Archive for the ‘investment’ Category
The idea that shopping malls—and brick and mortar retail establishments in general—are having a tough time due to the growth of online shopping is not particularly new. It’s getting tougher.
It’s true: America has too many malls, too much retail space in those malls, and vacancy rates are increasing. This is due in large part to stagnant consumer demand, but the major factor is the rise of e-commerce. Read the rest of this entry »
If you’ve wondered—as I have—why those ubiquitous and clumsily-written emails from Nigeria “officials” still plague your inbox on an almost daily basis, it’s probably because it’s a business model that works.
Actually, the scam works brilliantly, according to an article from Inc., “Secrets of the Email Scammers.” It says there are “real business smarts” behind those noxious Nigerian emails: They must occasionally work, “or you wouldn’t still be receiving them.” Read the rest of this entry »
Reports of the solar industry’s pending demise have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to research by McKinsey.
According to the consultancy, the solar-power industry is merely suffering from “growing pains.” The article, “Solar power: Darkest before dawn,” dispels the notion that the industry has “lapsed into a classic cycle of boom and bust after a decade of unprecedented growth” even though that might appear to be what’s happening. Read the rest of this entry »
Sure $50 million—to be paid over four years—is a very big deal. Beyond the dollars the partnership between Bloomberg and the club takes the fight to end the coal era to a new well-staffed and nationwide level. Read the rest of this entry »
The “eco-industrial district” concept in Seattle is moving, slowly, but moving from concept to sustainable reality.
The Metropolitan King County Council recently adopted a proposal that calls for a partnership with the City of Seattle to create Eco-Industrial Districts in the city and throughout the county.
If this merger of green and industrial development manages to take off in a real way, it will assist in the cleanup and development in some of Seattle’s grittiest industrial core areas, such as the SoDo district or in the Duwamish River corridor in south Seattle by coordinating various public sector initiatives on sustainable communities.
A good way for a bank to make people forget its role in the sub-prime financial fiasco that’s rocked the economy is to focus on its climate change and sustainability efforts and that’s what Bank of America Merrill Lynch is doing.
BoA’s “Environmental Progress Report” this month revealed the good things it is up to on the corporate sustainability front, and to give the bank some credit (even if its not giving you any), there are some good things to report.
It’s ahead of the schedule it set in 2007 when it unveiled a 10-year, $20 billion “business initiative” focused on addressing climate change. Through June of this year BoA says it “directed” $8.4 billion through lending, investing, capital markets activity, philanthropy and its own operations. The bank committed about $5.4 billion of that in lending and investing activities while facilitating nearly $3 billion in capital markets activity.
A new website launched this month by the United Nations, FastStartFinance.org, will track climate funding commitments from industrialized countries, essentially attempting to make sure that developed economies will deliver on their plans to provide seed funds that help poorer nations battle climate change.
The Copenhagen Accord included a commitment from developed countries’ to provide developing countries with “fast start” financing of about $30 billion over the 2010-2012 period, earmarked for enhanced action on mitigation, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity building.
The Sierra Club is getting after the U.S. Export-Import Bank for subsidizing fossil fuel projects around the world at the expense of clean energy projects as part of its huge portfolio of loans and loan guarantee programs. Ex-Im Bank’s activity comes despite pledges from the Obama Administration to phase out financial support for polluting projects.
A recent flashpoint for the club’s ire occurred last month when the Ex-Im Bank’s board of directors, in a reversal of a previous decision, approved a “preliminary review” of Reliance Power’s export financing application for India’s Sasan “ultra-megawatt” coal-fired plant project. The move, while not a final approval of the application, essentially paves the way for that to happen.
On June 24th, the board had voted not to proceed with further review of the application for the Sasan project based on environmental concerns. After an intense lobbying campaign Reliance Power entered into a memorandum of understanding with Ex-Im “indicating Reliance’s intent to develop a new 250 megawatt renewable energy facility, which when built will rank among the largest renewable energy projects in India,” Ex-Im asserted.
With that somewhat vague assurance, it looks like the fix is on for the proposed $600 million Ex-Im loan guarantee for the Sasan Power Ltd. coal-fired plant. Sasan, by the way, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Reliance Power.
Ever since the then Exxon Co. devastated the Prince William Sound environment in Alaska and the livelihoods of thousands workers in that area following the Exxon Valdez oil spill 21 years ago, I have to admit the company leaves me cold. And that’s a polite way of putting it.
Each year at about this time I take a moment to consider developments surrounding the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, spilling about 11 million gallons of crude oil. The spill spread oil on more than 1,200 miles of coastline, closed fisheries and killed thousands of marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of sea birds.