they can improve financial and environmental performance while building social cohesiveness.
  • In Jamaica, NCS worked with a US AID contractor to provide economic development expertise to work with the business sector to provide clusters of industry around eco-tourism, bamboo, sauces & spices, and coffee to replace drug production. Apart from advising local staff, NCS helped write the business plan to enable UNDP funding for these ventures.
  • In Afghanistan, where Hunter was named an advisor to the Minister of Energy, NCS worked with a US AID contractor to strengthen economic development efforts. NCS analyzed the value-add of sustainable ways to produce fruits and nuts, carpets and a variety of other products.
  • More recently Hunter accepted a personal invitation from the Prime Minister of Bhutan to serve on the steering committee of a team of international thought leaders convened at the UN to reframe the global economic paradigm. This group is laying the intellectual foundations for a shift from outdated indicators of progress based around Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to one that values what is important to people, or Gross National Happiness (GNH). Read Hunter’s account of the most recent UN gathering here.

9) Publications & Speeches

NCS shares our work and inspire others to engage with sustainability through a variety of publications. Over 350 articles, book forwards, op-ed’s add to the amazing number of miles Hunter and crew have put in giving over 1,000 speeches. Some of these were small events or local publications, while others included United Nations summits and the Financial Times 100. NCS has been published from Harvard Business Review, UK Guardian, Forbes, World Affairs, and Fast Company to leading news magazines around the world. Below is a tiny sampling of some of our most interesting articles, publications, and speeches by Hunter, Bill and other NCS staff:

Books and Articles

  • The Way Out: Kick-starting Capitalism to Save Our Economic Ass (buy)
  • Climate Protection Manual for Cities (read)
  • Sustainable Industries: The High Rate of Return on Giving (read)
  • Fast Company: Reframing The Global Economy To Include Happiness (read)
  • Sustainable Brands: Engaging Employees in Sustainability 2.0 (read)
  • The Huffington Post: Rio+20 – The Young Can’t Wait (read)
  • UNIDO: The Future of Industry in Asia (read)
  • The 2018-2012 Presidential Climate Action Plan(s) (read)
  • COP15, in Copenhagen: The Business Case for Climate Protection (read)
  • Solutions Journal: Creating a Game Plan for the Transition to a Sustainable U.S. Economy (read)
  • World Affairs Journal: Development as if The World Mattered (read)
  • NCS’ BLOG (read)
  • NCS’ Corkboards – collection of online resources (read)

  • Global Economic Forum
  • UNIDO General Assembly
  • WOMAD Earthstation
  • Financial Times Conference
  • SRI of the Rockies (slides)
  • Sustainable Brands 2012 (video)
  • LOHAS (video)
  • World Energy Forum
  • Balaton Group
  • United Nations (video)
  • Fortune Magazine Brainstorm Green
  • TEDx Mile High, San Joaquin and CSU (click location for video)
  • Chile Clean Tech Open (slides)
  • Honduras Economic Development Summit for WCSBD
  • National League of Cities (slides)
  • Sustainable Boulder: Challenges and Opportunities (slides)
  • Australian Business Leaders Forum
  • Patagonia (video)
  • University of Santa Barbara (video)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
  • Volvo Sports Design Forum (video)
  • University of North Carolina (video)

Hunter Lovins has co-authored 13 books and hundreds of papers, including the seminal book, Natural Capitalism and it’s sequel The Way Out. The book presents hundreds of case studies—many from Natural Capitalism Solutions’ work with international corporations, small businesses, NGOs, and municipalities—to prove that innovative sustainability can solve the climate crisis at a profit. Bill Becker has published several books and papers including the Presidential Climate Action Project (PCAP). PCAP has submitted more than 200 policy and program recommendations to the Obama Administration, many of which were adopted during the President’s first year in office.

10) Awards & Accolades

The work of Hunter and NCS has been honored over the years by a number of institutions, communities, groups. While we certainly don’t mind the recognition, it is always the impact that we are after. A few of the honors of the last decade include.

Hunter Lovins

Bill Becker

  • President’s Council on Sustainable Development


Posted on on November 1st, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Op-Ed Contributor

An Oyster in the Storm

Scott Menchin
Published in The New York Times: October 29, 2012

DOWN here at the end of Manhattan, on the border between evacuation zones B and C, I’m prepared, mostly. My bathtub is full of water, as is every container I own. My flashlights are battery-ed up, the pantry is crammed with canned goods and I even roasted a pork shoulder that I plan to gnaw on in the darkness if ConEd shuts down the power.

But as I confidently tick off all the things that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recommends for my defense as Hurricane Sandy bears down on me, I find I’m desperately missing one thing.

I wish I had some oysters.

I’m not talking about oysters to eat — although a dozen would be nice to go with that leftover bottle of Champagne that I really should drink if the fridge goes off. I’m talking about the oysters that once protected New Yorkers from storm surges, a bivalve population that numbered in the trillions and that played a critical role in stabilizing the shoreline from Washington to Boston.

Crassostrea virginica, the American oyster, the same one that we eat on the half shell, is endemic to New York Harbor. Which isn’t surprising: the best place for oysters is the margin between saltwater and freshwater, where river meets sea. Our harbor is chock-a-block with such places. Myriad rivers and streams, not just the Hudson and the East, but the Raritan, the Passaic, the Kill Van Kull, the Arthur Kill — the list goes on and on — flow into the upper and lower bay of the harbor, bringing nutrients from deep inland and distributing them throughout the water column.

Until European colonists arrived, oysters took advantage of the spectacular estuarine algae blooms that resulted from all these nutrients and built themselves a kingdom. Generation after generation of oyster larvae rooted themselves on layers of mature oyster shells for more than 7,000 years until enormous underwater reefs were built up around nearly every shore of greater New York.

Just as corals protect tropical islands, these oyster beds created undulation and contour on the harbor bottom that broke up wave action before it could pound the shore with its full force. Beds closer to shore clarified the water through their assiduous filtration (a single oyster can filter as much as 50 gallons of water a day); this allowed marsh grasses to grow, which in turn held the shores together with their extensive root structure.

But 400 years of poor behavior on the part of humans have ruined all that. As Mark Kurlansky details in his fine book “The Big Oyster,” during their first 300 years on these shores colonists nearly ate the wild creatures out of existence. We mined the natural beds throughout the waterways of greater New York and burned them down for lime or crushed them up for road beds.

Once we’d hurled all that against the wild New York oyster, baymen switched to farming oysters. But soon New Yorkers ruined that too. Rudimentary sewer systems dumped typhoid- and cholera-carrying bacteria onto the beds of Jamaica Bay. Large industries dumped tons of pollutants like PCBs and heavy metals like chromium into the Hudson and Raritan Rivers, rendering shellfish from those beds inedible. By the late 1930s, oysters in New York and all the benefits they brought were finished.

Fortunately, the New York oyster is making something of a comeback. Ever since the Clean Water Act was passed in the 1970s, the harbor’s waters have been getting cleaner, and there is now enough dissolved oxygen in our waterways to support oyster life. In the last 10 years, limited sets of natural oyster larvae occurred in several different waterways that make up the Greater New York Bight.

Alongside nature’s efforts, a consortium of human-run organizations that include the Hudson River Foundation, New York-New Jersey Bay Keeper, the Harbor School and even the Army Corps of Engineers have worked together to put out a handful of test reefs throughout the Bight.

Yes, there have been some setbacks. New Jersey’s state Department of Environmental Protection actually demanded that a test reef from the nearby bay at Keyport be removed for fear that people might poach those test oysters and eat them. But the program has persisted, even in New Jersey. In 2011 the Navy offered its pier at Naval Weapons Station Earle, near Sandy Hook, as a new place in New Jersey to get oysters going.

Will all of these attempts to get oysters back in New York City have any effect in defending us against Sandy? Surely not. The oyster kingdom is gone, and what we have now are a few struggling refugees just trying to get a foothold in their old territory.

But what is fairly certain is that storms like Sandy are going to grow stronger and more frequent, and our shorelines will become more vulnerable. For the present storm, all we could do was stock up on canned goods and fill up our bathtubs. But for the storms to come, we’d better start planting a lot more oysters.


Posted on on October 29th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (


Dear All,
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is looking for an Environment Communications Specialist (code: SC 101064 REG). For more information, please visit this page.

Thank you.
Rhea B. Reburiano
Consultant for Environment Community of Practice
Asian Development Bank


Posted on on October 18th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (



The earth is witnessing environmental change that is unique in its history. Increased levels of greenhouse gases are warming the planet; the extinction of species is occurring at an ever-faster rate; holes in the ozone layer are exposing us to harmful radiation. These are all the unintended consequences of human activity.  Rather than continue on this path, we must learn about these consequences to better manage our interaction with natural systems. Our one-year Master of Public Administration program emphasizes integrated thinking and learning so that our graduates will see beyond linear and fragmented approaches to coping with environmental problems.

Our goal is to cultivate a new profession that manages earth systems in ways that will ensure the long-term viability of life on our planet.

Upcoming Deadlines

November 1, 2012 – Early Decision with Fellowship Consideration

January 15, 2013 – Regular Decision with Fellowship Consideration

February 15, 2013 – Final Application Deadline

Columbia University’s One-year Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy

Prospective Students

Deadlines for Fall 2013 Admission:

> November 1, 2012 – Early Decision with Fellowship Consideration
> January 15, 2013 – Regular Decision with Fellowship Consideration
> February 15, 2013 – Final Application Deadline

Apply Now!

Upcoming Information Sessions:

> Monday, November 12 1pm-2:30pm Online Information Session RSVP Here
> Monday, December 3 6pm-8pm Columbia University Campus Information Session RSVP Here
> Tuesday, December 18 5pm-6:30pm Online Information Session RSVP Here
> View a complete listing of other recruitment events.

To learn about the program, schedule a visit, attend classes or meet with current students, please call (212) 854-3142 or email Sarah Tweedie

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MPA Student Hopes ESP Program is Path to Capitol Hill

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Posted on on September 17th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

IISD is pleased to announce its newest project: Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice
A knowledge management project tracking international sustainable energy activities

“Energy Sector Strategies to Support Green Growth”

October 15 – November 2, 2012
(Application deadline October 8, 2012)

    E-learning course overview:

    The course “Energy Sector Strategies to Support Green Growth” covers essential aspects of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency policies and how they can contribute to the implementation of broader Green Growth Strategies. It also explores innovation policies for the energy sector that can help countries to build domestic innovation capacity to diffuse existing technologies and to develop and deploy new ones. The course targets anyone wishing to pursue a more in-depth analysis on energy systems planning and innovation and it can thus be used to refine and expand existing plans for greening the energy sector, or to create green growth strategies from scratch.

    By the end of this course participants will have a good understanding of the rationale for greening the energy sector and the opportunities and challenges of various policy instruments used to promote innovation, renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.

    The e-course consists of four modules of which each contains two or more lessons embedded in multimedia presentations, videos, testimonials, exercises, and quizzes that help broaden participants’ understanding of the topics in a proactive way. For more detailed information on the course, please have a look in the attached flyer.

Registration link:

For questions please contact Amanda Jerneck at or Chandni Dinakaran at

E-learning course flyer:
(See attached file: Flyer.pdf)


also an October 1 – 21, 2012 course on ENERGY SAVINGS PERFORMANCE CONTRACTS with a registration deadline by September 24, 2012 to improve public sector performance:



Posted on on September 15th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The General Assembly opens officially on September 18th – the Second Day of the Jewish New Year – The Rosh Hashana. This might inconvenience some Jews but is no matter of interest to the UN.

We went to see the preparations and found huge blocks of concrete that I assume will be used to bloc the street so it gets controllable for security purpose, but inside the compound there was mayhem. There are still no clear passages between the temporary North Building and the General Assembly Hall. If Heads of State will be made to go through the unsafe passages I went through – I bet this will be a very short session – but I am sure this will not be the case – they will simply be plunged directly to the General Assembly Hall, and avoid spending time in the North building, this unless they get there directly from the outside, without having been first at the GA Hall.

Above aside, I found ready the list of high-level speakers for the Tuesday September 25-Monday, October 1, 2012 General Debate. It starts as always with Brazil and the US, then follows this year with the Heads of State from Serbia, Morocco, Benin, Cyprus, Qatar, Bulgaria, Indonesia, Georgia … We found it interesting that China, India and the Russian Federation, and Germany will be represented only at the Ministerial level and not at the Head of State (or Head of Government) level. What does that say about the imporance these States attribute to the on-goings at the UN?

Topic-wise, and obviously, our main interest is in the folow-up to Rio+20, we found two events in the UN Journal:

A. Friday September 14, 2012, there was an informal discussion on the implications and outlook for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in light of the Rio+20 outcome document – THE FUTURE WE WANT – on the Environmental Pillar (co-organized by the Permanent Mission of Mexico and UNEP).

To the meeting were invited all interested parties – government Missions to the UN, NGOs and others interested in the follow-up to Rio.

This was a 90 minutes event in which the Number 2 at UNEP in Nairobi, Deputy Executive Director Ms. Ambassador Amina Mohamed, who seems to be the person in charge at UNEP Headquarters to take care of the plans for tripling the size of the Organization by opening it up to Universal Membership as decided in paragraphs #87- 90 of the Rio Outcome Document.

We learned that Ambassador Mohamed is preparing budgetary and capacity building proposals to be presented to a UNEP Governing Council to be held in Nairobi on February 23, 2013. Obviously all this to be agreed upon at the upcoming UN General Assembly.

I happened to sit next to the representative from France – so I dared to ask about the French position  under the Holland government on UNEP becoming a UN Agency that was pomoted by he former Head of State, Sarkozi? I learned that this was already a Chiraq position and that President Holande sees this as a matter of National policy.

Considering this above in light of the need to increase the Nairobi facilities, while in Paris, Geneva, Vienna, such facilities are ready for the asking, I dared further to ask why not Paris? I got an Africa will not allow this.

Whatever, I think the case was sealed in Rio – there will be a Universal Membership at UNEP in Nairobi and the usual financial contributors to the UN will be called to foot the bill.

B. THE HIGH LEVEL MEETING ON SUSTAINABLE ENERGY FOR ALL – to be held on Monday, September 24, 2012 from 15:00 to 18:00 in Conference Room 2 (Northern building).

Participants are members of permanent missions and permanent observer missions, UN staff and representatives of NGOs.

The list of speakers is already closed and it seems that there will be in effect a strict control on participation by the Executive Office of the UN Secretay-General.

Information on the initiative, including the Secretary-General’s vision Statement and Action Agenda document, on Sustainable Energy for All, can be found at and at

The rumors have it that UNIDO Secretary General Kandeh Yumkella will be the man at the center of the new follow up to the Rio+20 outcome that will take over from the failed UNCSD. It remains to be sen if the follow up activity will be based in Vienna. We strongly believe that such an outcome will be beneficial if the intent is to avoid a repeat of the previous bloated but totally ineffective organization. Rio told us that countries agree that what has been did not work, even though they did not agree yet on a new path. To buttress a new path it will be better to change venue as well.

C. THE SECOND COMMITTEE WILL HOLD ITS FIRST MEETING ON FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2012 at 10:00 in the ECOSOC Chamber of the North Building to consider its activities during the 67th Session of the General Assembly.


Ms. Amina Mohamed: UNEP Deputy Executive Director and Assistant-Secretary-General of the United Nations

Ms. Amina Mohamed, a Kenyan national, joined UNEP as the Deputy Executive Director in July 2011, following her appointment by Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon.

Before joining UNEP, Ms. Mohamed served as the Permanent Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Justice, National Cohesion and Constitutional Affairs of the Republic of Kenya. Under Ms. Mohamed’s leadership, the Ministry of Justice implemented political, legal and constitutional reforms following the elections in 2007. In 2010, the new Constitution of Kenya was promulgated under her Ministry’s guidance and stewardship.

Before her appointment in 2006 as Permanent Secretary, Ms. Mohamed was the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations and other International Organizations, including WTO, in Geneva, Switzerland from 2000 to 2006. As Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Ms. Mohamed was twice elected as Chair of the African Group of the Whole in Geneva and, during her tenure, played a large number of critical roles in intergovernmental and multilateral negotiations. Ms. Mohamed was elected as Chair of the General Council of WTO in 2005, the first woman elected to the position.

Ms. Mohamed has throughout her career served her country as a distinguished public and Foreign Service Officer. As an international lawyer and accomplished diplomat with profound experience in environment and sustainable development policy setting, Ms. Mohamed also has a demonstrated track-record in intergovernmental negotiations. She has been recognized internationally for successfully leading international and national policy processes and for having assumed leadership roles working in complex and multi-cultural environments. As a diplomat and policy maker, she has been instrumental in advancing the environmental and sustainable development agenda at the national and international level. She is strategic and visionary, combined with a profound dedication to management, reform and the transformation of organizations. She has extensive knowledge of the UN-system – including serving at Kenya’s Permanent Mission to the UN in New York for four years.

Ms. Mohamed’s current role is to further advance the implementation of UNEP’s Medium Term Strategy and Progmmme as well as on-going internal management reform. She will also play a critical role in further catalysing UNEP’s political engagement with key governments and intergovernmental processes in particular RIO+20 summit in 2012 and support efforts to enhance the funding base of the Organization.


Kandeh Yumkella to receive UN 2012 Global Leadership Award

Kandeh Yumkella to receive UN 2012 Global Leadership Award thumbnail

The Director General of the Vienna-based United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella of Sierra Leone, is among a chosen few slated to receive the United Nations Association (UNA-USA) Global Leadership Award scheduled to be held in New York in October, 2012.

The Global Leadership Awards Dinner brings together a distinguished audience of nearly 500 policymakers, diplomats, United Nations supporters, business leaders, celebrities, and members of the media, as well as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Goodwill Ambassadors and Messengers of Peace, and representatives from the U.S. Mission to the UN. It has the special recognition as one of “New York’s Top 100 Events 2012,”

Dr. Yumkella is being honored for his work on a variety of global issues, including promoting sustainable energy for all, poverty reduction, climate change, and the advancement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Attending the third Clean Energy Ministerial Summit in London, Dr. Yumkella once again noted, as he constantly does that for Africa, modern energy access is basically and economic and health development tool. “In my village of Kychum, in Kambia District in Northern Sierra Leone, women cook with firewood, and we know from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the impact of that is 1.3 – 1.5 million deaths each year – more than malaria,” he said.

(Left to right) Director-General Yumkella; CEO of Bank of America, Chad Holiday; US Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu; and UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Edward Davey, at a press conference following the 3rd Clean Energy Ministerial in London, 26 April 2012

“The dream of every developing country is to be modernized, to live as people live in the UK, for example – they can’t do it without energy, but as 60 – 70% of greenhouse gas emissions come from energy-related activities, we need transformation. “

Dr. Yumkella’s passion for energy and environment related causes have been noted around the world. His leadership has been recognized for bringing renewed and vital focus to global energy issues and his help in coordinating the United Nations response to energy issues.

Along with members of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s high-level group on Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), he has played a major role in highlighting the need for universal access to energy as well as increased energy efficiency and enhanced deployment of renewable sources of energy which form the three major goals of the SE4All campaign. He is charged with galvanizing the world community; governments, global businesses and civil society to rally around and support Mr. Ban’s energy access initiative.

As Chair of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC) from 2008 to 2010, he played a leading international role in identifying the lack of access to energy as a crucial constraint for development efforts. The Group’s report, which was issued in April 2010, confirmed the need to increase energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy options in order to deal with the climate change challenge and realize the Millennium Development Goals.

Other awardees to be recognized for their work around the world include Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The retired South African Anglican Archbishop who received the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize will be recognized with the Champion for Global Change Award for his strong leadership as an advocate for human rights and global health, as well as his campaigning against poverty, racism, and sexism.

Special Rapporteur on Syria and leading UN independent human rights expert, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, will receive the Leo Nevas Human Rights Award for his more than 30 years of work in support of human rights both in the UN and Inter-American systems. Mr. Pinheiro is a Brazilian professor of political science, diplomat and legal scholar.

The entertainment industry’s preeminent news organization, Variety, will be recognized for their leadership in answering Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call to activate the creative community in solving global problems.

“This year’s honorees demonstrate that individuals and organizations from all corners of the globe can elevate the UN’s work and help the world,” said UNA-USA’s Executive Director Patrick Madden. “American communities applaud the work of these distinguished awardees as they help educate and advocate on behalf of the UN every day,” he underscored.

For 54 years, the Global Leadership Awards Dinner has called attention to the vital role the UN plays in helping the global community advance peace, prosperity and justice and recognizes individuals and organizations for their outstanding leadership in furthering the purposes of the United Nations Charter and advancing UN causes—from global health and economic development, to human rights and environmental sustainability.

In another engagement, Dr. Yumkella will be recognized and awarded the Honorary Distinguished Professorship at the Technical University of Mongolia early next month during his upcoming official visit.…


Posted on on September 6th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

C2C Fellows is a national network for undergraduates and recent graduates aspiring to sustainability leadership in politics and business.

C2C stands for Campus to Congress, to Capitol, to City Hall, and also for Campus to Corporation. C2C stands for young people gaining control of their future.

C2C Fellows engages 300 students each year in intensive, weekend leadership trainings. Please consider: What skills and experiences are needed to become people of power, people with the ability to affect the future, within five to ten years? C2C then supports Fellows to gain these skills.

The US Constitution empowers citizens at age 25 to become members of Congress. Yet few young people even imagine pursuing this opportunity.

More students have been inspired by young business entrepreneurs. Yet few develop the leadership skills needed to launch a green business.

October 26th – 28th, 2012. University of Tennessee will hold a C2C Fellows: Southeast Workshop.    Download: C2CFellows_TN2012.pdf

The        Bard Center For Environmental Policy Logo is supporting the above.

Please see also –


Posted on on August 22nd, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

President Clinton Announces Program for the 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Meeting will convene more than 1,000 global leaders September 23-25 in New York City to address the theme ‘Designing for Impact’

Featured participants include –

His Majesty King Juan Carlos I, Kingdom of Spain;

Joyce Banda, president of the Republic of Malawi;

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia;

Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Republic of South Sudan;

Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras;

Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group;

Hillary Rodham Clinton, secretary of state, U.S. Department of State;

Rajiv Shah, administrator of United States Agency for International Development;

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC;

Madeleine Albright, chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group;

Walter A. Bell, chairman of the board at Swiss Re America Holding Corp;

Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom;

Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO;

John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco;

Chelsea Clinton, board member of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative;

Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States;

Elizabeth Littlefield, president and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC);

Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children;

Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group;

Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation;

Clarence Otis, Jr., chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants, Inc.;

Jim Rogers, chairman, president, and CEO of Duke Energy Corporation;

Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods Inc.;

Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury;

Luis A. Ubiñas, president of The Ford Foundation;

Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson;

and Daniel Yohannes, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.

NEW YORK – Today, President Bill Clinton announced the program for the eighth Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to be held September 23-25 in New York City. This year’s gathering will bring together more than 1,000 CGI members and participants, including current and former heads of state, Fortune 500 CEOs, leaders from the nonprofit sector, and celebrities, to devise and implement high-impact solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

This year marks the first time that CGI will organize its largest meeting around a single theme.

The 2012 Annual Meeting’s program, “Designing for Impact,” will explore how leaders can extend design thinking, often tied to startups and market-based solutions, from the private realm to accelerate positive outcomes for individuals’ lives, their environments, and their systems of government, commerce, and consumption.

“This year, our Annual Meeting will help CGI members design solutions to critical challenges such as empowering girls and women to be full participants in the global economy, encouraging the private sector to create markets for the under-served, and increasing the sustainability of our food supply as global demand doubles within the next 50 years,” said President Clinton. “We redesigned the meeting this year to optimize the creative spirit and remarkable dedication of our members, who, since 2005, have made more than 2,100 commitments that are impacting nearly 400 million lives in more than 180 countries. I look forward to the solutions and commitments that will emerge from the CGI community at this year’s meeting.”

Featured participants at the 2012 CGI Annual Meeting will include Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of BRAC; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco; Madeleine Albright, chair of the Albright Stonebridge Group; Joyce Banda, president of the Republic of Malawi; Walter A. Bell, chairman of the board at Swiss Re America Holding CorpSeth Berkley, chief executive officer of the GAVI Alliance; Tony Blair, former prime minister of the United Kingdom; Tim Brown, president and CEO of IDEO; His Majesty King Juan Carlos I, Kingdom of Spain; John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco; Jason Clay, senior vice president of market transformation at the World Wildlife Fund; Chelsea Clinton, board member of the William J. Clinton Foundation and Clinton Global Initiative; Hillary Rodham Clinton, secretary of state, U.S.  Department of State; Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme; David Crane, president and CEO of NRG Energy, Inc.; Salma Samar Damluji, chief architect at Daw‘an Mud Brick Architecture Foundation; Mallika Dutt, president and CEO of Breakthrough; Jay S. Fishman, chairman and CEO of the Travelers Companies, Inc.; Anne H. Hastings, chief executive officer of Fonkoze Financial Services; Carlos Slim Helú, founder of Fundación Carlos Slim; Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States; José Insulza, secretary general of the Organization of American States; Robert Ivy, executive vice president and CEO of the American Institute of Architects; Antony Jenkins, chief executive officer of retail and business banking at Barclays PLC; Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia;  Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group; Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc.; Kay Krill, president and CEO of ANN INC.;Nicholas D. Kristof, columnist at the New York TimesSasha Kramer, co-founder and executive director of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL)Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, author, journalist, and deputy director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program Council on Foreign Relations; Elizabeth Littlefield, president and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation; Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Republic of South Sudan; Molly Melching, founder and executive director of Tostan; António Mexia, chief executive officer, EDP – Energias de Portugal, S.A.; Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children; Luis Alberto Moreno, president of Inter-American Development Bank;Jayaseelan Naidoo, chairman of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN); Reema Nanavaty, director of economic and rural development at Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA);  Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen Fund, Inc.; Denis O’Brien, chairman of Digicel Group; Sally Osberg, president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation;Clarence Otis, Jr., chairman and CEO of Darden Restaurants, Inc.; Stephan Ouaknine, chairman, managing partner, and CEO of Inerjys Ventures Inc.; Johanna Ralston, chief executive officer of the World Heart Federation; Navinchandra Ramgoolam, prime minister of the Republic of Mauritius;  Jim Rogers, chairman, president, and CEO of Duke Energy Corporation; Irene Rosenfeld, chairman and CEO of Kraft Foods Inc.; Robert E. Rubin, co-chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations, former secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury; Kiran Sethi, founder and director of the Riverside School, Ahmedabad – India; Luis A. Ubiñas, president of The Ford Foundation; Rajiv Shah, Administrator of United States Agency for International Development; Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras; Lynn Stout, distinguished professor of corporate and business law at Cornell University Law School; Hans Vestberg, president and CEO of Ericsson; Daniel Yohannes, chief executive officer of Millennium Challenge Corporation; Kandeh Yumkella, director general of the United Nations Development Organization; and Jochen Zeitz, chairman of the management board and CEO of PUMA AG Rudolf Dassler Sport.


Each of the three days of the 2012 Meeting will explore how CGI members can create solutions that make the maximum positive impact on people and their communities. The world’s leading innovators in technology, business, public health, and other sectors will discuss the philanthropic potential of strategic design in sessions such as:

  • Designing for Impact, which will address inventive ways for people and organizations to strengthen the prosperity and sustainability of our increasingly crowded planet.
  • Women and the Built Environment: Designing for Opportunity, which will examine how the inclusion of women in urban planning leads to improved economic, environmental, and public health prospects for everyone.
  • The Early Years: An Irresistible Investment Opportunity, which will highlight how companies and governments can support the delivery of early childhood interventions that increase a country’s GDP, reduce long-term social costs, and help children thrive.
  • The Future of Food, which will explore ways CGI members can advance a new vision for sustainable food production and consumption in the face of soaring demand.
  • Working Capital: Creating Value for Business and Society, which will focus on how private organizations can serve as economic drivers without prospering at the expense of the societies and environments in which they work.

International leaders and experts will also offer guidance in special sessions, such as The Case for Optimism in the 21st Century, which will explain why despite the recent financial crisis, optimism still makes sense, and Strategic Philanthropy: How to Think Bigger and Do Better, a panel on how corporate and philanthropic organizations can maximize the results of their giving.

New features at this year’s meeting include interactive Commitment Workshops and Design Labs that will allow members to share knowledge, build partnerships, and generate Commitments to Action: new, specific and measurable plans that address a pressing global challenge.

The Commitment Workshop session topics include:

  • Influencing Behavior and Attitudes
  • Integrating Social and Environmental Value into Core Business
  • Financing for Impact and Scale
  • Haiti: Lessons for the Future
  • Integrating Women into Global Supply Chains

In Design Labs, members will collectively brainstorm answers to pressing questions, such as:

  • How can we provide reliable and safe energy to those in need?
  • How can we advance women-owned businesses in the developing world?
  • How can we design healthier urban environments that help prevent chronic diseases?
  • How can we ensure more children benefit from early childhood education?
  • How can we protect the poorest from debilitating shocks, such as unforeseen illness or crop failure?

The full agenda for the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative can be found at

President Clinton will also present the sixth annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards in a special ceremony that includes celebrity guests and a live musical performance on Monday, September 24. The event recognizes remarkable individuals for their leadership in philanthropy, government, civil society, and the corporate sector.

The sponsors for the 2012 CGI Annual Meeting include: Abraaj Capital, American Federation of Teachers, Ambassador Gianna Angelopoulos, APCO Worldwide, Barclays, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Delos Living, Deutsche Bank, Diageo PLC, The Dow Chemical Company, Duke Energy Corporation, ExxonMobil, The Ford Foundation, GEMS Education, The Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing, Hewlett Packard Company, Inter-American Development Bank, Indo Gold Ltd, InterEnergy, Jive Software, Knoll Inc, Laureate International Universities, Microsoft Corporation, NRG Energy Inc, Procter & Gamble, The Rockefeller Foundation, Shangri-La Industries, Standard Chartered Bank, Starkey Hearing Foundation, Swiss Reinsurance Company, Tom Golisano, Toyota Motors Corporation, United Postcode Lotteries, The Victor Pinchuk Foundation, and Western Union Financial Services Inc.

For more information, please visit Follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at for meeting news and highlights.

Press registration is now open to members of the media. To apply, please complete the form at:


About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of nearly 400 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $69.2 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter@ClintonGlobal and Facebook at


Posted on on August 22nd, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Going Solar the Easy Way

If you’ve thought about going solar, but weren’t sure you could afford it, think again. As the New York Times wrote in a recent profile of our Sierra Club Solar Homes partner, Sungevity, “residential solar power has never been more affordable.”

The secret is that, instead of buying your system, you can lease it (often with no money down) and start enjoying solar savings right away. To get a quote, all you need is a computer, your home address, and three minutes.

Best of all, Sierra Club members and supporters who decide to go solar by August 31 through our program will get a $1,000 bonus.

Sierra Club Solar Homes Campaign is currently active in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York.

Go Solar with the Sierra Club

Limited Time Offer: Go Solar by August 31 and you get $1000!

I’m very happy with my solar panels. The panel installation went flawlessly, and Sungevity does a good job monitoring and servicing the system. In the future I will see a net savings because utility costs will rise faster than my lease amount. I was also happy that Sierra Club got money back from Sungevity.
—David S, California

Sungevity has an excellent reputation, strong financial backing, and shares our commitment to creating a vibrant clean energy economy—that’s why they’re giving the Sierra Club $750 for every member or supporter who goes solar with them.

We did an extensive review to choose the right partner, and we believe that Sungevity’s offer makes it affordable and easy for Sierra Club members and supporters to go solar. Conduct your own due diligence and speak with a representative about your personalized solar evaluation to ensure that going solar with Sungevity is right for you.


Posted on on August 21st, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

The first e-mail about Doha reached us from the young activists:

“Call for young activist/bloggers on climate change in the Gulf Region – COP18 of the UNFCCC.”

The Adopt A Negotiator is currently seeking new candidates for its COP18 delegation. Have you already come across the AdoptANegotiator.Org project? We bring young (18-30) people and bloggers to the main meetings of the UN climate talks to push for stronger climate action, mainly through the use of social media. AaN is a project of the Global Campaign for Climate Action.

Could you kindly forward the following message to any relevant network and invite talented youth activists with great communication skills to apply to join our team in Qatar? We are hoping to being able to build a strong team ahead of the COP to reach out a large audience on what’s needed/what’s happening at the COP and provide fellowships to young people from various backgrounds/organizations to attend the COP18. Hopefully we can contribute to raising awareness around the climate talks and build the capacity of local young people for the benefit of their own networks after the conference.

Applicants must be able to attend the Doha Climate Change Conference from November 23rd to December 9th; and able to actively contribute to the Adopt a Negotiator project as an activist and blogger from August to December of this year.

Here are some of the qualities we are looking for:

You understand the landscape – Our Fellows should not only understand climate change, they are also familiar with their country’s national and international climate politics; preferably with the UNFCCC itself: its history, its inner workings, and its roles in addressing climate change.

You are a great communicator – Our Fellows are excellent at turning the complex and hard to communicate developments happening during climate negotiations into compelling, accessible, creative, actionable communications across multiple channels and mediums. Our primary tool is blogging – and you must be a skilled blogger – but the ability to leverage other communications tools and channels with strategic and/or large audiences via new and traditional media is key to their success.

You’ve got informed empathy – Our Fellows seek out a deep understanding of how climate change affects people in different situations in different ways all over the world – security, health, livelihood, values, politics, business, etc – and can tap into that understanding to help them connect with with various audiences (including your negotiators).

You’re brave – In a short amount of time, each Fellow has to build relationships with experts in our alliance, members of the media, and their country’s negotiators and decision makers. Fellows must make and take public stands on complicated issues; get their ideas and opinions out to media in their home country in meaningful ways; and share those

You’re fast – Our Fellows must be able to rapidly respond to events and opportunities inside climate negotiations and out.

You’re dedicated – Our Fellows understand the stakes and are dedicated to helping push for progress in addressing climate change in spite of any setbacks and challenges we face along the way. While we expect to count on our Fellows’ full-time participation during the Doha Climate Change Conference, they will also actively participate in the project throughout the remaining months of 2012.

While this Fellowship is a volunteer opportunity, support for participation in the Doha Climate Change Conference will be provided by the Global Campaign for Climate Action.

Fellows will be provided with:

  • The opportunity to play a specific role to promote progressive climate policies in your country;
  • The chance to be part of a team with many other amazing young activists/bloggers;
    All support needed from our team and partner during the coming months (networking, capacity building);
  • Transportation to Doha, accommodation and a generous per diem during the Doha Climate Change Conference


Adopt a Negotiator is a project of TckTckTck, the Global Campaign for Climate Action.

MFPPlooks very worthy! RT Looking for young, passionate #climate fellows to join @tcktcktck@adoptnegotiatorApply #COP18

RT @tcktcktck: Looking for young, passionate #climate fellows to join@tcktcktck@adoptnegotiator in#Doha! Apply here:
New post: Levi Singh – 2012-08-13 21:49:08

How to join a protest and lose accreditation at Rio+20.

by  on JUNE 22, 2012 ·

Senel Wanniarachchi
Avatar of Senel Wanniarachchi

Senel is a Sri Lankan activist tracking climate issues in South Asia and beyond. He’s a trained journalist, columnist, radio news reporter, editor, student, and a Rio+20 Fellow.

Born in an island in the midst of one of the most brutal civil wars in history, with my disciplinarian father serving in the military: partaking at the ritual rip-up of the Rio+20 Summit negotiation text, followed by the sit-in before the main plenary hall, and the symbolic walk out of the Rio Centro was not within the self-imposed boundaries of my comfort zone. Even though there is a kind of stigma existing in Sri Lanka, especially as of late (following the UNHRC vote on alleged human rights violations during the final stages of the armed conflict) against the UN: of its partiality and alleged double standards etc… I grew up wanting a job in the UN, because I thought that’s the closest the world got to utopia. Tracking Rio+20 negotiations this June was an eye-opener to the stark reality of the international bureaucracy that is the United Nations.

What we saw yesterday, was an explosion of the frustrations that have been gathering momentum for the past few days. Seated at the occupy-style sit-in, as I looked at the others around me, I saw the passion in their eyes (something you never see in the eyes of negotiators); I realized that they were not representing a country, or some organization. They were representing themselves. They didn’t have hidden agendas and political motivations, they weren’t getting paid for doing this, and it would definitely not look good in the CVs that they protested outside a high level UN meeting. They were there, only because they genuinely cared.

As highlighted by Wael Hmaidan during the opening statement at the plenary on behalf of NGOs; even though the negotiation text says the text was drafted ‘in full participation of the civil society’ the actions of the members of the civil society in the past few days have clearly suggested otherwise. ‘We as civil society reject this text’, they said, as it ‘barely moves us inches’.

What followed was phenomenal: What began as a small gathering started to get the attention of passersby who joined in. Soon, the media personnel at the Rio Centro were reporting the event to networks around the world, Twitter was flooded with on-site updates and riot police presence at the Rio Centro was heightened. Those present ranged from the major group of children and youth, the major group for women, indigenous people, NGO personnel among many others: including several ‘D Badges’ (members of national delegations).

The protesters ripped off a giant mock text as the ‘future they bought’ denouncing the influence of multinational corporations and business conglomerates over governments’ action at Rio+20. 10 year old, Ta’Kaiya Blaney of the Sliammon Nation, an indigenous group from British Columbia, then sang to the gathering: “what are we going to leave for future generations. There’ll be no environment left without change. It needs to come not tomorrow, but today.” While the ripping off of the text and the gathering were sanctioned by the conference secretariat and UN security, the sit-in and the walk out were not. The participants of the youth action, outside the main plenary hall where world leaders were supposedly negotiating; convened a ‘People’s Plenary’. They all shared the disappointment by the lack of commitment and ambition in the negotiation text. Despite demands by the security, the activists were determined to continue. When the police warned them of being at the risk of losing their accreditation: they did exactly that. They took off their badges and handed them over to security officials and marched out chanting ‘the future we want is not found here’, ‘walkout not sellout’.

After all politicians are politicians, they have narrow political interests and they will do everything within their power to cling on their power. Politicians are followers. They will follow whatever and whoever that will get them more votes. Treaties and legalisms are never solutions, they never have been. Even though the Earth Summit in 1992 had impressive landmark outcomes (including the Convention on Climate Change, Convention on Biological Diversity and Agenda 21) most proposals in these treaties have still never yet been implemented.

But what has come out of Rio this June is a mobilized Civil Society that will not wait for ‘leaders to lead’: NGOs that have initiated various action oriented projects, youth groups that are taking action and mobilizing fellow youth, a business community that has pledged commitments, local government bodies that have committed to far more than their central governments, an academia that is committed to their research and media that will raise awareness: a ‘civil society that leads itself’; and that is priceless. Yesterday’s protest was not a mere expression of disappointment or an attempt to ‘create a scene’ it was a move to show that the civil society is not willing to wait for the leaders that are dragging their feet.

The future we want is not found here. It is elsewhere.


Nick Clegg (Deputy Prime Minister of the UK) – at RIO+20: financing has nothing to do with it.

by  on JUNE 21, 2012 ·

Avatar of Hanna Thomas

Hanna Thomas – Green Jobs Director at The Otesha Project UK, leading the work of the East London Green Jobs Alliance. MSc Climate Change & Policy. Tracking the negotiations through a grassroots lens! Rio+20 Fellow.

Today was the first official day of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, where Heads of State and ‘world leaders’ arrived in their droves to… well, what? It’s actually not at all clear what they are here to do, since the Brazilians have officially closed the text, and it seems that negotiations are over. The expectation at the moment is that the text will not change much, if at all, over the next 3 days.

This is, quite frankly, a disaster. The text is incredibly weak and watered down from the zero draft that we came in with last week. Apart from missing references to fundamental issues such as a high commissioner for future generations, green job creation, reproductive rights, and much more, it is peppered with passive language. Phrases like ‘We acknowledge’, ‘we encourage’, ‘we recognize..’. appear time and time again in the text, unlike the original 1992 Rio Declaration, which speaks in terms of ‘we must, we will, we shall.’ It may not seem like a big difference, but it means a hell of a lot in terms of the legal implications of the commitments. The text is so weak, that the Major Group for NGOs outright rejected it in this morning’s plenary, declaring:

We stand on the brink of Rio+20 being another failed attempt. With governments only trying to protect their narrow interests instead of trying to inspire the world. If that happens, it will be a big failure.

…You cannot have a document called the Future We Want without any mention of planetary boundaries, tipping points or planetary carrying capacity.

…The text as it stands is completely out of touch with reality. Just to be clear, NGOs at Rio do not endorse this document.

So, imagine my upset when I went to the UK briefing for NGOs last night, and our Secretary of State, Caroline Spelman, declared the text a success. For 45 minutes she talked without drawing breath. She said that ‘no one has got everything they wanted’ but that  it was a success and that this text represented a big step forward. THEN she asked us to applaud the work of her ministers.

Certainly, the ministers here have a hard job with long hours and that deserves to be acknowledged. But applause should be saved for when the job is done. Applause should be saved for when we actually have a text that demonstrates the ambition that we are calling for. I was so frustrated by her relentless positive spinning last night, that I left the briefing and cried.

Disillusion turned to anger today, when I went along to the reception for UK participants, and had an argument with Nick Clegg!
Or, let’s call it a reasoned debate. I managed to corner him after he gave his opening speech, in which his main points were:

  • He knew we were disappointed, but this week was never going to be like 1992
  • It is hard to get 192 countries to agree on anything, so the current text is an achievement
  • He emphasised that countries had agreed to move forward with Sustainable Development Goals
  • We need to be careful not to communicate the text as a glass half empty, when it is a glass half full
In summary, our exchange went as follows:

I told him that the young people here would not consider it a glass half full, or a glass half empty, but a glass that had shattered on the floor. Because the current text had stripped away many of the basic rights and principles of the 1992 Rio Declaration. That you can not consider such a move a success, when the current environmental and economic situation is so much worse than it was then. That this text was a massive step backwards, since it had stripped away mention of reproductive rights, a high commissioner for future generations, and only had one mention of green jobs.

He responded that they never said that they thought it was a success (even though Caroline Spelman said it at least 10 times last night – messaging fail); that it was G77 who had blocked green jobs (which is true); that if he had got to write the text it would be completely different; that G77 have a fundamental suspicion of the UN process and that it wasn’t up to him or the EU to bring a stronger text in that G77 wouldn’t sign up to out of principle. That the text, although less ambitious, had more integrity for everyone signing up to it, and that they were being more considerate of what G77 wanted.

I replied that I didn’t believe that everyone signing up to the text meant it held integrity, when the text was inherently meaningless. And I said that G77 were blocking mostly because of financing and implementation issues.

Which he VEHEMENTLY denied. (And at this point, his bodyguard started tugging on my bags and clothes to pull me backwards) He said that G77 blocking things had ‘nothing to do with financing’.

Which is just. not. true. It is all about money. And money, is about burden-sharing. To say that the EU, US and other developed countries have been making concessions to G77 is ridiculous. They may have given away small wins to G77, but they have not moved on the key issue of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR). This is the principle that recognises that some countries are richer, and might have got us into this mess in the first place, and some countries still have an urgent need to develop and lift millions out of poverty, and so have differing levels of responsibility when it comes to paying for solutions. CBDR is only mentioned in 2 places in the current text, as opposed to 10 places in the Rio+10 text drafted in Johannesberg.

This is not a step forward. This is not success. This is not progress.

And two last things – Nick, if you want to write the text, GO AHEAD. I was under the impression that negotiating the text was THE reason you were invited here. Also, you are a public servant, not Angelina Jolie. Next time, tell your bodyguard to be less manhandly and let the people talk to you. Actually, come to think of it, Angelina Jolie is a goodwill ambassador, right? Get her in here, stat. She might do a better job.


Posted on on August 20th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Backpack farm targets growth in Africa – Meet the start-up that takes a compact approach to agriculture in Africa.

Company helping East African farmers go green
The for-profit startup Backpack Farm is selling backpacks containing seeds, training manuals, tools and green chemicals to small-scale farmers in East Africa at a deeply discounted price in an effort to improve crop yields. The founder, Rachel Zedeck, says her aim is “to impact the lives of a million farmers by 2017.”

The above is nothing less then a high tech revolution to solve the World Hunger misery. It starts with the cell phone electronics and beefs up the ego of a person who can see results from wanting to help himself.

Earning beets begging for hand-outs!

{This is our own comment – it also provides the honest answer to those in industrialized agriculture economies that contend you cannot use crops for fuel because people in africa are hungry. Face it – they are hungry because we in the West made them dependent on us by teaching that grains come from abroad while Rachel Zedeck does show them that grains are the result of their own work!}

The BBC – August 17, 2012 – and came to our attention via the UN Foundation.……


“We’ve been called ‘the McDonald’s of farming’,” Rachel Zedeck says with a laugh. The former development worker is the founder of a start-up called Backpack Farm, which aims to help farmers in East Africa grow more crops, more food and ultimately earn money.

“The reality is that Africa is the breadbasket of the world, and in eastern and sub-Saharan Africa, the way to impact the vast majority of human beings is through farming,” she says.

It is a simple idea. The company sells smallholder farmers a backpack stuffed full of seeds, irrigation, “green” chemicals and tools along with training manuals and advise on how to farm efficiently. It can cost up to $2,000, but at that price also includes a drip irrigation kit and water tank. Backpack Farm says that while the cost might seem high, it’s one seventh of what those materials would cost commercially. And it claims that the pack, used properly, can double or triple crop yields.

The McDonalds moniker comes in because the company offers franchises, meaning Backpack Farm sales and training centres have sprouted in various cities and towns throughout Kenya hoping to tap into the estimated 100 million farmers in East Africa, and 27 million in Kenya alone.”My goal is to impact the lives of a million farmers by 2017,” says Zedeck.

Just to be clear: Backpack Farm is not targeting subsistence farmers. It’s most definitely a for-profit venture. “This is business, not aid,” Zedeck emphasizes. She is targeting the millions of commercial and semi-commercial farmers who own two to five acres of land, and earn between three and five thousand dollars a year. These are the folks, Zedeck says, who have the commitment and determination to improve yields, and who are already supplying local and export markets with their products.

The backpacks are the most eye-catching part of the idea, but the business is really built on agricultural training. The firm already offers 47 different classes on everything from conservation farming, to water management and soil fertility, along with specific instruction on growing more than two dozen different crops, including maize, sorghum and mangoes.

But Zedeck says she realized early on that to have the impact she wanted, she needed to find a way to make this information more widely available. And that meant using the tool many Kenyan farmers already held in their hands – a cell phone. Along with the NGO Mercy Corps, the firm built and trialled a text-based agricultural education platform called Kuza Doctor (Kuza is the Swahili word for “growing”).

It allows farmers using low-end phones to receive information via SMS, in English and Swahili, on growing 20 different crops. The tips are not doled out randomly. Users of the system begin by answering a series of questions: What do you want to grow? What is the soil like? Do you have water resources? As a farmer answers, he or she can then receive more specific information on things such as soil pH, composting, and drip irrigation.

“What we do is help farmers be better green farmers,” Zedeck says, noting that the company’s emphasis on environmentally friendly techniques.

‘Not sexy’

Kuza Doctor got a boost recently when it won the “Young Farmers Idea Contest” sponsored by Africa Rural Connect, an online project of the National Peace Corps Association that fosters collaborative thinking to generate ideas to help solve rural Africa’s greatest challenges. “I think it was the delivery method that appealed to me,” says Peter Laugharn, a seasoned aid worker and one of the judges of the contest. “You’ve got specialized knowledge in African countries, but it tends to be centred in the capital cities or a couple of provincial towns. Getting it out to people is the real challenge. So, [this is] a game-changer.”

Laugharn cites the system’s curriculum and structured messages as major selling points. Given the number of small farmers in the world, he sees potential for the system far beyond just East Africa.

“Hopefully it can set up a network between farmers themselves,” Laugharn says. “That’s the fastest way to spread a new idea or new uptake of technology.” The most important question Backpack Farms needs to answer, he says is this: Where are things going? In other words, what happens when smart phones replace feature phones as the best selling phones in Africa and what happens when data networks become more reliable across the continent?

“We should all be thinking about what’s down the curve,” Laugharn says.

And that’s exactly what Rachel Zedeck of Backpack Farms is doing.

She says she will plough the prize money from Africa Rural Connect into the development of the next phase of Kuza Doctor. The company is in the final phase of launching an Android app that Zedeck calls “a farming Bible.” It builds on the SMS-based system, but also offers pictures, video links and in-depth data to help rural farmers in Kenya. The app will cost $1.25 as a kind of starter kit with information on two crops. The full app, priced at $4.25, will have information on 26 crops, including nine indigenous ones. It will also feature a community section to allow farmers to connect with each other, and exchange information on prices. “There is a lot of untapped talent in Kenya,” she says.

Zedeck says that they hope to also sell the new Kuza Doctor tool in conjunction with an Android phone for around $75. That cost will include both the phone and the content for one year.

Future updates to the app, Zedeck says, will focus on providing small business training to farmers. There will also be a feature that allows farmers to take and upload pictures and videos (“AgTube”, she calls it) to let the community help diagnose pest and disease problems and showcase their work. And yes, says Zedeck, there will be a tablet version of the app as well eventually.

All that will require funding, of course. “Innovation is phenomenal,” says Zedeck, “but if it doesn’t scale then it’s meaningless.”

Long term, she says, an ad-funded model could work, with apps carrying adverts for products likely to appear to famers. But until that happens, she has been forced to use her own funds – including selling her house – to get the company up and running. She is also trying to drum up support from venture capitalists, but is finding it tough.

“We are not super sexy,” admits Zedeck. “We are funny little farming company in Kenya that’s launching a mobile tool that we believe is going to bring back the basics of a market-driven, demand economy.”


Posted on on August 8th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Climate Change Job Vacancy:

PhD position (reflection on assessments and global commons), Working Group “Assessments and Scientific Policy Advice”, MCC.

Organization: Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC)

Position: PhD position (reflection on assessments and global commons) – Working Group “Assessments and Scientific Policy Advice”Duty Station:Berlin (Berlin), Germany

Deadline for Application: 31 August 2012

Term: 3 years (part time job)

Experience Requirements: Master’s Degree; demonstrated excellent research skills; highly motivated, open-minded and willing to work as a team player in an interdisciplinary context; background in political sciences, sociology, philosophy, combined with a basic understanding of natural sciences, engineering or economics; eperience in science-policy interaction and related research is an asset

Special Requirements: Good command of written and spoken English. Early applications are encouraged

Start Date: 1 September 2012

ContactName: Dr Christian Flachsland






Posted on on July 24th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

July 24, 2012
For over 22 years, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) has been advancing change toward sustainable development. As an independent, non-profit policy research institute, the organization engages decision-makers in the development and implementation of policies that are simultaneously beneficial to both the global economy and environment, and also to social well-being.

The challenge of attaining sustainable development is more urgent now than it has ever been, and while much has been done, there is significant work ahead for IISD. It is within this context that the Institute is seeking to recruit its next President and Chief Executive Officer.

The President and CEO oversees the policy and program focus of the Institute as well as the vision and fundraising growth of the organization. The Chief Executive will represent IISD externally and will ensure that the Institute remains an innovative thought leader, linking the best in research worldwide with the needs of policy-makers in Canada and abroad. He/She will lead a decentralized international team of motivated and highly accomplished executives, and will cultivate donors and build partnerships with governments, international organizations, foundations, and the private sector around the world.

As the ideal candidate, you are a passionate advocate for sustainable development and the significant impact research can have to inform practical and cost-effective sustainable development policy solutions. You have an impressive network of contacts, and a track record of motivating teams in order to achieve ambitious results. You are a strategic thinker, an experienced fundraiser, and will guide IISD as it continues to position itself as a world leader in a field that is evolving rapidly. A gifted communicator, you have exceptional networking and interpersonal skills, and thrive in environments characterized by innovative thinking and ambitious results. The CEO will reside in Ottawa or Winnipeg (Canada), and will work closely with an international Board of Directors as IISD continues to champion sustainable development around the world.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Eric Lathrop ( at 613-742-3211 or Jane Griffith ( at 613-742-3219 in our Ottawa office.

To submit your resume in confidence, please go online to:

Please click here (PDF 119 KB) to view this advertisement in PDF format.


Posted on on July 17th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

Sept. 4-6, 2012, Holiday Inn, San-Diego, CA, USA
USA Batteries & Fuel Cells Seminar
Sept. 4-6, 2012, Holiday Inn, San-Diego, CA, USA

Prof. Doron Aurbach and Shmuel De-Leon in partnership with Plug-Volt LLC invite you to join a unique battery and fuel cells seminar.

The seminar program focuses on present and future needs of portable and stationary electrochemical energy sources and highlights the latest technological developments designed to satisfy application requirements.

The seminar program will discuss worldwide state-of-the-art energy storage of raw materials and technology development (Anode, Cathode, Electrolyte, separators and other battery components) as well as primary, rechargeable, reserve, commercial, industrial and military batteries, fuel cells, ultra capacitors, chargers systems and their accessories.

The seminar program will review typical cycle life aspects of designing and manufacturing energy source solutions: from application energy requirements, power source electrical and mechanical design, cells selection, cells evaluation tests, battery prototype, acceptance tests, design and manufacturing techniques, testing, mass production, safety issues, transportation, use and disposal.

Special attention will be given to:
–    Advances in new and improved materials for anode, cathode,
electrolyte, separators including nano-materials
–    In-depth worldwide analysis of battery market and technologies
–    Consumer, Industrial, Military and large format batteries
–    Battery development for the grid
–    Advances in battery packs, charging and testing
–    Battery safety enhancement
–    Battery air transportation regulations
–    Battery recycling

The seminar will also review and compare EV, Plug-in and Hybrid batteries, Fuel Cells and Metal air system energy solutions.

Seminar topics

Day 1 – Prof. Doron Aurbach

– Basic Principles of Advanced Batteries and Super Capacitors, Most
Important Types and How They Work
– Review of Main Battery Problems
– Which Experiments to Select and Correctly Read Basic
Electrochemical Data
– Review Anode & Cathode Materials for Li Rechargeable Batteries
– Review Electrolyte Solutions for Li Batteries
– Review Battery Engineering Aspects- Current Collectors, Separators,
Conductive Additives
– Review Electrodes for Super Capacitors
– Metal Air Batteries: Challenges, Reality & Chances for Success
– Where Can We Go with Power Sources for EVs? What is the Reality
and How We Can Make the EV Revolution Valid

Day 2 – Shmuel De-Leon

– Battery Characteristics
– Primary Cells & Batteries
– Rechargeable Cells & Batteries
– Chargers
– Military Batteries
– Thermal & Reserve Batteries
– Battery Design Process & Optimization

Day 3 – Shmuel De-Leon

– Battery Safety
– Battery Air Transportation
– Battery Disposal
– The “Smart Batteries”
– Battery Holders
– Battery & Fuel Cells Testing Systems
– EV Energy Solutions (batteries, fuel cells, metal air systems, swap
systems, battery chargers)

Key Benefits

The Batteries & Fuel Cells Seminar provides:
– Full review of current and future electrochemical energy sources
research and raw materials.
– Full review of current and future electrochemical energy sources for
different applications.
– Training on cells and raw material selection, design, manufacturing,
testing, safety, transportation and disposal aspects of energy

How should attend?

Batteries, Fuel Cells manufacturers
Batteries, Fuel Cells energy sources users
Equipment and material suppliers
Pack assemblers
Application engineers
Energy sources suppliers
Academic researchers
R&D engineers
Market analysts
Safety supervisors
Battery shippers and disposers
EV, Plug-In, Hybrid manufacturers
Others industry members
Anyone who wants to increase their power sources background knowledge

About Prof. Doron Aurbach

Prof. Aurbach is the head of the Electrochemical Group – Department of Electrochemistry in Bar-Ilan University and is a world leader in the field of electrochemical power sources research.
Prof. Aurbach holds a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Bar-Ilan University, a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the Israel Institute of Technology, Technion, M.Sc. in Physical Organic Chemistry from Bar-Ilan University and a Post Doctoral research Fellow, “Electrochemistry of lithium and on aqueous electrochemistry” from CWRU, Cleveland, Ohio, USA – Supervisor: Professor E.B. Yeager. Prof. Aurbach is a fellow of the Electrochemical Society (ECS) as well as a fellow of the International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE).

About Shmuel De-Leon

Shmuel De-Leon is the Founder and CEO of Shmuel De-Leon Energy, Ltd. Shmuel is a leading international expert in the field of Power Sources. Prior to founding the company, Shmuel held various positions as a power sources, engineering and quality control team manager for over 20 years.
Shmuel holds a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering from Tel-Aviv University and an M.Sc. in quality control and reliability engineering from the Technion Institute in Haifa as well as an Electronic Technician’s diploma.
Shmuel De-Leon Energy Ltd. provides unique tools for the energy sources industry, such as the Energy Sources Database, Battery & Fuel Cells Seminar, Energy Sources Solutions, Industry News weekly
newsletter, and consultations.


Posted on on June 1st, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

PhD position @MCC Berlin: evaluation of assessments, or ethics of global commons

From: Martin Kowarsch
Job offer MCC Berlin
The Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC, is seeking a highly talented and motivated PhD student interested in working in an interdisciplinary environment that explores uncharted scientific and policy-related territory.

The mission of MCC is to create and advance theory as well as policy for sustainable governance of global and local commons and climate change. Research is driven by policy relevance and is regularly interdisciplinary in nature. MCC is a joint initiative of the Stiftung Mercator and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK).

MCC is unique in organizing its research efforts around the production of assessment reports. Based on excellent research, these reports will analyze alternative future pathways for the governance of global commons and the associated critical tradeoffs faced by society.

Research Tasks
The MCC Working Group “Assessments and Scientific Policy Advice” (ASP) seeks one PhD student to advance research on one of the following two areas:

1)      Towards a science of assessment-making: Meta-study of assessment reports at the science-policy interface

2)      Political philosophy of commons

More information: see attachment.

Kind regards,
Martin Kowarsch, MCC Berlin


Posted on on May 25th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (

25 May 2012
Re-issued as received

Italian agency ENEA and UNIDO to jointly promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in developing countries.

VIENNA, 25 May (United Nations Industrial Development Organization)

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) have agreed to jointly promote sustainable development by transferring knowledge and technology relating to renewable energy and energy efficiency to developing countries.

Through the new partnership, UNIDO and ENEA will provide expertise to promote energy efficiency in industry and the deployment of renewable energy technology, especially for productive uses, industrial applications, and the development of rural areas.


UNIDO and ENEA will focus on capacity-building and technology transfer in developing countries, providing technical and professional training and support in the areas of ENEA competence, especially renewable energy and agro-industry.

The two organizations will also identify and promote innovative financial mechanisms to support the deployment of renewable energy technology.

To achieve these objectives, ENEA will involve a range of scientists and laboratories to help improve the quality of human resources in countries where UNIDO activities are concentrated. Through its internet platform, ENEA e-LEARN, the Italian agency provides scientific and technical expertise in the energy field, which is vital for industrial and economic growth in developing countries.

The ENEA internet platform currently provides more than 200 online courses and 300 video classes on topics such as planning and management of renewable energy sources (solar and wind energy), eco-building and new technology. The joint cooperation will enhance the dissemination of the e-learning methods developed by ENEA.

The two organizations also agreed to promote the ENEA project, Education for the future, which aims to improve schoolchildren’s knowledge of sustainable development. The project fosters cooperation and partnerships between Italian and African schools, and will help supply schools in rural areas with electricity using solar photovoltaic sources.

* *** *For more information, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
Email: M.Evstafyev[at]


United Nations Information Service Vienna (UNIS Vienna)
P.O.Box 500
1400 Vienna
Tel.: (+43-1) 26060-4666
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-7-5899