Sustainability Reads: September 15- September 21

White House takes aim at antibiotic resistance
On Thursday, President Obama laid out a series of steps to combat the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Antibiotics have become increasingly ineffective and according to the CDC antibiotic-resistant infections kill at least 23,000 people and sicken 2 million each year. Antibiotic use in agriculture (to promote growth in farm animals) has been one large cause of this decreasing effectiveness as well as hospital use of antibiotics when they are not necessary. Yet a health attorney at NRDC has claimed that the Administration’s proposed actions, which include a surveillance system for tracking the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections in health-care places and agricultural settings, are not aggressive enough. By Sara Reardon at Nature.com.

The New Climate Economy Report
This new report by a global commission of heads of government, economists, and business leaders explores the reality that we can have strong economic growth and combat climate change at the same time. Specifically, the next 10-15 years can be an era of great progress and growth if we use our financial, technical, and human resources to raise living standards across the world. The three areas to focus that reduce carbon emissions and create growth are:

  1.  Cities- infrastructure can be planned and built in a smart, connected way saving $3 trillion dollars;
  2. Agriculture- degraded land can be restored using new techniques to produce more food and raise farmers’ wages $40 billion per year; and
  3. Renewable energy-investments in low-carbon sources and robust, flexible energy systems creates jobs and energy security.

With policies designed to spur investment and innovation, governments can speed up these benefits. Lots of valuable information and a framework to move forward are packed into this report.

Investors worth $24 trillion call for global carbon price
In a statement published this last past week, 348 leading investors call for governments to  “deliver strong political leadership on climate change.” The group of pension funds and international organisations, which is worth US$24 trillion and include Blackrock, Standard Bank, Schroders and AXA Group, stated that a global carbon price is vital to allow them to finance green growth as they need greater policy certainty from governments to back low-carbon development. The statement comes right before the UN Climate Summit which will be operated differently this year as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon granted CEOs access to the talks in a new strategy to reduce emissions. By Ed King at Responding to Climate Change (RTCC.org).

US hints at vision for a new global climate deal
In the days before the UN Climate Summit and Climate March in NYC, the US released a document outlining what it wishes to see in a global climate deal for 2015. According to this release, the US thinks every country’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) should look the same, even if their level of ambition differs. Some other expectations the US has for the climate deal include the following:

  • the time frame for emissions cuts,
  • the year cuts will be measured against, known as the base year,
  • the sectors and greenhouse gases included in the pledge,
  • the level of cuts as a percentage,
  • details on how it will measure the reductions,
  • what policies it already has in place to help cut emissions.

At CarbonBrief by Mat Hope.

Additionally, click here to listen to an enlightening 15 minute expert interview with IRPS Professor David Victor on topics such as UN Climate Summit, US, Latin America, fracking, and the New Climate Economy Report.

As the people’s climate march took place in NYC today and around the world in solidarity, this week’s reads are especially important to stay informed and keep up the momentum for an environmentally and socially conscious citizenry and governments and businesses that reflect such values.

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