Category Archives: Sustainable Development

Governors Announce Bipartisan Accord for a New Energy Future

On February 16, a bipartisan group of 17 governors signed the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future

The accord represents a joint commitment among both Democratic and Republican-led states to take action promoting clean energy, better and cleaner transportation choices, a modern electrical grid and a plan for a new energy economy.

You can read the full accord here, which states, in part:

 “American prosperity has always depended on embracing new ideas and technologies,” states the Governors’ Accord for a New Energy Future. “Embracing new energy solutions allows us to expand our economy while protecting the health of our communities and natural resources. These improvements will help secure a safe and prosperous future for our country.

“We recognize that now is the time to embrace a bold vision of the nation’s energy future, and to do so, states are once again poised to lead.”

The coalition of participating states represents 127 million Americans, providing a platform for collaboration, sharing ideas and leveraging partnerships in energy planning and policymaking.

The bipartisan partnership represents states with a diverse energy mix and policy portfolio – from Delaware, with low overall energy consumption powered primarily with natural gas, but with an unexpectedly high per-capita energy usage due its energy-intensive oil refining and chemical manufacturing industry, to Nevada, a state that imports more than 90 percent of the energy it consumes from out-of-state relying on long-distance energy transmission and working to expand its own energy grid – and all are committed to work together to “make transformational policy changes to secure a stronger energy future for their states and the nation.”

With the Accord now officially executed by state leaders, senior advisors from each state will convene to hash out initial steps to put plans into action for energy diversification, expanded sources of clean energy, a modern, resilient energy grid and cleaner transportation options.

State partnerships such as this are key to building on the momentum toward a new, resilient and clean energy future.

Image credit: Michale Kappel, courtesy flickr

Building on the Sustainable Development Goals

2015 was arguably a banner year for sustainable development. With the signing of the Paris Agreement at COP21 and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations in September, the path is laid out for how we might develop sustainable and equitable economies across the globe.

Of course, that’s easier said that done. But tools and methods are already in place to make good on the promise.

When I was in Paris for COP21, I had the opportunity to speak with Michael Meehan, CEO of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI has pioneered the methods and standards of corporate global sustainability reporting.

What we discussed in Paris, however, went far beyond that. Meehan explained how the future of GRI is in bringing the power of information and realtime data to policy, economic, social and environmental decisions throughout global organizations. Essentially “baking sustainability” into the process.

Read about sustainability “beyond the report” and the SDG Compass in my recent article for TriplePundit.