Sustainability Reads: February 17- February 23

Tracking deforestation as it happens
Key development in stopping deforestation: the availability of accurate and up to date information. Global Forest Watch is the new monitoring tool which provides real time data on changes in forest cover to identify trees cut down and enabling enforcement of rules against deforestation. The software developed jointly by WRI and other partners, including Google, is flexible to sort and extract information including by forest type, by time period, by logging concession, by protected areas, etc. Use for many actors- public and private, tool is a positive leap forward. By Oliver Balch, Guardian Sustainable Business.

In Bali, a Pivotal Moment for Climate Postponed
Pessimistic update on the Green Climate Fund (GCF)-the UN vehicle for developed country financing of climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. GCF started in 2010, but yet to be effective due to retracting financial commitments by developed nations and continued disagreement on the role and possible over reliance on the private sector. Only .004% of desired capital has been raised. Although towel is not going to be thrown in yet, the 24 person board shaping the fund continues to hit obstacles to success which don’t seem to be overcome before next meeting in May. Fund is vital to better equip countries for climate change that don’t have the capacity to do so. From Inter Press Service (IPS).

Why Obama’s New Fuel Standards For Big Trucks Matter
On Tuesday President Obama announced improved fuel-efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (which make up a quarter of fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector). These vehicles include school buses, garbage trucks, large pickups, vocational vehicles and tractor-trailers, and the first round of new standards is intended to save 530 million barrels of oil, or about $50 billion in lifetime fuel costs. These new standards are one of the climate change efforts President Obama has signaled he will do on his own without support from Congress.  By Ari Phillips at Climate Progress.

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