More than 1.6 billion people around the world depend on forests for their livelihoods, not just for food but also for fuel, livestock grazing and for medicine.
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World Bank foresters ignore independent evaluation and pledge to carry on logging the world’s rainforests
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Global Witness available for comment
An independent evaluation leaked earlier this week found that the World Bank’s support for the logging of tropical rainforests is failing in its key aims of preventing their destruction and addressing rural poverty. But, according to sources in the Bank, its forestry department is refusing to reconsider its approach, is lobbying the Board hard to avoid being held accountable for its failures, and has stated its intention to continue supporting tropical forest logging.
“The World Bank’s evaluation confirms what has long been obvious – cutting down trees on an industrial scale is not the way to preserve the world’s remaining tropical forests or help the people that live in them.” said Rick Jacobsen, Head of International Forest Policy at Global Witness. “When Bank Board members meet on Monday to decide next steps, they need to act on the evaluation’s findings and demand that the Bank pursue alternatives to industrial logging in tropical forests that better help the poor and preserve forests.”
Over the years, the World Bank has supported the expansion of industrial logging in some of the world’s most important and endangered rainforests in countries such as Cambodia, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, and Liberia. In Cambodia, Congo and Liberia this prompted formal complaints from communities living in the forests that the Bank was harming their livelihoods. Two inspections by the Bank’s own ombudsman found that Bank staff had breached multiple safeguard policies meant to protect vulnerable people and the environment.
“The Bank’s foresters remain in denial and resistant to all efforts to hold them accountable to the people whose interests they are supposed to serve. In the meantime, the evidence continues to pile up that industrial logging in tropical forests mainly benefits a few international logging companies and corrupt government officials,” said Rick Jacobsen. “Increasingly, scientific research is revealing that the decades-old dogma about the benefits of industrial logging is more about politics than science, and is certainly not backed up by the reality on the ground. The Bank and its member governments have avoided this reality for too long; now they need to take action.”
The review of the Bank’s forestry programmes that Board members are examining on Monday was carried out by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), an independent evaluations division of the World Bank that reports directly to the Bank’s Executive Directors. The IEG reviewers visited many of the countries where the Bank is pursuing forestry programmes and reached a series of damning conclusions. As well as criticising the outcomes of the Bank’s support for industrial-scale logging in the tropics, the IEG faults Bank programmes for failing to involve local people, tackle rural poverty or recognise the risk – which virtually always manifests itself – that the financial returns from logging will be gobbled up by powerful and corrupt interests.
For comment please contact:
In Washington DC: Rick Jacobson at [email protected], +1 202 621 6666
In Europe: Patrick Alley at [email protected], +44 7921 788 897 or +44 207 492 5880
WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwire – Jan 31, 2013) – CALSTART announced a nationwide campaign to expand the number of work places that are electric vehicle friendly and will enable more employers to take part in the Department of Energy’s EV Everywhere Workplace Charging Challenge. The goal of the CALSTART program is to ensure that there is at least one EV charger at a workplace for every three plug-in electric vehicles sold nationally.
“The new generation of plug-in vehicles offers employers an unprecedented opportunity to step forward and be leaders in the fight to prevent climate change and reduce the nation’s dependence on oil. EV friendly workplaces can make plug-in vehicles practical and affordable. We applaud the DOE’s challenge to employers and hope it will encourage them to take action,” said CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.
The Employer Electric Vehicle Initiative (EEVI), to be managed by CALSTART, will be a national campaign to encourage employers to install EV charging stations and take other steps to support the use of electric vehicles by their employees. The EEVI will act a central point of information on best practices and enable facilities managers and sustainability officers to interact and exchange information about the real world and practical issues associated with workplace charging. CALSTART has developed a website to provide information on this campaign: www.evworkplace.org.
CALSTART is already working with organizations in Ohio, Michigan, and California to educate employers and recruit more employers to join the cause and be part of the campaign.
EV drivers are finding that the ability to leave work fully charged is an excellent means to decrease concerns about range. General Motors also reports that workplace charging allows Volt owners to increase the number of all electric miles they drive.
“Many employers are interested in the concept and want to support employees who buy EV’s, but they want to do it right and at the lowest cost. The EEVI campaign and our website will be an effective means for employers to learn from each other and develop a set of best practices,” Boesel said.
Among the leading employers to date who are working the EEVI and pursuing workplace charging are: Google, 20th Century Fox, Northrup Grumman, and the California Department of General Services. CALSTART has signed on as an official Ambassador of the DOE Workplace Charging Challenge.
“Our campaign is targeting one workplace charger for every three plug-in EV’s sold because the number of chargers should keep pace with the over-all growth of the market. Yet, not all plug-in drivers go to work every day, so a one to one ratio is not critical,” said Boesel. If EV’s sales increase at a rate similar to the hybrid cars, that will result in a need for 300,000 workplace chargers by 2017.
Through its work with employers to date, CALSTART has identified a very high level of enthusiasm, but also questions and issues that arise from the fact that the employer begins to play a role that used to be occupied by a gasoline service station. Among the common issues that arise are about cost. Employers are interested in learning about how much it will cost to install chargers, and also wondering if they should charge for the use of electricity. There are no single answers to any of these questions, and through the EEVI CALSTART is seeking to provide a lot of information about the different paths employers are pursuing, and identifying what’s working best.
In 2012, CALSTART installed an 84kW solar system that powers its headquarters and provides electricity for four cars on a daily basis. CALSTART is collecting cost and performance data on its system, and will be helping employers who want to take the additional step and make its employees EV’s even better for the environment.
Employers interested in learning about best practices and becoming part of the EEVI should contact CALSTART’s Jasna Tomic at (626) 744-5695 or [email protected].
EPA and the Georgia Force Encourage Metro Atlanta Take the “Change the World with ENERGY STAR®” Pledge (GA)
ATLANTA — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in partnership with the Georgia Force, collected Change the World with ENERGY STAR® pledges at the Georgia Force Arena Football game in the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth GA. The Georgia Force pledge drive urged attendees to make a change with ENERGY STAR® by challenging them to take simple steps to save energy, which can help save money and protect the climate.
As part of the event, EPA Regional Administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming was designated the honorary captain of the team and performed the coin toss on the field at this televised game (126 Charter, 248 Comcast and MeTV). EPA staffed Change the World tables in the concourse and took pledges. At halftime a drawing from the pledges determined the winner of a signed football.
“In recognition of the 20th Anniversary of ENERGY STAR®, we want the metro area to know that saving energy not only helps save money and the environment, but it can also be a lot of fun,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator, Gwen Keyes Fleming. “We’re excited to broadcast this important message as a service to our community.”
About ENERGY STAR
Launched in 1992 by EPA, ENERGY STAR is a market-based partnership to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency. This year marks ENERGY STAR’s 20th anniversary. Over the past 20 years, with help from ENERGY STAR, American families and businesses have saved about $ 230 billion on utility bills and prevented more than 1.7 billion metric tons of carbon pollution. To date, more than 1.3 million new homes and nearly 16,500 buildings across all 50 states have earned EPA’s ENERGY STAR certification. The ENERGY STAR label can be found on more than 63 different kinds of products with more than 5 billion sold over the past 20 years. For more information about ENERGY STAR, visit www.energystar.gov or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES (1-888-782-7937).
Americans can take the “Change the World, Start with ENERGY STAR” pledge. The pledge is a way for individuals to commit to taking action on energy efficiency in their homes and daily activities such as switching to more efficient lighting, choosing ENERGY STAR products, sealing and insulating homes, and using power management features on home computers and monitors. For more information on the pledge: http://www.energystar.gov/changetheworld
STAMFORD, Conn.–(Element Hotels is challenging its Facebook friends to put pedal to the pavement this summer and replace one car trip per week with a bike ride. The trailblazing eco-wise brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) has teamed with trend-setting, ultra colorful STRADA track bikes to launch an “I Pledge to Pedal” Facebook sweepstakes, which will run from now through September 17, 2012.)–Promoting balanced living at home and away,
“Choosing two wheels over four is a good move for our own wellbeing and for the planet. That balance is a fundamental aspect of the Element brand.”
Throughout the contest period, prize drawings will award one participant each week with a sleek, built-to-order bike, which they can customize online. There will be a total of 10 winners.
“Beyond the fun of the Facebook sweepstakes and the flash of the STRADA bikes, I Pledge to Pedal is about changing a mindset,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “Choosing two wheels over four is a good move for our own wellbeing and for the planet. That balance is a fundamental aspect of the Element brand.”
Entering the sweepstakes is simple: Fans of Element need only visit the brand’s Facebook page at facebook.com/elementhotels and sign up on the “I Pledge to Pedal” sweepstakes tab (which will activate at 12:01 a.m. on July 9). Guests staying at an Element hotel during the sweepstakes can also enter via tablets stationed in the lobby, then take a loaner bike for a spin from Element’s brand-wide bikes-to-borrow program to get a leg up on their pledge.
For inspiration, each of the 10 Element hotels across the U.S. has designed its own unique dream bike, which will be displayed in the lobby throughout the contest. Element associates are encouraged to take the pledge as well, and are also eligible to win the display bike.
Led by Starwood President and CEO Frits van Paasschen, himself an avid biker, Element Hotels is the industry pacesetter in bike-friendly hotel brands. Pedal-powered generators on stationary bikes were introduced with the March 15 opening of Element Miami International Airport and will soon be standard in all Element fitness centers. It is all part of Element’s commitment to the “10 Essentials of Balanced Travel” providing guests with opportunities for fitness and play, among other essentials for wellbeing, throughout their stay.
About Element Hotels
Accessible, affordable and active, Element Hotels is made to order for guests in the know and on the go. Its bright, contemporary design defies convention, bathing guest rooms and public spaces in natural light. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and lots of signature amenities from its complimentary RISE healthy breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes-to-borrow and electric vehicle charging stations.
Starwood’s latest brand innovation, Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. Visit www.ElementHotels.com or connect on Facebook.com/ElementHotels.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1103 properties in 100 countries and territories with 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element SM. The company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.). The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Speaking at the Farming Union of Wales’ AGM, Deputy Minister, Alun Davies, discussed, among other topics, the reform of the CAP and the formation of the new Rural Development Plan.
“To build a successful future, farmers and the Welsh Government must be innovative and forward-thinking, embrace change and step away from the comfort of old ideas and habits.
“Farming in Wales is going to change considerably in the coming years. We have important projects to take forward, and new regulations and structures we must operate within.
“Regarding negotiations on CAP reform in Brussels, I have made it clear to the Commission that we may well need to operate a number of differentiated payment rates in Wales to address our varied industry, and I am pleased that the Commission have accepted that.”
The Deputy Minister also spoke about the importance of targeting funding to maximise support to rural communities:
“I cannot overstate the importance to me of stimulating economic activity, both in the industry and in our rural communities. I intend to look with a fresh perspective at all the options so that we can maximise the impact of our next round of RDP funding from 2014 to 2020.”
20 June 2012
Speaking ahead of Nick Clegg’s address on Thursday (21 June 2012) to world leaders at the UN sustainable development conference in Rio, Friends of the Earth’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Craig Bennett, said:
“The current deal on the Rio table is really scraping the barrel – with woolly definitions, old ideas and missing deadlines, it doesn’t come close to solving the planetary emergency we’re facing.
“Nick Clegg and world leaders arriving in Rio must give the summit a life-saving shot of urgency and ambition by pledging tough action to create a safe and prosperous future for us all.
“The Deputy Prime Minister must highlight gaping holes in the text of the draft Rio deal and promise genuine UK leadership at home.
“He should start by calling on George Osborne to scrap recent Budget tax breaks for fossil fuel companies and switching support to clean British energy from the sun, wind and waves.”
Notes to editors
1. You can see Friends of the Earth’s full report ‘Rio+20 Earth Summit: What the UK needs to do to make it matter’ here.
2. Thousands of people have joined Friends of the Earth’s call to Nick Clegg to end subsidies for fossil fuel companies, see here.
3. The environment charity is urging the Coalition Government to take action at home to prove its credibility as a green leader including:
• helping hard-pressed UK households struggling with high fuel bills, by developing clean British energy and cutting energy waste;
• saving British bees and saving the nation millions of pounds by committing to protect nature right across the UK, not just in designated areas – starting with a National Bee Action Plan;
• acting to reduce UK consumption of the planet’s limited resources and put sustainable development at the heart of Government policy-making, from how we plan our towns to the way we farm and feed ourselves.
4. While he’s in Brazil, Friends of the Earth is calling on Nick Clegg to help ensure that:
• World governments stop handing almost $ 100 billion in taxpayers’ money to the fossil fuel industry every year, and use the money to help billions of the world’s poorest people get access to clean, affordable energy;
• plans coming out of the summit don’t undermine existing agreements on sustainable development;
• rich countries stop pushing for dodgy deals to sell off the world’s forests and unique habitat and species-rich areas to the highest bidder;
• real progress is made to enable people everywhere to have a say in how the environment is protected and access to justice when it isn’t;
• everyone’s voices are heard and taken into account during the Rio+20 talks and decision-making – not just the opinions of businesses and politicians;
• the UN’s initiative to enable poor communities to access energy prioritises tripling the use of renewable energy by 2030 rather than using dirty energy that will lock poor countries into fossil fuels.
5. The environment charity also supports the alternative People’s Summit process in Rio, where people from around the world excluded from the UN talks are asking politicians to put the needs of the world’s poorest people and future generations before short-term profit.
If you’re a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Guam — At the annual meeting of the CEOs of Micronesia, Conservation International (CI) confirmed its $ 3 million (US) pledge to support the Micronesia Challenge, and provided $ 350,000 to the Republic of the Marshall Islands as the first stage of a six-year investment aimed at strengthening protected area networks in Micronesia.
This commitment reflects Conservation International’s support for the continued development of sustainable financing for protected areas in Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), the Republic of Palau and the Republic of the Marshall Islands via the Micronesia Challenge. Through the Challenge these countries, plus the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, have undertaken to protect 30 percent of their coastal resources and 20 percent of terrestrial resources by 2020.
In recognition of this ground-breaking initiative, Conservation International pledged $ 3 million toward an endowment to sustainably finance the Challenge. The Nature Conservancy has already pledged an additional $ 3 million, and in 2010 the Global Environment Facility approved a $ 6 million regional grant to help meet funding requirements. As part of these agreements, Micronesia Challenge member states Palau, FSM, and RMI committed to matching pledged funds 2:1, making substantial progress to establish protected areas networks guided by standards set forth in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD), and developing local income generating mechanisms to fund continuing conservation activities under the Micronesia Challenge.
To mark the occasion a $ 350,000 cheque was handed to Hon. Tony DeBrum, Vice-President of the Marshall Islands, by Mike Donoghue, the Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Programme for Conservation International, as the initial payment to the Marshall Islands. A further $ 650,000 will be provided to the Marshall Islands over the next 18 months, to strengthen a Trust Fund housed at the Micronesia Conservation Trust, which will provide an ongoing source of revenue for activities conducted under the Micronesia Challenge.
The Micronesia Challenge has inspired similar large-scale regional initiatives across the globe, including the Caribbean Challenge, the Coral Triangle Initiative, and the newly launched Western Indian Ocean Coastal Challenge.
From 2014-2018, Conservation International will contribute an additional $ 2 million to similar Trust Funds that have been established by FSM and Palau.
“Conservation International congratulates the President of the Marshall Islands and the leaders of Micronesia on the remarkable progress the Micronesia Challenge has made in recent years towards achieving its ambitious goals. The success of the Challenge provides a global model for international collaboration in island conservation,” Mike Donoghue said.
According to His Excellency President Christopher Loeak, “The unique culture and way of life of the Marshall Islanders has developed in harmony with our natural environment over thousands of years. The Micronesia Challenge is changing the face of biodiversity conservation across the Marshall Islands and indeed across the world.”
“Conservation International has had a long history of support for conservation projects in Micronesia, and this 6-year commitment represents our most significant investment to date,” Mr Donoghue said. “Besides our commitment to the Micronesia Challenge in the Marshall Islands, Palau and FSM, CI is also devoting significant resources to protected area development across the Pacific Islands region as part of the Pacific Oceanscape. We see the Micronesia Challenge and the Pacific Oceanscape as complementary vehicles for the conservation and sustainable management of living marine resources in the Pacific Ocean. We will also continue to support individual projects connected with marine conservation in Micronesia, with a special focus on the region’s ocean voyagers — the sharks, turtles and whales.”
The Pacific Oceanscape has been mandated by all the governments in the region, and includes the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in Kiribati (the world’s second-largest marine protected area), and the Cook Islands Marine Park, currently in development, which will become the world’s largest marine park when it is designated later this year.
For more information, contact:
Emmeline Johansen, Asia Pacific Communications Manager, Conservation International
mobile +68 92 968 872/ email: [email protected]
Michael Donoghue, Executive Director, Pacific Islands Programme, Conservation International
mobile (+685) 777 2495/ email: [email protected]
Yumi Crisostomo, Micronesia Challenge Steering Committee representative for RMI
(Tel: +692 625 7944)/ email: [email protected]
Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI) — Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity, for the long term well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI has headquarters in the Washington, DC area, and 900 employees working in nearly 25 countries on four continents, plus 1,000+ partners around the world. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter @ConservationOrg.
The Micronesia Challenge (MC) — The Micronesia Challenge is a shared commitment to effectively conserve at least 30% of the near-shore marine resources and 20% of the terrestrial resources across Micronesia by 2020. This ambitious challenge far exceeds current goals set by international conventions and treaties, which call for countries to conserve 10% of terrestrial and marine resources by 2010 and 2012 respectively. The challenge also emphasizes the need for Micronesian leaders to work together at the regional level to confront environmental and sustainable development issues, in a rapidly changing world. http://micronesiachallenge.org
In January 2007, Tesco’s chief executive, Sir Terry Leahy, promised “a revolution in green consumption” as the company pledged to put carbon labels on all 70,000 products. Orange juice, toilet roll and milk were among the products to have the emissions from their production catalogued.
But on the eve of a major report on high street retailers’ green programmes, the supermarket has said it is ditching the scheme. “We expected that other retailers would move quickly to do it as well, giving it critical mass, but that hasn’t happened,” Tesco’s climate change director, Helen Fleming, told trade magazine The Grocer.
Tesco also blamed “a minimum of several months’ work” to calculate the footprint of each product. The Guardian has previously reported that it would take Tesco centuries to fulfil its pledge, as the supermarket was only adding labels at the rate of 125 products a year.
A Tesco spokeswoman said the supermarket was phasing out the labels, but it still wanted to provide carbon information on products, though she did not specify how. “We are fully committed to carbon footprinting and helping our customers make greener choices. No final decision has yet been made, and we are always on the lookout to find even better ways to communicate the carbon impact of products in a way that informs and empowers customers.”
“In the meantime we are continuing to use the Carbon Trust label on a wide range of approved products and will keep asking our customers what information they would find most useful.”
The ditching of the labels will come as a blow for the Carbon Trust, the previously government-funded body that created the label and advises businesses on cutting emissions. From April, the Trust will no longer receive government funding as part of the coalition government’s cuts, and will rely solely on private funding from its work with businesses.
A Carbon Trust spokeswoman said the body was “clearly disappointed” at the move. “The annual sales value of goods carrying the label is some £3bn. We are clearly disappointed that Tesco has decided to phase out over time the use of the label on cost grounds. We know that Tesco is reviewing future options and we will be actively supporting them in that review. We are confident that our existing label customers and new customers will see the value of an internationally recognised carbon label backed by expert independent certification.”
PepsiCo, which has footprinted packets of its Walkers crisps and Tropicana orange juice through the scheme, said it would continue with the carbon footprint labels. Martyn Seal, European director for sustainability at PepsiCo, said: “Although we’ve not seen the take-up we would like, we still support carbon labelling as a way of helping consumers and businesses understand and reduce emissions.”
Dyson, Kingsmill and Morphy Richards are the other three brands that work with the label. On Tuesday, the British Retail Consortium, the trade body representing the UK’s biggest retailers, will publish a report on the environmental progress of the supermarkets and high street’s biggest names.
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