Sustainability Reads: October 21- October 27

“Party like it’s 1994! America’s CO2 emissions hit 18-year low”
The U.S. has hit an 18 year low in carbon dioxide emissions this year. This article provides a fun outline for the reasons for this low. Contrary to what many have assumed, this low is not a result of a shrinking economy or shrinking population, but various other factors. By John Upton published on Grist.org.

“China smog emergency shuts city of 11 million people”
China’s northeastern cities were shut down this past week as a result of incredibly high levels of pollution in the air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that coarse particulate matters should not go above 100 per day, but only levels over 300 are considered “hazardous.” This past week cities in China reached a level of 1000 particulate matter, obviously dangerously over this recommended limit. Article posted on Reuters, reported by Adam Rose and edited by Ben Blanchard and Michael Perry.

“Investors ask fossil fuel companies to assess how business plans fare in low-carbon future”
Under the Carbon Asset Risk (CAR) Initiative, 70 global investors representing $3 trillion sent letters to the world’s top 45 oil, gas, and electric companies. Letter requested companies conduct a risk assessment under a business-as-usual scenario and a low-carbon scenario consistent with reducing GHG emissions by 80% by 2050 to achieve the 2 ̊C goal. Letter recommends that evaluations include:

  • The company’s capital expenditure plans for finding new fossil fuel reserves;

  • Potential GHG emissions with production;

  • Risks to unproduced reserves due to increased policy expectations, decrease in subsidies, reduction of demand, or the implementation of carbon pricing;

  • Risks on assets due to climate change and impact of these risks;

CERES Press release.

5 things you didn’t know about green business in Brazil
This article packs in a great deal of interesting information about Brazil and the current and future state of sustainability within the country. The 5 factors explored are:

  • Untapped renewable energy resources;

  • Waste, wastewater, and sanitation;

  • Energy efficiency;

  • Green buildings;

  • Funds, financing and universities;

By Alexandre Spatuzza published on Greenbiz.com

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