May 25 – 29, 2015

Currently serving as Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager for the 2016 election, John Podesta is not widely known outside of the Washington bubble. Yet, the consummate D.C. insider’s “hidden hand” has guided the environmental achievements of presidents for two decades, as detailed in this excellent High Country Times profile. “Nobody in the 21st century in U.S. government has had the influence that he has had on public lands and climate change,” explains Bruce Babbitt, Clinton’s Interior secretary.
When Jigar Shah was first building up his global solar energy company, SunEdison, in the early 2000s, he pushed hard for solar subsidies to help get the company off the ground. These subsidies – while integral to first allowing companies to reduce costs through scale in local markets – have now outlived their usefulness, argues Shah. Today, he says, solar subsidies in maturing markets, such as the United States and Canada, are actually holding the industry back.
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The French National Assembly approved a bill last week that requires the disclosure of climate impact and carbon risk exposure for French investors. Under the draft legislation, large institutional investors in France must include a number of data points in their annual report that include the measurement and disclosure of their portfolios’ exposure to carbon. The law has yet to be approved by the French Senate and signed into law, but the French government has voiced its support for the measure.
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Growth of the solar power market has been nothing short of remarkable. But with that growth comes more scrutiny of how solar modules are made and where billions of solar panels will end up when we are done with them. The public and investors will want to know: is the solar industry as green as the energy it produces?
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A new study on Canada’s clean technology industry warns that despite outgrowing the rest of the economy, the sector is losing global market share and needs government policy support. The study finds that among the world’s top 24 exporting nations of clean technology goods, Canada has been the third biggest loser of market share since 2008, behind only the United Kingdom and Japan.
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Canada’s cities must do more to prepare for the increased flooding expected as a result of climate change, says a new report. Some cities are doing better than others, but “I am amazed at their overall lack of preparedness to limit the potential for flooding,” says Blair Feltmate, a professor at the University of Waterloo who led the research study.=
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Last week, 25 news publishers from around the world launched an initiative called the Climate Publishers Network. As members of the network, publishers have agreed to freely share climate change-related news content in an effort to raise public awareness. Yet few Canadian news organizations are involved in the network. Corporate Knights editor-in-chief Tyler Hamilton challenges Canadian media organizations to take a moral stand on climate change.

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