Environment

Choosing policies for higher fuel efficiency

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.

There […]

January 17th, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|

Can we afford our consumer society?

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, […]

January 15th, 2019|Environment|2 Comments|
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    Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

Transitioning to a zero-carbon economy: the next frontier in responsible investing

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 […]

January 2nd, 2019|Environment|0 Comments|
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    As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

As Southern Africa faces new urban drought challenges, who is heeding the wake-up call?

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 […]

December 20th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|
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    The tensions underlying how China deals with environmental complaints

The tensions underlying how China deals with environmental complaints

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 […]

December 7th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|
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    Capitalising on technological change and the low-carbon transition in the UK

Capitalising on technological change and the low-carbon transition in the UK

An overarching strategy for sustainable growth is required to address the dual challenges of restoring productivity growth and managing a transition to a low-carbon economy – priorities in both the UK and other G20 countries. Against the backdrop of an uncertain economic climate as the UK recasts its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, and as […]

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    The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic under the guise of ‘sustainable development’

The EU talks big on protecting the Arctic under the guise of ‘sustainable development’

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 […]

November 24th, 2018|Environment|1 Comment|
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    As ‘techno-politics’ holds sway, is a water commons possible in China?

As ‘techno-politics’ holds sway, is a water commons possible in China?

So far the debate about China’s current environmental issues has given little consideration to already existing popular alternatives to the top-down, growth-compatible governance of the country’s endangered natural resources. Forty years of Party-sanctified insistence on pursuing relentless economic development has seemingly muffled the few dissenting voices and suppressed alternative discourses in natural resource management — such as those concerned with stewardship, care, maintenance, […]

Encouraging customers to go paperless

The rapid rise of digital communications ushers new opportunities for corporate environmental responsibility. For instance, online conferencing provides alternatives to air travel for meetings of international colleagues, and online form submission and bill payment schemes reduce requisite paper communications between companies and their patrons. Yet mandating that employees or customers use these options can cause resentment by appearing as […]

Synthetic knowledge and the internet of things

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 […]

What are green jobs and where are they?

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 – […]

October 17th, 2018|Economics, Environment|0 Comments|
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    Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

Fracking in the UK: how could a technologically advanced society choose to destroy itself?

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, […]

October 16th, 2018|Environment|1 Comment|
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    China is investing in developing countries – what is it really up to?

China is investing in developing countries – what is it really up to?

What types of energy does China finance with its development aid?

China has been steadily intensifying its economic and strategic relations with developing countries in recent years. Through deepening trade ties, large-scale infrastructure financing and its ambitious vision to create ‘seamless connectivity’ through three main infrastructure sectors (energy, transport and information and communications technology) across continents through its Belt and […]

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    Strategic silence: Why are some companies not publicising their environmental certifications?

Strategic silence: Why are some companies not publicising their environmental certifications?

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 […]

September 24th, 2018|Environment, Featured|1 Comment|
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    Climate change poses risks to the financial system. How can central banks deal with them?

Climate change poses risks to the financial system. How can central banks deal with them?

Climate change poses risks to the financial system. Yet our understanding of these risks is still limited. As we explain in a recent paper, central banks and financial regulators could contribute to the development of methodologies and modelling tools for assessing climate-related financial risks. If it becomes clear that these risks are substantial, central banks should consider taking them […]

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    A French dilemma: environmental leadership vs environment-damaging economic growth

A French dilemma: environmental leadership vs environment-damaging economic growth

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 […]

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    Melting ice caps will open the northern sea to commercial traffic and change world trade patterns

Melting ice caps will open the northern sea to commercial traffic and change world trade patterns

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 […]

Collectivists, individualists and indifferents

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 […]

July 13th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|
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    The level of trust in a country affects environmental compliance by firms

The level of trust in a country affects environmental compliance by firms

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 […]

July 11th, 2018|Environment|0 Comments|

When CEO hubris leads to environmental innovation

Rupert Murdoch, Marissa Mayer, Jean Marie Messier. What do they have in common? All of them are famous CEOs of successful or unsuccessful business empires and all, at some point, were accused for their hubristic personalities. The ‘hubris syndrome’ is a psychological state affecting leaders in positions of authority and power. It is characterised by an exaggerated self-belief, sense […]