Sustainability Reads: January 27- February 2

State of the Union leaves Obama’s environmental policy in a haze
In case you missed President Obama’s State of the Union, in terms of climate change and the environment, you didn’t miss much. Unfortunately, this year President Obama left environmentalists feeling empty and disappointed, after his State of the Union left out any hope for national climate policies. The President stuck to his controversial “All-Of-The-Above” energy strategy and continued enthusiasm for natural gas. By Peter Moskowitz at Al Jazeera America.

Low impact: State Department says Keystone won’t hurt much at all
On Friday night the State Department released the ever awaited environmental impact report on the Keystone XL pipeline. This report is significant because President Obama’s decision of whether or not to approve the pipeline was resting on this report (specifically, if the pipeline would have a negative impact climate change and the environment), and also because of the State Department’s blotched the first attempt at the report (which was said to have been produced by a party with conflicted interest). Well, the State Department found that the the pipeline would only have a small environmental impact. Check out this article at Grist to learn a little more. By Heather Smith.

Circular economy is turning the old waste sector into a resource industry
We love the idea of a circular economy: recovering materials after use, extending their life by being used for something else and staying out of landfills. This article recognizes that the discussion of circular economy is growing and even discussed at Davos. The waste management industry and eco-design will play a key role; especially due to the stat that 80% of the environmental impact of a product is determined at the design stage. Implementing circular opportunities at a global scale could yield over $1tn per annum in material savings. By Jacob Hayler on Guardian Sustainable Business.

Does the future of the Amazon rainforest lie in California?
Credits from the United Nations’ REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation) program should be used in California’s carbon market and policymakers and other actors are working together to put rule in place. REDD facilitates financial incentives for indigenous and forest-dwelling communities to protect their forests, which act as a carbon sink.  Linking REDD credits to California’s cap and trade program will provide other key countries such as Brazil with an example to model and learn from, contribute to the protection of the Amazon, and support the success of REDD. Satellite and airplane-based sensors are technologies already available to help with enforcement, one of the most difficult factors of REDD. Article by Derek Walker and published by EDF.


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