Posts tagged ‘Economy’

The Cost of Building a Green Economy

Investing two percent of the world’s GDP could transition the planet from a “brown,” unsustainable economy to one that is both low-carbon and resource efficient, according to a UN report released last week.

The Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication report claims that investing $1.3 trillion each year is the magic number to create new cleantech industries, boost jobs, cut down on CO2 emissions, and increase energy efficiency savings.  But is this possible?  And if it is, what will it mean in practical terms?

“With 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day and with more than two billion people being added to the global population by 2050, it is clear that we must continue to develop and grow our economies,” said Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, in a statement.  “But this development cannot come at the expense of the very life support systems on land, in the oceans or in our atmosphere that sustain our economies, and thus, the lives of each and everyone of us.”

In the UN’s green economy scenario, a global investment of 2% GDP in agriculture, buildings, energy, fisheries, forests, manufacturing, tourism, transport, water and waste management will stabilize global energy requirements at current levels by 2050 (40% less than the business as usual scenario), cut CO2 emissions by a third, increase global crop yield by 10%, and cut water demand by a fifth.

Under this scenario, humanity treads lightly enough on the Earth to maintain some semblance of sustainability.  But convincing world powers to invest so much money in a green economy won’t be easy.  President Obama and Chinese president Hu Jintao, however, are issuing statements of support for the plan.  This isn’t surprising–the U.S. has spent $211 billion over the last five years in green sectors, and China has spent $468 billion.

Still, that isn’t enough.  But as an increasingly wacky climate combines with rising oil prices in the coming years, wealthy countries may finally realize that the greenest investments also look like the wisest.

Information Source: Ariel Schwartz of Fast Company

01/03/2011 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Global Economic Scenarios Ranked

The Canadian economy finished 2010 on a stronger footing than expected, but economists continue to remain on alert, hoping a firm global economic recovery will take hold before the next crisis hits.  Threats from black swan events, such as the BP oil spill that threatened to derail the world’s largest economy last year, can never be predicted — which is just as well.  After all, when it comes to what could happen in 2011, there are already enough major risks on the radar to keep central bankers up at night.  Canadian Business ranks the “biggies” here.

22/02/2011 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Spend Shift

I have yet to read this book but have heard nothing but rave reviews and what better timing to examine our spending habits but a day before Black Friday.

As we continue to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Spend Shift examines what the consumer of tomorrow will look like?  How will they spend differently?  Will brands still matter?  What do changing consumer values say about the state of American values?

In Spend Shift, John Gerzema, world-renowned expert on consumer values, and Pulitzer prizewinning author Michael D’Antonio document the rise of a vibrant, values-driven post-recession economy.  To tell the story of this movement, the authors travel to large cities and small towns across eight bellwether states, to examine the value shifts sweeping the nation.  Through in-depth observation and interviews with experts, the authors analyze the changing consumer psyche, document the five shifting values and consumer behaviors that are remaking American and the world, and explain what it means to businesses and leaders.

* Explores a movement in society where the majority of American consumers are embracing both value and values
* Shows how post-crisis consumer expectations and behaviors will drive business decisions
* Draws on interviews with CEOs and entrepreneurs to reveal how companies like Ford, Groupon and Etsy are reconnecting with the post-crisis consumer

Spend Shift made #2 on the Wall Street Journals best sellers list and is said to be, “compelling, insightful and essential reading for anyone interested in how values are changing and how businesses can connect with consumers after the recession”.  Grab a copy and find out for yourself.

25/11/2010 at 5:00 am Leave a comment

Clean Tech Open 2009 Wraps Up

Last nights Clean Tech Open Awards Gala was a wrap up to a year long clean technology business competition that is designed to showcase the boldest clean technology ideas, the most ambitious entrepreneurs and the brightest, most engaged investors, venture capitalists and prospective technology customers.  Gala attendees, included Google green energy czar Bill Weihl and famed venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.

The world’s largest cleantech business competition and mentorship program, is expanding across the United States, and its ideas competition went global this year, with cleantech companies from 87 countries.

Yesterdays gala brought together finalists from three Cleantech Open regions – California, Pacific Northwest, and Rocky Mountain.  Finalists got a chance to make a five-minute pitch for a green technology, product or marketing campaign in front of a crowd of 3,000 investors, entrepreneurs, and companies.  Gala attendees voted for their top picks via text message to determine the winner.

The National Prize was awarded to EcoFactor. Winning a grand prize of $250,000, $100,000 of which is seed money, EcoFactor entered in the smart grid category, with a personalized residential energy management solution for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

The two runners-up were Alphabet Energy for their work on waste-heat recapture, and MicroMidas, which transforms raw sewage into biodegradable plastic.

The Clean Tech Open is an organization of leading entrepreneurs, academics, investors and companies, working together to find, fund and further leading edge ideas that address today’s most pressing environmental and economic challenges.

Since it’s inception in 2006, over 100 promising teams have availed themselves through the companies hands on workforce development, nurturing and funding programs.  In it’s first three years, Clean Tech Open alumni has raised over $130M in private capital, over 80% remain economically viable today and over 500 new clean technology jobs have been created.

18/11/2009 at 8:30 am Leave a comment

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