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Archive for the ‘Green Economy’ Category

Laurel Krause, MendoCoastCurrent, September 10, 2011 ~ 9/10/11

PRESIDENT OBAMA promised on October 27, 2007: “I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am President, it is the FIRST THING I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank.”

On Peace

President Obama has been in office for 32 months and there are still 45,000 troops in Iraq and 100,000+ troops in Afghanistan.

When we voted for Obama we expected our future President to keep his word, not involve us in FOUR MORE WARS!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You’re ON NOTICE ~ Next election Americans will come out in great numbers to vote for a peace-focused presidential candidate that will keep his word.

On Commercial-scale Renewable Energy

We felt validated that we voted for Obama when early in his presidency our President pledged to begin to develop safe, sustainable and renewable energy. We saw it as an excellent way to put the American workforce ‘back to work’ and begin to build a renewable energy future for America. Since then NOT ONE significant renewable or sustainable energy project has been created nor backed by the federal government. If there is one, please name it! The validation we felt back then has expired long ago into distrust and disrespect.

On the BP Gulf Oil Leak

Mostly based on watching our President minimize and shield his eyes (along with Energy Sec Chu) as the BP Oil Leak continues to leak and spew oil into the Gulf of Mexico, to this day. We are beyond disappointed that no significant or innovative remedial (as in clean up) action has been taken in the Gulf or poisoned coastal areas.

On Fukushima & Nuclear Reactors

Then we were shocked when our President in his address to the nation, moments after Fukushima went into melt-through in March 2011, disbelieving our President’s pledge of allegiance to more, new nuclear development in America. Except for President Obama’s corporate backers, the rest of us DO NOT WANT MORE NUCLEAR ENERGY REACTORS in the U.S. We demand our President begin to close down all U.S. nuclear reactors now, also a position very far from our President’s nuclear energy corporate BFF’s.

THE NATIVES ARE BECOMING RESTLESS MR. PRESIDENT!

PUT AMERICA BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK

STEP 1) Immediately BRING ALL TROOPS HOME to be re-deployed in cleaning up the affected areas, as in making whole again, at the on-going BP Oil Leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

STEP 1-A ~ Fire & replace Energy Secretary Chu with a qualified, earth-friendly, safe renewable energy visionary.

STEP 2) Segment a significant portion of your new Jobs Bill towards sustainable and renewable energy R&D to create a VISION & PLAN FOR AMERICA to become the world leader in these new, safe technologies.

STEP 2-A ~ Consider and fund Mendocino Energy, a fast-tracked commercial-scale renewal/sustainable energy thinktank to get started TODAY. Learn more about Mendocino Energy ~ http://bit.ly/t7ov1

Mr President, let us live in peace on a healthy planet.

JOIN US, JOIN IN at the Peaceful Party: http://on.fb.me/hBvNE3

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SIOBHAN HUGHES, Dow Jones News, January 26, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to consider allowing California to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from automobiles, a policy that could spur the development of new vehicles.

“The federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions,” Obama said at a press conference filled with environmental activists and members of his cabinet. He ordered the EPA to “immediately review” a 2007 decision to deny California the waiver it needs to go forward.

The action marks a sharp reversal from the administration of President George W. Bush, which concluded that California wasn’t entitled to its own standards as global warming wasn’t unique to the state. In putting the U.S. on a different course, Obama was signaling a broader commitment to reshaping U.S. energy habits.

“America’s dependence on oil is one of the most serious threats that our nation has faced,” Obama said. “It puts the American people at the mercy of shifting gas prices, stifles innovation, and sets back our ability to compete.”

It isn’t clear how quickly the EPA will make its decision — or how quickly the Obama administration can move the U.S. away from fossil fuels. The new administration already faces a severe economic recession, something that could make it harder for car companies to finance innovation. On Monday, General Motors Corp. (GM) said in a statement that while it was “ready to engage” with the Obama administration, any talks should take into account “economic factors” and the pace at which new technologies can development.

“We hold no illusion about the task that lies ahead,” Obama said. “I cannot promise a quick fix. No single technology or set of regulations will get the job done. But we will commit ourselves to steady, focused, pragmatic pursuit of an America that is freed from our energy dependence and empowered by a new energy economy.”

Obama acted with the backing of the environmental wing of his base, which rushed out press releases to praise his action. Environment America, an environmental group, estimated that applying the California standard in just 13 other states would save 50 billion gallons of gasoline by 2020, for a total savings of $93 billion, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 450 million metric tons in total by 2020.

Obama separately ordered the U.S. Department of Transportation to finalize new automobile fuel-efficiency standards so that they will be in place for the 2011 model year. The Bush administration was supposed to implement the rules, mandated by a 2007 law, but left the issue to Obama.

EPA staff has already told Congress that allowing California to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles could spur technological innovation not just in California, but across the country. That is because states are free to stick with federal standards or adopt the California standard. Fourteen other states have already adopted the California standard and four more are considering doing so.

The California rules apply to greenhouse-gas emissions, and aren’t fuel- efficiency standards. But California regulators have said that their standard would result in vehicles that average 44 miles per gallon. That compares with a 35 mile-per-gallon standard established by Congress for 2020.

Among the possible new technologies to be developed: electric cars. As part of a broad rule-making on greenhouse-gas emissions last year, the EPA staff said that between 2020 and 2025, vehicle fuel-efficiency standards could be well above the 35-mile-per gallon mandated by Congress, based on technologies such as plug-in hybrid vehicles, which run partly on rechargeable batteries. As if to underscore the point, acting Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff said Monday that regulators and the automobile industry must integrate electric vehicles into the national power grid.

“If you’re an automobile company, you’d better get on the bandwagon, because if you don’t, you’re going to be left out of the band because there is definitely going to be a move toward electrification worldwide,” Wellinghoff said.

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MendoCoastCurrent, January 17, 2009

Here’s the post from MendoCoastCurrent in the Citizen’s Briefing Book at President-elect Barack Obama’s change.gov site:

Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force

Immediately establish and staff a Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force chartered with exploring and fast-tracking the development, exploration and commercialization of environmentally-sensitive renewable energy solutions in solar, wind, wave, green-ag, et al.

At this ‘world-class incubator,’ federal energy policy development is created as cutting-edge technologies and science move swiftly from white boards and white papers to testing to refinement and implementation.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

If you wish to support this, please vote up this post at :

Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Mendocino Energy:

Renewable energy incubator and campus on the Mendocino coast exploring nascent and organic technology solutions in wind, wave, solar, green-ag, bioremediation and coastal energy, located on the 400+ acre waterfront G-P Mill site.

Mendocino Energy may be a Campus in Obama’s Renewable Energy Development (RED) federal task force.

Vision:

Mendocino Energy is located on the Mendocino coast, three plus hours north of San Francisco/Silicon Valley.  On the waterfront of Fort Bragg, a portion of the now-defunct Georgia-Pacific Mill Site shall be used for exploring best practices, cost-efficient, environmentally-sensitive renewable and sustainable energy development – wind, wave, solar, bioremediation, green-ag, among many others. The end goal is to identify and engineer optimum, commercial-scale, sustainable, renewable energy solutions.

Start-ups, universities (e.g., Stanford’s newly-funded energy institute), the federal government (RED) and the world’s greatest minds working together to create, collaborate, compete and participate in this fast-tracked exploration.

The campus is quickly constructed of green, temp-portable structures (also a green technology) on the healthiest areas of the Mill Site as in the past, this waterfront, 400+ acre created contaminated areas where mushroom bioremediation is currently being tested (one more sustainable technology requiring exploration). So, readying the site and determining best sites for solar thermal, wind turbines and mills, wave energy, etc.

To learn more about these technologies, especially wave energy, RSS MendoCoastCurrent.

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MendoCoastCurrent, January 8, 2009

obama-hope1Key President-elect Barack Obama renewable energy quotes from his January 8, 2009 speech to the U.S. Congress and citizens, on his top economic priorities as he takes office.

“. . .the first question that each of us asks isn’t ‘what’s good for me?’ but ‘what’s good for the country my children will inherit?”

On creating new jobs and investing in America’s future:

“This plan must begin today. A plan I’m confident will save and create at least three million jobs over the next few years.”

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Program:

“It’s not just a public works program. It’s a plan that recognizes both the paradox and promise of the moment. The fact that there are millions of Americans trying to find work, even as all around the country there’s so much work to be done and that’s why we’ll invest in priorities like energy and education, healthcare and a new infrastructure that are necessary to keep us strong and competitive in the 21st century. That’s why the overwhelming majority of the jobs created will be in the private sector while our plan will save public sector jobs . . .”

“To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will modernize more than 75% of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.”

“In the process, we will put Americans to work in jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced. Jobs building solar panels and wind turbines, constructing fuel efficient cars and buildings, and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.”

“The time has come to build a 21st century economy in which hard work and responsibility are once again rewarded.”

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MARGOT ROOSEVELT, The Los Angeles Times, December 12, 2008

california_mapCalifornia regulators adopted the nation’s first comprehensive plan to slash greenhouse gases on December 11th and characterized it as a model for President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged an aggressive national and international effort to combat global warming.

The ambitious blueprint by the world’s eighth-largest economy would cut the state’s emissions by 15% from today’s level over the next 12 years, bringing them down to 1990 levels.

Approved by the state’s Air Resources Board in a unanimous vote, the 134 page plan lays out targets for virtually every sector of the economy, including automobiles, refineries, buildings and landfills. It would require a third of California’s electricity to come from solar energy, wind farms and other renewable sources — far more than any state currently requires.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been a vigorous advocate of the plan, vowed that it would “unleash the full force of California’s innovation and technology for a healthier planet.”

Businesses, however, are sharply divided.

Automakers oppose California’s pending crackdown on carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a regulation that more than a dozen states have pledged to adopt. Manufacturers want regulators to lower the cost of complying, saying it will lead to billions of dollars in higher electricity costs.

“This plan is an economic train wreck waiting to happen,” James Duran of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce told the board, saying that it would cause financial hardship to minority-owned companies.

But Bob Epstein, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, led a coalition of energy, technology and Hollywood executives, including Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, in endorsing the plan as a spur to the state’s lagging economy.

Investors have poured $2.5 billion into California cleantech companies in the first nine months of the year, up from $1.8 billion for all of 2007, he said, a level that eclipsed the software industry.

“This plan is a clear signal to investors to invest in California,” Epstein said.

Schwarzenegger, a sharp critic of President Bush’s opposition to climate legislation, said, “When you look at today’s depressed economy, green tech is one of the few bright spots out there.”

California’s plan will be “a road map for the rest of the nation,” he predicted.

After an aborted attempt last spring, Congress is expected to renew its efforts to craft climate legislation next year. Many of the elements in contention are addressed in California’s blueprint, including a cap and trade program that would allow industries to reduce emissions more cheaply.

In 18 months of public hearings and workshops, hundreds of people testified and more than 43,000 comments were submitted. More than 250,000 copies of the plan have been viewed or downloaded from the air board’s website in the last two months.

The state’s blueprint will be implemented over the next two years through industry specific regulations. Republican legislators have called on Schwarzenegger to delay the plan, citing the dire state of California’s economy and criticism of the air board’s economic models.

Fears were also expressed by city and county officials who said the plan’s effort to force land use changes infringes on local powers. Environmentalists want more ambitious strategies to curb the sprawl that has led to a rapid increase in driving, and thus in greenhouse gases.

Worldwide, emissions of planet warming gases, which are mainly formed by burning fossil fuels, have been growing far more rapidly than scientists had predicted. California is expected to experience severe damage from climate change by mid-century, including water shortages from a shrinking snowpack, increased wildfires, rising ocean levels and pollution aggravating heat waves.

Given the state’s fast growing population and sprawling suburban development, its emissions are on track to increase by 30% over 1990 levels by 2020. The new blueprint would slash the state’s carbon footprint over the next 12 years by a total of 174 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions — the equivalent of 4 metric tons for every resident.

Despite the reach of the state’s effort, it would barely make a dent in global warming: The state’s emissions account for about 1.5% of the world’s emissions. Nonetheless, air board Chairwoman Mary Nichols said California’s leadership has spurred other states to move ahead. “We are filling a vacuum left by inaction at the federal level,” she said.

More than two dozen states have committed to capping emissions since California passed its landmark 2006 global warming law, the trigger for this action by the Air Resources Board.

California has joined with four Canadian provinces and seven western states to form a regional cap and trade program. Under the program, the states would set a total allowable amount of emissions — as California did in its blueprint. Utilities and other large industries would be required to obtain allowances to cover their emissions. If companies cut emissions more than required, they can sell their extra emission reductions to firms that are not able to meet their targets.

A cap and trade system has been adopted in Europe, where it was initially fraught with logistical problems and afforded windfall profits to many industries. California’s system, which would apply to industries responsible for 85% of its emissions, is the most controversial aspect of its plan.

Groups representing low income residents of polluted urban areas testified that allowing industries to trade in emissions would lead to dirtier plants in their neighborhoods. Under California’s plan, industries would also be allowed to buy “offsets” — emission reductions from projects in other states, or possibly foreign nations, to avoid making their own reductions.

However, the board assuaged many environmentalists Thursday when it pledged that it would gradually move toward a system to auction 100% of greenhouse gas permits, rather than give the permits away for free, as was initially the case in Europe.

Bernadette del Chiaro, an energy analyst for Environment California, predicted the auctions could bring in $1 billion at the outset and up to $340 million per year by 2020.

“This is huge,” she said. “Revenue from polluters would be used to transit to a green economy.”

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Wind-Works.org, November 17, 2008

The French Minister for Energy and the Environment announced that the government was launching an aggressive new program to propel the country to the forefront of solar energy development.

The announcement by Minister Jean-Louis Borloo was made at the annual Grenelle meeting of French environmental stakeholders. Minister Borloo outlined 50 actions the Sarkozy government would take to substantially increase the role of renewable energy in France.

As part of its commitment to the European Union, Borloo said that France will supply 23% of its energy with renewables by 2020.

Most dramatically, Borloo said that France intends to become one of the world’s leaders in the development of solar photovoltaic technology and will increase the supply of solar-generated electricity 400 times by 2020.

To do that, France will create a new tariff category for commercial buildings of €0.45/kWh ($0.57 USD/kWh). This is intended to aid businesses, factories, and farmers to take profitable advantage of their large rooftops. As a measure of the government’s seriousness, there will be no limit on the size of commercial rooftop projects that qualify for the tariff. For comparison, the French commercial tariff for 2009 is higher than that for Germany, the current world leader in solar PV development.

France has been a solar energy laggard in Europe. By mid 2008 there was only 18 MW of solar PV installed on the mainland. (France still maintains several overseas territories.) However, changes to the country’s system of Advanced Renewable Tariffs (Tarife Equitable) in 2006 resulted in a flood of new projects. There is a huge backlog of some 12,000 systems representing 400 MW that are awaiting connection.

The government attributes the rapid growth to changes made to the tariffs for solar PV in 2006 when the government doubled the base feed-in tariff from €0.15 to €0.30 /kWh, the addition of another €0.25 /kWh for façade cladding, and the inclusion of a 50% tax credit for residential installations.

The residential market accounts for 40% of French installations. The typical project is about 3 kW.

Even with the backlog, France’s development of solar PV is well behind Germany, Spain, and Italy and Borloo wants to change that.

The objective, Borloo said, is to install 5,400 MW by 2020, an increase of 400 times that of present installations.

There will be no change to the base tariff of €0.30/kWh ($0.38 USD/kWh) for ground-mounted projects and France continue the €0.55/kWh ($0.70 USD/kWh) tariff for building integrated systems.

Borloo suggested that France may also apply a feed-in tariff to concentrating solar power stations.

These tariffs will remain in effect until 2012 when they will be revisited as part of the normal review process.

To simplify interconnection of solar PV and reduce future backlogs with the quasi privatized state utility, Electricité de France, the government will implement an internet registration process for projects up to 450 kW.

Small solar PV systems less than 3 kW will also be exempted from certain taxes and fees as well.

Tariffs for wind energy will remain the same, though wind projects will have to undergo new siting requirements..

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MendoCoastCurrent, September 2008

Fareed Zakaria: Your new book (Hot, Flat and Crowded) is about two things, the climate crisis and also about an American crisis. Why do you link the two?

Thomas Friedman: You’re absolutely right–it is about two things. The book says, America has a problem and the world has a problem. The world’s problem is that it’s getting hot, flat and crowded and that convergence–that perfect storm–is driving a lot of negative trends. America’s problem is that we’ve lost our way–we’ve lost our groove as a country. And the basic argument of the book is that we can solve our problem by taking the lead in solving the world’s problem.

Zakaria: Explain what you mean by “hot, flat and crowded.”

Friedman: There is a convergence of basically three large forces: one is global warming, which has been going on at a very slow pace since the industrial revolution; the second–what I call the flattening of the world–is a metaphor for the rise of middle-class citizens, from China to India to Brazil to Russia to Eastern Europe, who are beginning to consume like Americans. That’s a blessing in so many ways–it’s a blessing for global stability and for global growth. But it has enormous resource complications, if all these people–whom you’ve written about in your book, The Post American World–begin to consume like Americans. And lastly, global population growth simply refers to the steady growth of population in general, but at the same time the growth of more and more people able to live this middle-class lifestyle. Between now and 2020, the world’s going to add another billion people. And their resource demands–at every level–are going to be enormous. I tell the story in the book how, if we give each one of the next billion people on the planet just one sixty-watt incandescent light bulb, what it will mean: the answer is that it will require about 20 new 500-megawatt coal-burning power plants. That’s so they can each turn on just one light bulb!

Zakaria: In my book I talk about the “rise of the rest” and about the reality of how this rise of new powerful economic nations is completely changing the way the world works. Most everyone’s efforts have been devoted to Kyoto-like solutions, with the idea of getting western countries to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions. But I grew to realize that the West was a sideshow. India and China will build hundreds of coal-fire power plants in the next ten years and the combined carbon dioxide emissions of those new plants alone are five times larger than the savings mandated by the Kyoto accords. What do you do with the Indias and Chinas of the world?

Friedman: I think there are two approaches. There has to be more understanding of the basic unfairness they feel. They feel like we sat down, had the hors d’oeuvres, ate the entrée, pretty much finished off the dessert, invited them for tea and coffee and then said, “Let’s split the bill.” So I understand the big sense of unfairness–they feel that now that they have a chance to grow and reach with large numbers a whole new standard of living, we’re basically telling them, “Your growth, and all the emissions it would add, is threatening the world’s climate.” At the same time, what I say to them–what I said to young Chinese most recently when I was just in China is this: Every time I come to China, young Chinese say to me, “Mr. Friedman, your country grew dirty for 150 years. Now it’s our turn.” And I say to them, “Yes, you’re absolutely right, it’s your turn. Grow as dirty as you want. Take your time. Because I think we probably just need about five years to invent all the new clean power technologies you’re going to need as you choke to death, and we’re going to come and sell them to you. And we’re going to clean your clock in the next great global industry. So please, take your time. If you want to give us a five-year lead in the next great global industry, I will take five. If you want to give us ten, that would be even better. In other words, I know this is unfair, but I am here to tell you that in a world that’s hot, flat and crowded, ET–energy technology–is going to be as big an industry as IT–information technology. Maybe even bigger. And who claims that industry–whose country and whose companies dominate that industry–I think is going to enjoy more national security, more economic security, more economic growth, a healthier population, and greater global respect, for that matter, as well. So you can sit back and say, it’s not fair that we have to compete in this new industry, that we should get to grow dirty for a while, or you can do what you did in telecommunications, and that is try to leap-frog us. And that’s really what I’m saying to them: this is a great economic opportunity. The game is still open. I want my country to win it–I’m not sure it will.

Zakaria: I’m struck by the point you make about energy technology. In my book I’m pretty optimistic about the United States. But the one area where I’m worried is actually ET. We do fantastically in biotech, we’re doing fantastically in nanotechnology. But none of these new technologies have the kind of system-wide effect that information technology did. Energy does. If you want to find the next technological revolution you need to find an industry that transforms everything you do. Biotechnology affects one critical aspect of your day-to-day life, health, but not all of it. But energy–the consumption of energy–affects every human activity in the modern world. Now, my fear is that, of all the industries in the future, that’s the one where we’re not ahead of the pack. Are we going to run second in this race?

Friedman: Well, I want to ask you that, Fareed. Why do you think we haven’t led this industry, which itself has huge technological implications? We have all the secret sauce, all the technological prowess, to lead this industry. Why do you think this is the one area–and it’s enormous, it’s actually going to dwarf all the others–where we haven’t been at the real cutting edge?

Zakaria: I think it’s not about our economic system but our political system. The rhetoric we hear is that the market should produce new energy technologies. But the problem is, the use of current forms of energy has an existing infrastructure with very powerful interests that has ensured that the government tilt the playing field in their favor, with subsidies, tax breaks, infrastructure spending, etc. This is one area where the Europeans have actually been very far-sighted and have pushed their economies toward the future.

Friedman: I would say that’s exactly right. It’s the Europeans–and the Japanese as well–who’ve done it, and they’ve done it because of the government mechanisms you’ve highlighted. They have understood that, if you just say the market alone will deliver the green revolution we need, basically three things happen and none of them are good: First, the market will drive up the price to whatever level demand dictates. We saw oil hit $145 a barrel, and when that happens the oil-producing countries capture most of the profit, 90% of it. So, some of the worst regimes in the world enjoy the biggest benefits from the market run-up. The second thing that happens is that the legacy oil, gas and coal companies get the other ten percent of the profit–so companies which have no interest in changing the system get stronger. And the third thing that happens is something that doesn’t happen: because you’re letting the market alone shape the prices, the market price can go up and down very quickly. So, those who want to invest in the alternatives really have to worry that if they make big investments, the market price for oil may fall back on them before their industry has had a chance to move down the learning curve and make renewable energies competitive with oil. Sure, the market can drive oil to $145 a barrel and at that level wind or solar may be very competitive. But what if two months later oil is at $110 a barrel? Because of that uncertainty, because we have not put a floor price under oil, you have the worst of all worlds, which is a high price of dirty fuels–what I call in the book fuels from hell–and low investment in new clean fuels, the fuels from heaven. Yes, some people are investing in the alternatives, but not as many or as much as you think, because they are worried that without a floor price for crude oil, their investments in the alternatives could get wiped out, which is exactly what happened in the 1980s after the first oil shock. That’s why you need the government to come in a reshape the market to make the cost of dirty fuels more expensive and subsidize the price of clean fuels until they can become competitive.

Right now we are doing just the opposite. Bush and Cheney may say the oil market is “free,” but that is a joke. It’s dominated by the world’s biggest cartel, OPEC, and America’s biggest energy companies, and they’ve shaped this market to serve their interests. Unless government comes in and reshapes it, we’re never going to launch this industry. Which is one of the reasons I argue in the book, “Change your leaders, not your light bulbs.” Because leaders write rules, rules shape markets, markets give you scale. Without scale, without being able to generate renewable energy at scale, you have nothing. All you have is a hobby. Everything we’ve doing up to now is pretty much a hobby. I like hobbies–I used to build model airplanes as a kid. But I don’t try to change the world as a hobby. And that’s basically what we’re trying to do.

Zakaria: But aren’t we in the midst of a green revolution? Every magazine I pick up tells me ten different ways to get more green. Hybrids are doing very well…

Friedman: What I always say to people when they say to me, “We’re having a green revolution” is, “Really? A green revolution! Have you ever been to a revolution where no one got hurt? That’s the green revolution.” In the green revolution, everyone’s a winner: BP’s green, Exxon’s green, GM’s green. When everyone’s a winner, that’s not a revolution–actually, that’s a party. We’re having a green party. And it’s very fun–you and I get invited to all the parties. But it has no connection whatsoever with a real revolution. You’ll know it’s a revolution when somebody gets hurt. And I don’t mean physically hurt. But the IT revolution was a real revolution. In the IT revolution, companies either had to change or die. So you’ll know the green revolution is happening when you see some bodies–corporate bodies–along the side of the road: companies that didn’t change and therefore died. Right now we don’t have that kind of market, that kind of change-or-die situation. Right now companies feel like they can just change their brand, not actually how they do business, and that will be enough to survive. That’s why we’re really having more of a green party than a green revolution.

Zakaria: One of your chapters is called “Outgreening Al-Qaeda.” Explain what you mean.

Friedman: The chapter is built around the green hawks in the Pentagon. They began with a marine general in Iraq, who basically cabled back one day and said, I need renewable power here. Things like solar energy. And the reaction of the Pentagon was, “Hey, general, you getting a little green out there? You’re not going sissy on us are you? Too much sun?” And he basically said, “No, don’t you guys get it? I have to provision outposts along the Syrian border. They are off the grid. They run on generators with diesel fuel. I have to truck diesel fuel from Kuwait to the Syrian border at $20 a gallon delivered cost. And that’s if my trucks don’t get blown up by insurgents along the way. If I had solar power, I wouldn’t have to truck all this fuel. I could—this is my term, not his—’outgreen’ Al-Qaeda.”

I argue in the chapter that “outgreening”–the ability to deploy, expand, innovate and grow renewable energy and clean power–is going to become one of the most important, if not the most important, sources of competitive advantage for a company, for a country, for a military. You’re going to know the cost of your fuel, it’s going to be so much more distributed, you will be so much more flexible, and–this is quite important, Fareed–you will also become so much more respected. I hear from law firms today: one law firm has a green transport initiative going for its staff–they only use hybrid cars–another one doesn’t. If some law student out of Harvard or Yale is weighing which law firm to join–many will say today: “I think I’ll go with the green one.” So there are a lot of ways in which you can outgreen your competition. I think “outgreening” is going to become an important verb in the dictionary – between “outfox” and “outmaneuver.”

Zakaria: Finally, let me ask you–in that context–what would this do to America’s image, if we were to take on this challenge? Do you really think it could change the way America is perceived in the world?

Friedman: I have no doubt about it, which is why I say in the book: I’m not against Kyoto; if you can get 190 countries all to agree on verifiable limits on their carbon, God bless you. But at the end of the day, I really still believe–and I know you do too–in America as a model. Your book stresses this–that even in a post-American world we still are looked at by others around the world as a role model. I firmly believe that if we go green–if we prove that we can become healthy, secure, respected, entrepreneurial, richer and more innovative by greening our economy, many more people will follow us voluntarily than would do so by compulsion of a treaty. Does that mean Russia and Iran will? No. Geopolitics won’t disappear. But I think it will, speaking broadly, definitely reposition us in the world with more people in more places. I look at making America the greenest country in the world like running the Olympic triathlon: if you make it to the Olympics and you run the race, maybe you win–but even if you don’t win, you’re fitter, healthier, more secure, more respected, more competitive and entrepreneurial, because you have given birth to a whole new clean power industry–which has to be the next great global industry–and put your economy on a much more sustainable footing. So to me, this is a win-win-win-win race, and that’s why I believe we, America, need to take the lead in it. In the Cold War we had the space race with Russia to see who could be the first to put a man on the moon. Today we need an earth race with Japan, Europe, China and India–to see who can be the first to invent the clean power technologies that will allow man to live safely and sustainably on earth.

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DAVID R. BAKER, The San Francisco Chronicle, February 26, 2008

Last year, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. gave its customers the option of going carbon neutral, voluntarily paying a little extra on their monthly bills to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas levels. Today, the utility announced which projects will get the money.

San Francisco’s PG&E will use cash from its ClimateSmart program to fund the restoration and management of two California forests, one in Santa Cruz County, the other on the state’s North Coast. The trees – mostly coastal redwoods – will soak up carbon dioxide from the air, offsetting some of the gases produced by the power plants that provide PG&E customers with electricity.

The amount of money changing hands is small by the standards of the utility industry – only about $2 million. That cash, however, should help remove 214,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases from the air. That’s roughly equivalent to taking almost 40,000 cars off the road for a year.

It also means that the 17,500 PG&E customers who have signed up for the ClimateSmart program will have offset all the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the electricity and natural gas they consume. Participating customers pay an average of $5 per month over and above their regular bill. They receive nothing in return, except the satisfaction of helping the environment.

“What’s the customer getting? First and foremost, they’re being made climate neutral,” said Wendy Pulling, PG&E’s Director of Environmental Policy. “Second, they’re getting to participate in restoring some of California’s beautiful native forests.”

Becoming climate neutral or carbon neutral has become a badge of honor among some environmentalists and has spawned a small industry of companies that offer similar services to ClimateSmart. Typically, such companies allow consumers to calculate the amount of greenhouse gases produced by their cars or homes or air travel plans. Consumers can then pay to offset those emissions, with the money going to fund windmill farms or reforestation projects.

The industry also has its critics, who view offset programs as a form of cheap penance for environmental sins. They note that some offset programs have spent money on environmental projects that would have happened anyway.

ClimateSmart tries to avoid that pitfall. The contracts PG&E signed with the owners of the two forests stipulate that the money must fund activities that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The forest projects must be certified by the nonprofit California Climate Action Registry, using criteria approved by the California Air Resources Board, a state government agency.

At the Garcia River Forest in Mendocino County, the cash will pay for the restoration of a woodland that was clear-cut at least twice in the past 100 years. The Conservation Fund, a non-profit group specializing in environmental land management, bought the forest from a timber company in 2004 and planned to continue some tree harvesting to pay for restoration and management.

Now, the ClimateSmart money will allow the fund to continue its work while removing fewer trees, said Chris Kelly, the fund’s California program director. And the trees that will be harvested will be smaller trees that are crowding the forest and preventing the redwoods from growing to their full size. In the end, removing the smaller trees will help the forest produce bigger trees and absorb more carbon dioxide, Kelly said.

The ClimateSmart cash also will help maintain some roads in the forest and remove others, he said. Kelly said other forest managers should recognize the possibility that they can get money for preserving their trees, rather than cutting them for lumber.

“This could be a real breakthrough for forest management,” he said. “It’s a nice marriage of being a tree farmer and a carbon farmer at the same time.”

In Santa Cruz County, ClimateSmart will fund maintenance of the Lompico Headwaters Forest, owned by the Sempervirens Fund.

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January 8, 2008

Google.org has announced a $US25 million funding round to a variety of organisations. The grants and investments fall into five areas that will be the focus of the company’s philanthropic activity for the next five to ten years.

“These five initiatives are our attempt to address some of the hard problems we as a world need to face in the coming decade,” said Larry Brilliant, executive director of Google.org.

“We have chosen them both because we think solving them will make a better, fairer, safer world for our children and grandchildren – and the children and grandchildren of people all over the world – but also because we feel that these core initiatives fit well with Google’s core strengths, especially its innovative technologies and its talented engineers and other Googlers, who are really our most valuable assets.”

Several relatively big-ticket allocations have been made.

InSTEDD (Innovative Support to Emergencies, Diseases and Disasters) will receive $US5 million to help its work in improving readiness and response to global health threats and humanitarian disasters. (‘Predict and Prevent’)

The Global Health and Security Initiative has been allocated $US2.5 million to improve disease surveillance systems in the Mekong Basin. (‘Predict and Prevent’)

Pratham, a Indian non-government organisation, will use its $US2 million to set up an institute to conduct a regular national education status report and large scale assessments. (‘Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services’)

$US4.7 million is heading to Technoserve, which will use it to help entrepreneurs in poor rural areas of the world to build businesses. (‘Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’)

A few smaller grants were also made to organisations working in the above areas.

But the biggest single allocation is staying closer to home. As part of the RE<C project (‘Develop Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal’), Google.org is investing $10 million in eSolar. The plan, and more specifically the relationship with eSolar was revealed last year, but the investment deal has now been completed.

Another previously announced Google.org program is RechargeIT (‘Accelerate the Commercialization of Plug-In Vehicles’), which ties in nicely with RE<C – if we’re going to see electric cars, it makes sense that the power they use should be generated as cleanly as possible. While no specifics were announced, Google.org said it plans a series of $US500,000 to $US2 million investments in this area.

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Bruce V. Bigelow of the UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER on November 29, 2007

Funding by venture capital firms in “clean tech” topped $2.6 billion through the first nine months of 2007, a number that exceeds the $1.78 billion invested in all of 2006.

Of the total, more than $726 million was invested in 68 companies in California, according to data released yesterday by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association.

Silicon Valley accounted for more than 84 percent of the California funding and 49 of the deals, with Thomson Financial counting $11.5 million going to two clean-tech deals in the San Diego region.

Actual numbers may vary.

PowerGenix, a San Diego startup that has been developing rechargeable nickel-zinc batteries, got $15 million in venture funding this year, Chief Executive Dan Squiller said.

The Thomson data, which are based on a survey of venture-capital firms, showed that PowerGenix got $8.5 million from Palo Alto’s Technology Partners and an undisclosed venture firm.

The data also showed a $3 million investment in Enviance, a Carlsbad company offering software as a service that helps customers better manage their compliance with environmental, health and safety regulations.

The underlying trend, though, reflects a surge in venture-capital funding for new “clean and green” technologies that range from substitutes for petroleum-based fuels to new types of solar power, fuel cells and energy-saving software and computer chips.

“San Diego is typically known more for its biotech companies,” Squiller said. “But San Diego also is a hotbed for clean-tech companies.”

Investments by U.S. venture firms in clean-technology startups have been increasing rapidly, from $590 million in 63 deals in 2000 to $1.78 billion in 180 deals in 2006, according to the Thomson data.

The $2.6 billion invested so far this year went into 168 deals, although the three largest ones were outside the United States: a $500 million investment in the Netherlands’ Delta Hydrocarbon BV, a $200 million deal with Brazil’s Brazilian Renewable Energy Co. and a $118 million investment in China’s Yingli Green Energy Holding Co.

The largest segment of U.S. investments involves solar technologies, with nearly $665 million in 35 deals nationwide. Investments in alternative energy, which excludes wind, solar, geothermal and cogeneration, amounted to almost $318 million in 33 deals, with venture funding for power-supply technologies amounting to $184 million in 25 deals.

Bruce Bigelow: (619) 293-1314; bruce.bigelow@uniontrib.com

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TED GREENWALD, Wired, November 12, 2007

Gore, Doerr & Joy is not a folk rock supergroup but an investment power trio with a common goal: To use market forces to stop global warming.

Former vice president Al Gore has become a partner in Silicon Valley’s top venture capital firm, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers.

In return, John Doerr — KPCB founder and early investor in Amazon, Google and Netscape — has joined the advisory board of Gore’s three-year-old green investment firm, Generation.

And Bill Joy, the boy genius behind Sun Microsystems, Java and the latest generation of Unix operating systems, is a KPCB partner who established his cred as a techno activist by advocating limits on research in potentially dangerous technologies like genetic engineering.

Together, they’re inviting all comers to submit eco-friendly business plans in need of capital.

The climate situation is so dire, and the investment opportunity so enticing, that the principals are determined to leave no possible solution unexplored.

Doerr, who confessed his fear of climate change in an emotional presentation at last year’s TED (technology, entertainment, design) conference, predicts that $200 million in KPCB capital will target global warming within a year, in addition to the $270 million currently allocated to environmental issues.

The alliance with Generation will help him figure out where to put the new money. The alt-fuels market is estimated to be worth $1 trillion, the global energy industry worth six times as much. All of which makes the new Green Revolution the new internet on Sand Hill Road.

“It’s going to be fun and wildly profitable, and really good for the planet. How can you not be excited about this?” says Joy.

Well, a flood of dodgy proposals soon to arrive at KPCB-Generation central might give the VCs pause.

Wired talked with Gore, Joy, Doerr and Generation co-founder and managing partner David Blood during a Monday conference call.

Al Gore: If I could start up with a brief opening comment. We are announcing an international alliance between Generation Investment Management and Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis. These two firms, in alliance, cover the full spectrum of the investment marketplace, and we’re asking entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and technologists around the world to send us their ideas, business plans and new technologies.

We have geared up to give a full and fair hearing to those ideas. Though we will, no doubt, make mistakes, we will pledge our best efforts to give a full hearing — including to ideas and technologies that perhaps have been given short shrift in the past — and we look forward to seeing many that have not yet seen the light of day.

We believe that Sir Nicholas Stern is right when he says, along with others, that there is an investment gap of up to 1 percent of world GDP over the next several decades that needs to be closed if we’re going to succeed in quickly developing a low-carbon economy. We’re very excited to have this chance to work together and bring these two world-class teams together.

Bill Joy: It’s widely recognized that we’re going to need to invest more, but we also need to buy things we can afford.

If we look at the technologies out there today, there’s a lot of things that can be profitably deployed. People can get a lot more efficient. But the scale of the problem is very large. We’re going to need new technologies to fully solve the problem.

Investing in new technologies and more rapid deployment of technologies that are farther along and sharing intelligence about the best way to allocate capital will yield not only good investment returns but also better results for the planet. That’s why we’re so excited to be working with Generation and Al Gore.

Wired News: So you’re inviting all comers to pitch you?Gore: The tone of your voice conveys some question about the wisdom of this invitation.

WN: It does make me wonder how you’ll cope with the inevitable flood of — how can I say it politely? Un-actionable ideas.

Gore: Between Generation and Kleiner Perkins, we’re already seeing 3,000 plans per year. So we have already developed the capacity for this review and we have scaled it up in anticipation of increased flow. And, of course, we recognize that there are a lot of proposals that should never see the light of day. But we also recognize that there are a lot of great ideas and technologies that have not been given adequate consideration and aren’t (given adequate consideration) because of the heavy subsidies for high-carbon technologies that are enormously profitable for incumbent enterprises. As the world shifts away from a high-carbon economy, we need to do a better job, all of us, in recognizing the new opportunities.

David Blood: The challenge that Bill Joy just outlined is an enormous challenge. We’re in the process of moving from the carbon-based economy to something different. It would be probable that that would undergo a change over the course of decades.

Our guess is — given the challenges associated with climate change — which transition is going to need to occur much more quickly. Over a 10-year period, possibly a five-year period.

So the need for entrepreneurship and creativity in ways we can’t even fathom, not only as investors or business people but across civil society, is so great that, in some ways, the call seems to be, we’re asking for a lot.

But it’s also symbolic, to say we need to take a different approach here. We need to have a total change of mindset. We need creativity. We need existing businesses to change — entrepreneurs, capital markets professionals and public policy.

WN: It’s laudable and intriguing to open the doors wide, but my immediate sense is that, given the stature of the participants, you probably already have your fingers on the pulses of the most significant developments available and probably already have personal connections with many of the people.

Gore: Here’s what I would encourage you to add to your way of thinking. Even though we do, in fact, have some good ideas about who we think some of the likely winners will be, the scale of this is larger than any challenge our global civilization has ever confronted.

This is going to be larger than the industrial revolution, in a shorter period of time. The initiatives involved will be the equivalent of the Manhattan Project, the Apollo Program, and the Marshall Plan combined and scaled globally.

There are a lot of people who are going to be actively involved in trying to catalyze this transition. We want to do our part and bring the skills, discipline and experience of these two world-class teams together to bring to bear on this challenge and to do our part.

Joy: If you saw the TV show, Connections, you saw how breakthroughs come after a series of small steps. We’ve been looking actively for years, figuring out what we can do that would make a real difference and addressing energy and renewability of the way we do things. And, in many cases, we have a whole picture — except there may be one or two pieces missing.

So if someone has something they think is new and could be a piece, that could be interesting because our preparation yields us the opportunity to take that small piece and maybe make it the final piece of the puzzle.

That’s across a wide range of mechanical engineering disciplines, chemistry, physics, biology, all sorts of technical areas where a higher price for carbon, higher price for oil makes things more interesting than they were when those prices were artificially depressed.

Are these scenarios publicly available, so I can see what piece you feel is missing and put my mind to filling it?

Joy: That would be a job and a half in itself. We’re talking really arcane stuff here. For example, if you want to capture CO2, the material you capture it with has to be recycled. It’s not the capture that’s hard, it’s the recycling of the material that captures, cost-effectively.

Then, of course you have to do something with the CO2 once you capture it. That’s another piece. So there are pieces missing. Let’s find them.

WN: Do you have a specific set of criteria that you’ll be judging proposals on?

Joy: We get business plans, we look at the team, technology, markets — things have to go to scale to make a difference, so we’re looking for ideas that can make a big difference.

Gore: One of the criteria will be how big a contribution to solving the climate crisis will the technology represent.

Blood: I think it’s also important to put this into a somewhat broader context. There are multiple industries and businesses that will be part of the solution to climate change.

It’s not just green technology. It ranges from water to markets to the carbohydrate economy to energy efficiency. It’s a broad series of industries and businesses.

Second, it’s across all stages of companies’ development. We’re talking, at this moment, about early-stage businesses, but that’s just part of the solution. Part of the challenge is to work with later-stage businesses as well as larger businesses.

Some of the largest companies in the world are the largest participants in these markets. So it’s not just the small startup that you’re familiar with, that Kleiner is so great with. It’s that among other types of businesses.

Joy: At the moment, in my funnel, personally, I have about 100 ventures. They start from “somebody has an idea” or “I saw this patent,” or something, and at the far end are the things we work on with Generation.

There’s probably 10 such ventures. We looked at one just a couple of weeks ago. We went into diligence on it. We didn’t end up making the investment.

One of the partners here is seeing one of those a week. So if the flow picks up here, we’re going to be pretty busy. You do that for a while and you can pick out the ones that are going to matter pretty quickly.

Ten times the volume isn’t 10 times the work. You still have to be polite, that takes a little time, get a good process for being polite to people for sending us their stuff, but it doesn’t take anywhere near 10 times the work to process 10 times more once we know areas — and we do. That’s the strength of these two firms. We go all the way from the earliest ideas to the public markets.

WN: The approach of investing in technologies that you think will solve an environmental problem has been around for some time. But I do wonder about the dual goal of doing well and doing good and whether you can actually maximize your returns and your environmental gains at the same time. How has that been going?

Blood: The biggest challenge, when people ask this question, “is it possible to make money and do well by society or the planet?”, where that question is off the mark is when you think of it as two separate points.

We don’t think of it that way. The whole question of sustainability is integral to how you manage businesses. Any industrial business has to understand what their carbon footprint is. It’s pollution, it’s waste; they need to find ways to mitigate that. Clearly, with the price of carbon, that will be a big deal.

In the case of other aspects of sustainability, like how you operate in your community, license to operate matters to a retailer, it matters to a financial institution. How you attract and retain employees matters. Corporate governance matters. Long-term demographic and economic factors matter.

The best business leaders in the world have already internalized this. They don’t think of it as two separate points. They think of it as how they run their business in a thoughtful, effective way for the long-term profitability of their shareholders as well as their multiple stakeholders. It’s not hard for us to understand how that operates. We think it’s best practice.

WN: But when you’re trying to fill in holes in larger systems, as Bill pointed out, how do you strike a balance between filling the hole and making a profit?

Joy: The secret here is we’ve got an enormous amount of capital that needs to be replaced. Add up all the capital that’s out there and it’s basically not very valuable, or worth anything at all, given how much carbon it puts out and how expensive carbon is and is going to be.

So we need companies that can provide efficient capital and systems, so companies that have this now-unaffordable system in place are going to look to low cost of capital, low operating cost, low carbon footprint to replace it.

Revolutionary technologies like we’ve seen in the semiconductor industry, and revolutions in chemistry and physics, electronics, and whole systems … things that are already existing, can be deployed in large public companies. The kind of intelligence we get from Generation lets us know where these large markets are. We help give an idea of what can come along. Put those things together — I think this is the most profitable place to be because you’re displacing things that are so incredibly inefficient.

Personal computers were profitable because people didn’t have computers before. It wasn’t a displacement market.

This is almost as good; it’s probably better. It’s a bigger market, and what we’re displacing is largely stupid. It should be easy to displace. So I think it’s going to be fun and wildly profitable, and really good for the planet. So why not do it? How can you not be excited about this?

Blood: There’s two points to make. The fact that there is no price on carbon means that we’re inefficiently, inappropriately allocating capital to businesses that are not properly accounting for their cost.

Second, we’re not advocating that capital should be allocated in a subsidized way. That’s not sustainable in the long term. We like philanthropy, but that’s not what we’re arguing for here. We’re talking about getting a proper price on carbon and then making thoughtful allocations to capital to address these challenges, which will be profitable for these entrepreneurs as well as existing businesses that have worked it out.

Joy: We have a petrochemical industry. We can think of a renewable chemical industry based on biological inputs. Cargill estimated that that’s a $1 trillion market. That’s big enough. I think we can make good progress working against that opportunity. That technology doesn’t exist today.

WN: I accept your premise. My question was directed at how you find the balance.

Joy: We look for great ventures within the universe of ventures that are applicable to this problem. We find ones that are as good as any we’ve seen in the history of the partnership.

I think Generation is seeing, and the public markets see, companies better positioned for the future than companies that aren’t green. The green companies are in better shape as the true price of these inputs becomes apparent to make it wildly profitable. But you’ve got to understand what the driving forces are, and that’s what we’re going to do together.

Gore: We may be beating a dead horse, but let me add one more comment. There were two earlier waves of efforts to integrate sustainability factors into equity investing. Thirty-five years ago so-called ethical investing relied on a negative screen that did result in the impression that’s at the base of your question — you have to choose between doing well and doing good.

Then a second wave came along called best-in-class investing, or positive screen investing. That left that basic conflict in place.

But the third wave of global equity investing that Generation represents, that’s based on full integration of sustainability factors into every facet of this process, is powered by intensive research into how the sustainability factors uncover perspectives and knowledge about business opportunities that you can’t get in any other way.

It actually does serve to increase the returns compared to an approach that is not based on integrating sustainability factors.

In the same way, in early-stage investment opportunities, there are similar factors at work. And with the entire global economy poised to make this enormous shift, with the first signs of this shift already evident, we think this is a fantastic opportunity to match up the investment dollars with the opportunities that need to be developed quickly.

WN: When I hear people talk about technologies like solar, the business case always depends on government subsidies. I wonder whether you have a parallel effort to work on policy.

Gore: We think the opportunity we’re pursuing will come to fruition with or without changes in government policy. There are consumer preferences, business shifts in perspective; the entire economy is moving very forcefully.

There have already been policy changes in Europe and Japan and some other areas. The state of California has already made a policy shift, more than 700 U.S. cities have already made a policy shift.

Even if there’s no national government policy change, these opportunities are well worth pursuing in the marketplace.

If, as we expect, there will be policy changes forthcoming, then the opportunities are even greater. Will we join in the discussion of why those policy shifts should occur? Yes.

We have already been part of that. At Generation we have been deeply involved in it. Kleiner Perkins has as well. John Doerr is probably more responsible than any single person for AB32, the bipartisan legislation that passed in California that caused an earthquake in the policy world. We’ll all continue that policy advocacy.

WN: What are your favorite approaches to reducing carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases, in technology terms?

Joy: Number one, I learned from Amory Lovins many years ago, start by reducing demand. When everyone thinks of renewable energy, they think of solar panels, but that’s the wrong end to start from.

First you’ve got to cut down the amount you use. The number one cost-effective demand reduction is insulation. It’s not sexy, but it saves a huge amount of energy. So companies that find ways to get businesses and residences to improve their insulation would make a huge difference.

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Building on his long-term commitment to preserving the environment, President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation’s Climate Initiative (CCI) in August 2006 with the mission of applying the Foundation’s business-oriented approach to the fight against climate change in practical, measurable and significant ways.

In its first phase, CCI is working with the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, an association of large cities dedicated to tackling climate change—to develop and implement a range of actions that will accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions. With cities contributing approximately 75 percent of all heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions to our atmosphere, while only comprising 2 percent of land mass, large cities are critical to winning this fight and slowing the pace of global warming.

In May, mayors, chief climate officials and business leaders from 45 cities met in New York for the second C40 Large Cities Climate Summit to share best practices, identify collaborative projects and chart future action in the fight against global warming. To see who attended and what they accomplished, visit www.nycclimatesummit.com/.

During the summit, President Clinton announced a new program that brings together cities, building owners, banks and energy-service companies to make changes to existing buildings to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information on how this announcement will allow cities to save money and help save our planet, click here.

In addition to coordinating this program, CCI is providing direct assistance to individual cities and facilitating the sharing of best practices. CCI is also working to organize a purchasing consortium that will help cities buy energy efficient technologies at lower prices and create a measurement and information tool to help cities take an inventory of energy use to help direct future activities. For the latest news and programs, visit www.c40cities.org/.

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