Sustainability Reads: June 30- July 6

Court Blocks Coal Mine Expansion For Not Counting The Costs Of Carbon Pollution
Last Friday, Judge Jackson of the U.S. District Court in Colorado ruled that the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service overlooked the social costs of carbon emissions in the environmental impact review of the proposed expansion of Arch Coal’s West Elk mine in Colorado. According to the decision, the agency “initially found that the social cost of carbon associated with the expansion could be as high as $984 million, but the agencies arbitrarily scrapped this analysis from the final environmental impact statement” although they kept an outline of the benefits associated with the project in the analysis. The landmark decision emphasizes the importance of including these costs in environmental assessments of projects on federal lands and sets an interesting and optimistic precedent for future projects. By Nidhi Thakar at Climate Progress.

‘Minilateral’ approach could spare UN climate talks gridlock
A new study published in Nature Climate Change suggested that in order to avoid gridlock in international climate negotiations, initial action should be limited to the 17-strong Major Economies Forum (MEF), a forum which comprises the world’s top carbon polluters, or other ‘mini-lateral’ type groups. The paper also recommends that countries calculate emission cuts based on their consumption rather than production pattern. Although it is common for leading powers to first form the outline of global agreements then include other countries, critics of this approach suggest that this does not provide equality in the climate talks. This is especially valid since many of the smaller, poorer countries are the ones that will be (and already are) most heavily affected by climate change. These countries that are excluded hold big polluters responsible for their emissions and are key negotiators in the UNFCCC. The 17-strong MEF includes EU, China, India, Brazil, and the US, whose total emissions cover 81.3% of total global emissions. By Ed King on RTCC.org.

5 reasons businesses should care about climate change
Article clearly defines the business case for companies to integrate climate change considerations into their operations. You know here at the Sustainability Co-Op we are big fans of companies taking responsibility for the environmental and social effects of their operations, but the framework can also be used by consumers to increase expectations and dialogue. Motivations for companies include the fact that climate change is expensive and not doing anything just makes this reality worse. Climate change also poses risks along the entire supply chain and a smart climate policy also helps attract and engage employees. Now is the time to act for many reasons including that investors are asking. By Mary Mazzoni on Triple Pundit.

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