Sustainable finance ended 2018 on a high. Never before has so much capital been committed to integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. But financial markets also entered an unnerving cycle. If we are not careful, growing financial turbulence could divert attention away from the urgent need to scale up investment in climate action and sustainable development. Instead of […]
Throughout the world there have been efforts to reduce gasoline consumption and carbon emissions by changing the cost per mile traveled. One of the reasons to justify such efforts is the concern that emissions from conventional vehicles, which is the second source of carbon emissions after the electricity sector in the U.S., may have serious consequences for the environment.
Economic growth has helped millions out of poverty. The jobs it creates mean rising incomes and consumers who buy more. This drives further growth and higher living standards, including better health and education. Yet WWF, the World Wildlife Fund, has recently warned that exploding human consumption is the driving force behind unprecedented planetary change, through increased demand for energy, […]
At first sight, the worlds of investment and of work can appear to be very distant from one another. Financial markets remain driven by short-term factors, where workers are often regarded simply as a cost of production to be minimised.
A growing number of institutional investors, however, see this as a parody of what is needed to successfully deliver long-term […]
The climatic events in southern Africa that followed the El Niño of 2015/16 – one of the strongest El Niño events in the past 50 years – manifested as below-normal precipitation during key parts of the rainy seasons in both years, and heat waves. Reduced rainfall in southern Africa is typical of El Niño years and when the event […]
In recent years, environmental activism has been increasingly vibrant in many emerging economies. As the economy becomes more developed, the public’s awareness of environmental sustainability has been rising. One notable example is China as Chinese citizens have begun expressing their concern for the natural environment via both online channels and through public protests. Yet China is an authoritarian country […]
Half a millennium ago, the myth of a lost city of gold drove scores of Europeans to the Americas in search of wealth. Today, images of a new ‘El Dorado’ with fathomless (energy) resources are attracting players from all over the world to a very different place: the Arctic. Driven by the prospect of economic, primarily energy-related opportunities, a […]
In principle, there is broad consensus that knowledge should be the basis of environmental sustainability policies. Knowledge about the environment is often generated by corporations, in addition to governments, as part of their industrial activities (Mukerji 1989).
The Arctic is an important crossroads of industrial development and environmental preservation (Figure 1), as calculations suggest that it contains one-fourth of the […]
Addressing grand environmental challenges (e.g. climate change) entails adapting the skill base and, thus, the composition of the workforce. Recent interventions both in the form of environmental regulation or of subsidies – i.e. the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 and its green component, which accounts approximately for 15 per cent of the overall fiscal stimulus – […]
Prime Minister Theresa May recently doubled down on the Conservative Party’s commitment to the development of hydraulic fracturing of shale gas (‘fracking’) in the UK. In the House of Commons, the Prime Minister proposed £1 billion of additional resources be directed to local communities and councils to support their acceptance of this new source of fossil fuel extraction. Fracking, […]
IKEA uses a lot of lumber. You may have become acquainted with that lumber when you sweated over assembling a Billy bookcase correctly. Is IKEA callously felling old-growth forests to prop up our old college textbooks? No, for years it has sourced its lumber from forests certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. But you won’t see that fact trumpeted […]
In pursuit of an America First policy, the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement (COP21), with grave economic and ecological consequences and representing a serious backlash for US global leadership in tackling the environmental challenges and issues surrounding climate change. There was no obvious public appetite for the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, yet on the positive side, the European […]
Arctic ice cover has been shrinking as a result of global warming. Besides the important and critical environmental and economic effects of melting ice caps, a side effect is to open the northern sea route for high volume commercial traffic. This shipping route will connect East Asia – Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China – with North-western Europe through […]
Consumers increasingly prefer to purchase sustainable and healthy products. This trend is important if we are to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
However, most evidence about consumer preferences is based on self-reported purchases rather than consumers’ actual purchases. Moreover, when asked, consumers tend to overstate their sustainability and health-conscious purchases.
The problem with this situation is that companies wishing […]
What affects how compliant businesses are with environmental regulations? Traditional enforcement measures such as fines and inspections by authorities can be an effective deterrent for rule-breaking. Recent research has also shown that information-based enforcement tools can be effective at increasing compliance, for instance a “watch list” in the Clean Air Act in the United States that keeps track of […]