Green

China Pledges Green While Building New Coal Power Plants

China is proving that green climate hysteria is antithetical to real economic growth. Its official rhetoric pledges to Sustainable Development and Green economy, but it is building record energy capacity with coal generation.  ⁃ TN Editor

China, which has pledged that projects built under its Belt and Road Initiative will be green and sustainable, will fund more fossil fuel power projects in Southeast Asia even as western, Japanese and South Korean financiers increasingly walk away from them over sustainability concerns.

This will be the case until the host nations – such as Indonesia – have come up with good enough financial incentives and expanded power transmission and distribution infrastructure to make mass renewable energy projects viable, according to Martin David, Asia-Pacific head of projects practice group at international law firm Baker McKenzie.

“While Chinese officials have signaled a move towards more sustainable projects in BRI nations, I don’t see this materially changing Beijing’s [actual] funding of infrastructure projects [there],” he said in an interview. “It will take some time for this to manifest into an obvious change.”

Chinese developers – mostly state-backed construction firms – still prefer to build large fossil fuel projects, on effort and return considerations, he added.

This is because bidding and contract preparation work involved in developing a power project typical requires similar effort, whether for a US$40 million renewable project or a US$1 billion thermal power project.

The BRI, initiated by President Xi Jinping in 2013, aimed to foster closer trade and investment ties with nations in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America, initially through mostly China-funded infrastructure projects.

Xi told the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in April this year that infrastructure projects built under the BRI must be green and sustainable, adding there will be a focus on transparency and zero tolerance for corruption to ensure “high-quality” growth.

The signalling of a recalibration of China’s approach to BRI projects came amid increased international scrutiny on debt-servicing sustainability, corruption and environmental concerns, besides delays or cancellations of key projects.

Push-backs from interest groups at host nations – such as Indonesia and Kenya – may pressure Chinese firms to pare back their ambition on building coal-fired plants in BRI nations, said Charles Yonts, head of power and environment, social and governance research at CLSA.

He cited the recent high profile case of environmentalists and anti-graft campaigners asking the Indonesian corruption watchdog to look into China Huadian Engineering’s role in a US$900 million coal-fired power project, after its local partner was jailed for bribing to win the project.

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opportunity zones

Rockefeller Foundation Launches ‘National Opportunity Zones Academy’

TN was correct in pegging Opportunity Zones as a vehicle to railroad Sustainable Development in underserved areas in cities and counties. Now, Rockefeller Foundation has jumped in with a major new program. 

Catherine Austin Fitts Interviews Patrick Wood On Technocracy and Opportunity Zones

Opportunity Zones: A Technocrat Deception To Plunder America

8,700 ‘Opportunity Zones’ In U.S. Targeted For Smart City Infrastructure

⁃ TN Editor

The Rockefeller Foundation and Smart Growth America (SGA) today announced the launch of the National Opportunity Zones Academy, which will help cities drive sustainable growth in Opportunity Zones by attracting socially responsible investment. Five cities have been selected to participate in the Academy including ChicagoGreater Miami and the BeachesPittsburghSeattle, and Norfolk, VA.

The Foundation will award a $400,000 grant to Smart Growth America (SGA) to fund the Academy. SGA’s technical assistance team and its LOCUS program will work directly with each participating city to create place based, community-led approaches to developing sustainable growth and development strategies that help transform selected Opportunity Zones into economically-thriving and socially-inclusive, walkable neighborhoods. The announcement of the Academy follows the Foundation’s launch of its Community Capacity Building Initiative which will benefit vulnerable communities through Opportunity Zones created in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

“Communities have the potential to be completely transformed by the billions of dollars in capital created by the Opportunity Zone tax credit – but only if we make a deliberate effort to ensure investments benefit those the policy is intended to serve,” said Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation. “The Opportunity Zones Academy will prioritize mobilizing capital and helping cities meet the needs of those who live and work in Opportunity Zones.”

The Opportunity Zones Academy will give member cities access to three core benefits. These include 1) bespoke technical assistance to increase local capacity to achieve equitable development in Opportunity Zones; 2) socially responsible investors through curated introductory events and online investment portals, and 3) sharing best practices through peer-to-peer learning amongst the five participating cities. Smart Growth America and its LOCUS coalition have deep experience working with and empowering communities to be more economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable, and will leverage that expertise to develop and facilitate this program.

“Today’s news of five cities banding together illustrates the urgency of community leaders accessing the tools, resources and data they need to ensure equitable, sustainable and community-beneficial investment in their Opportunity Zones,” said Calvin Gladney, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, a national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all Americans can share in the prosperity that comes from building livable, walkable and healthier places. “Through our LOCUS national coalition of triple-bottom line developers and investors, we will leverage our thought leadership on Opportunity Zones to co-create practical win-win solutions with this impressive roster of cities—examples that countless other community leaders, investors and elected officials can follow.”

About The Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation advances new frontiers of science, data, policy, and innovation to solve global challenges related to health, food, power, and economic mobility. As a science-driven philanthropy focused on building collaborative relationships with partners and grantees, The Rockefeller Foundation seeks to inspire and foster large-scale human impact that promotes the well-being of humanity throughout the world by identifying and accelerating breakthrough solutions, ideas and conversations. For more information, sign up for our newsletter at rockefellerfoundation.org and follow us on Twitter @RockefellerFdn.

About Smart Growth America and LOCUS

Smart Growth America envisions a country where no matter where you live, or who you are, you can enjoy living in a place that is healthy, prosperous, and resilient. We empower communities through technical assistance, advocacy, and thought leadership to realize our vision of livable places, healthy people, and shared prosperity. LOCUS, a program of Smart Growth America, is a national coalition of real estate developers and investors who advocate for sustainable, equitable, walkable development in America’s metropolitan areas. LOCUS has been a leader in the Opportunity Zone space and produced the National Opportunity Zones Ranking Report that identifies which Opportunity Zones are positioned to bring positive social, environmental, and economic returns, by ranking all Opportunity Zones by their smart growth potential and current social equity. Second, the report includes policy recommendations for communities to ensure that development results in more walkable places that are healthy, prosperous, equitable and resilient. Learn more at www.smartgrowthamerica.org/program/locus/.

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Australia

Australia’s ‘Greens’ Seek To Destabilize And Destroy Economic System

Green New Dealers are the same in every country, led on by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development policies. Same groups, same tactics, same objectives to destroy Free Enterprise and Capitalism.

However, Greens represent Technocracy (aka Sustainable Development) that seeks to cover the planet with its crackpot resource-based economic system and total social control.⁃ TN Editor

Greens know that Australia could not electrify our cities, farms, mines, refineries and factories, nor power our road, rail, air and sea transport with just solar, wind, hydro and batteries. Yet green activists, their adoring media, their tax-funded academics, their subsidised green “industries” and their vote-seeking politicians keep babbling about “zero emissions”.

Greens know that Australia could not feed itself without farmers, graziers and truckies using electric and diesel-powered pumps, tractors, harvesters and trucks to produce food and deliver it to the cities every day. Yet they tax and vilify diesel and make electricity more expensive and less reliable. And they lock up productive grasslands and open forests thus producing pest-ridden “parks” and “protected” vegetation infested with feral animals and invaded by inedible and fire-prone eucalypt weeds.

Greens know that we need more water storage just for today’s population. Yet they continue to sterilise potential dam sites, delay new dams, and waste conserved water on “environmental flows”. At the same time they boost water consumption with more tourists, games, immigrants and “refugees”.

Greens know they need a crisis in power, food and water to achieve their goal of centralised UN control of all aspects of our lives. Thanks to the many fools and quislings in Federal, State and Local governments, and in tax-funded academia, education and bureaucracy, this sinister hidden agenda is well advanced.

And all of this will provide ZERO climate benefits.

Maybe the Greens are just the old reds in Green uniforms?

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UN’s Sustainable Development Calls For ‘Deep Transformation’

Sustainable Development represents the final plundering of the planet by the global elite, and the lockdown of Technocracy, or Scientific Dictatorship. The UN has been using the term ‘deep transformation’ for years but people have paid no attention to what it implies. ⁃ TN Editor

The Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change call for deep transformations that require complementary actions by governments, civil society, science, and business. IIASA contributed to a new study outlining six major transformations that will be required to achieve these ambitious goals.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) focus on time-bound targets for prosperity, people, planet, peace, and partnership — collectively known as the five Ps. By adopting the 2030 Agenda with its 17 SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement, UN member states effectively created a framework for national action and global cooperation on sustainable development, while the Paris Agreement committed signatory countries to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of the century. SDG 13 on climate change specifically links to the Paris Agreement noting that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change “is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.” Despite the interconnectivity and clear aims of these global goals, stakeholders seem to lack a shared understanding of how the 17 SDGs can be operationalized.

Building on previous work by The World in 2050 — a global research initiative established by IIASA — the authors of the study published in the journal Nature Sustainability propose six transformations to organize SDG interventions through a semi-modular action agenda that can be designed by discrete, yet interacting, parts of government. According to the paper, the proposed framework may be operationalized within the structures of governments while still respecting the strong interdependencies across the 17 SDGs. The authors also outline an action agenda for science to provide the knowledge required for designing, implementing, and monitoring the SDG Transformations.

“The 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement have given the world an aspirational narrative and an actionable agenda to achieve a just, safe, and sustainable future for all within planetary boundaries. The six transformations provide an integrated and holistic framework for action that reduces the complexity, yet encompasses the 17 SDGs, their 169 targets, and the Paris Agreement. They provide a new approach to shift from incremental to transformational change; to identify synergies using sustainable development pathways; formulate actionable roadmaps; and a focus on inter-relationships to uncover multiple benefits and synergies,” explains study co-author Nebojsa Nakicenovic, executive director of The World in 2050 (TWI2050) research initiative at IIASA.

In their paper the researchers considered which key interventions would be necessary to achieve the SDG outcomes and how their implementation might be organized into a limited set of six transformations namely education, gender, and inequality; health, wellbeing, and demography; energy decarbonization and sustainable industry; sustainable food, land, water, and oceans; sustainable cities and communities; and digital revolution for sustainable development. To simplify the discussion of interlinkages between interventions and SDGs, the authors further identified intermediate outputs generated by combinations of interventions, which in turn contribute to the achievement of each SDG. Each SDG transformation describes a major change in societal structure (economic, political, technological, and social) to achieve long-term sustainable development, while also each contributing to multiple SDGs. Excluding any of them would make it virtually impossible to achieve the SDGs.

Pursuing the six transformations will require deep, deliberate, long-term structural changes in resource use, infrastructure, institutions, technologies, and social relations, which have to happen in a relatively short time window. Previous societal transformations, like industrialization in 19th century Europe, were initiated by technological changes like the steam engine and were largely undirected, while 20th century technologies like semiconductors, the Internet and Global Positioning Systems, were promoted through directed innovation to meet military aims. The authors emphasize that it is crucial that SDG transformations are formally directed in order to meet time-bound, quantitative targets, such as net-zero carbon emissions by mid-century.

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Should Military Invade Brazil To ‘Save’ The Amazon Rainforest?

The global elite (via Foreign Policy Magazine) are floating a dangerous narrative: first, by suggesting the possibility that radical leftist Gavin Newsom could be a future President and second, that the U.S. might lead a military action against Brazil to ‘save’ the Amazon rainforest from destruction.

As outrageous as it is, this editor has seen many such trial balloons over the years, and they serve to manipulate public perception while hinting at their actual future plans. When media demonizes a people, nation or idea to this extent, you can see their endgame.

This very dangerous rhetoric is radiated through the United Nations to create anger amongst climate activists throughout the world. ⁃ TN Editor

Aug. 5, 2025: In a televised address to the nation, U.S. President Gavin Newsom announced that he had given Brazil a one-week ultimatum to cease destructive deforestation activities in the Amazon rainforest. If Brazil did not comply, the president warned, he would order a naval blockade of Brazilian ports and airstrikes against critical Brazilian infrastructure. The president’s decision came in the aftermath of a new United Nations report cataloging the catastrophic global effects of continued rainforest destruction, which warned of a critical “tipping point” that, if reached, would trigger a rapid acceleration of global warming. Although China has stated that it would veto any U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing the use of force against Brazil, the president said that a large “coalition of concerned states” was prepared to support U.S. action. At the same time, Newsom said the United States and other countries were willing to negotiate a compensation package to mitigate the costs to Brazil for protecting the rainforest, but only if it first ceased its current efforts to accelerate development.

The above scenario is obviously far-fetched—at least I think it is—but how far would you go to prevent irreversible environmental damage? In particular, do states have the right—or even the obligation—to intervene in a foreign country in order to prevent it from causing irreversible and possibly catastrophic harm to the environment?

I raise this issue in light of the news that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is accelerating development of the Amazon rainforest (60 percent of which is in Brazilian hands), thereby imperiling a critical global resource. As those of you with more respect for science than Bolsonaro know, the rainforest is both an important carbon sink and a critical temperature regulator, as well as a key source of fresh water. Deforestation has already damaged its ability to perform these crucial roles, and scientists in Brazilian estimate that increasingly warm and dry conditions could convert much of the forest to dry savanna, with potentially catastrophic effects. Last week, the pro-business, free market-oriented Economistmagazine’s cover story was “Deathwatch for the Amazon,” which frames the issue rather nicely. To restate my original question: What should (or must) the international community do to prevent a misguided Brazilian president (or political leaders in other countries) from taking actions that could harm all of us?

This is where it gets tricky. State sovereignty is a critical element of the current international system; with certain exceptions, national governments are free to do whatever they want inside their own borders. Even so, the hard shell of sovereignty has never been absolute, and various forces have been chipping away at it for a long time. States can be sanctioned for violating international law (e.g., by defying U.N. Security Council resolutions), and international law authorizes countries to go to war for self-defense or when the Security Council authorizes military action. It’s even legal to attack another country’s territory preemptively, provided there is a well-founded basis for believing it was about to attack you first.

More controversially, the “responsibility to protect” doctrine sought to legitimate humanitarian intervention in foreign powers when the local government was unable or unwilling to protect its own people. And as a practical matter, states routinely accept infringements on their own sovereignty in order to facilitate beneficial forms of international cooperation.

When push comes to shove, however, most states resent and resist external efforts to get them to change what they are doing inside their own borders. And even though destroying the Amazon rainforest presents a clear and obvious threat to many other countries, telling Brazil to stop and threatening to take action to deter, punish, or prevent it would be a whole new ballgame. And I don’t mean to single out Brazil: It would be an equally radical step to threaten the United States or China if they refused to stop emitting so many greenhouse gases.

It’s not as if world leaders haven’t recognized the seriousness of the problem. The U.N. long regarded environmental degradation as a “threat to international peace and security,” and the former European Union foreign-policy representative Javier Solana argued in 2008 that halting climate change “should be in the mainstream of EU foreign and security policies.” Scholars have already identified various ways the Security Council could act to prevent it. As the researchers Bruce Gilley and David Kinsella wrote a few years ago, “it is at least legally feasible that the Security Council could invoke its authority under Article 42, and use military force against states it deemed threats to international peace and security by virtue of their unwillingness or inability to curb destructive activities emanating from their territories.”

The question, therefore, is how far would the international community be willing to go in order to prevent, halt, or reverse actions that might cause immense and irreparable harm to the environment on which all humans depend? It might seem far-fetched to imagine states threatening military action to prevent this today, but it becomes more likely if worst-case estimates of our climate future turn out to be correct.

But here’s a cruel paradox: The countries that are most responsible for climate change are also the least susceptible to coercion, while most of the states that might conceivably be pressured into taking action aren’t significant sources of the underlying problem. The top five greenhouse gas emitters are China, the United States, India, Russia, and Japan—four of them are nuclear weapons states, and Japan is a formidable military power in its own right. Threatening any of them with sanctions isn’t likely to work, and threatening serious military action against them is completely unrealistic. Moreover, getting the Security Council to authorize the use of force against much weaker states is unlikely, because the permanent members wouldn’t want to establish this precedent and would almost certainly veto the proposal.

This is what makes the Brazilian case more interesting. Brazil happens to be in possession of a critical global resource—for purely historical reasons—and its destruction would harm many states if not the entire planet. Unlike Belize or Burundi, what Brazil does could have a big impact. But Brazil isn’t a true great power, and threatening it with either economic sanctions or even the use of force if it refused to protect the rainforest might be feasible. To be clear: I’m not recommending this course of action either now or in the future. I’m just pointing out that Brazil might be somewhat more vulnerable to pressure than some other states are.

One can also imagine other remedies for this problem. States could certainly threaten or impose unilateral trade sanctions against environmentally irresponsible states, and private citizens could always try to organize voluntary boycotts for similar reasons. Some states have taken steps in this direction, and it is easy to imagine such measures becoming more widespread as environmental problems multiply. Alternatively, states that happen to govern environmentally sensitive territory could be paid to preserve it, in the interest of all mankind. In effect, the international community would be subsidizing environmental protection on the part of those who happen to possess the means of doing something about it.

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social credit score

Silicon Valley Is Building A China-Style Social Credit System

I have warned that America will walk in China’s footsteps on Scientific Dictatorship because our citizens simply don’t understand it. Time is running out to say “No!” ⁃ TN Editor

Have you heard about China’s social credit system? It’s a technology-enabled, surveillance-based nationwide program designed to nudge citizens toward better behavior. The ultimate goal is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step,” according to the Chinese government.

In place since 2014, the social credit system is a work in progress that could evolve by next year into a single, nationwide point system for all Chinese citizens, akin to a financial credit score. It aims to punish for transgressions that can include membership in or support for the Falun Gong or Tibetan Buddhism, failure to pay debts, excessive video gaming, criticizing the government, late payments, failing to sweep the sidewalk in front of your store or house, smoking or playing loud music on trains, jaywalking, and other actions deemed illegal or unacceptable by the Chinese government.

It can also award points for charitable donations or even taking one’s own parents to the doctor.

Punishments can be harsh, including bans on leaving the country, using public transportation, checking into hotels, hiring for high-visibility jobs, or acceptance of children to private schools. It can also result in slower internet connections and social stigmatization in the form of registration on a public blacklist.

China’s social credit system has been characterized in one pithy tweet as “authoritarianism, gamified.”

At present, some parts of the social credit system are in force nationwide and others are local and limited (there are 40 or so pilot projects operated by local governments and at least six run by tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent).

Beijing maintains two nationwide lists, called the blacklist and the red list—the former consisting of people who have transgressed, and the latter people who have stayed out of trouble (a “red list” is the Communist version of a white list.) These lists are publicly searchable on a government website called China Credit.

The Chinese government also shares lists with technology platforms. So, for example, if someone criticizes the government on Weibo, their kids might be ineligible for acceptance to an elite school.

Public shaming is also part of China’s social credit system. Pictures of blacklisted people in one city were shown between videos on TikTok in a trial, and the addresses of blacklisted citizens were shown on a map on WeChat.

Some Western press reports imply that the Chinese populace is suffocating in a nationwide Skinner box of oppressive behavioral modification. But some Chinese are unaware that it even exists. And many others actually like the idea. One survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens surveyed either somewhat or strongly approve of social credit system.

Many Westerners are disturbed by what they read about China’s social credit system. But such systems, it turns out, are not unique to China. A parallel system is developing in the United States, in part as the result of Silicon Valley and technology-industry user policies, and in part by surveillance of social media activity by private companies.

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UN: Change Land Use To Avoid A Hungry Future

If global warming isn’t personal enough to scare you to death, the UN trots out the rabid notion that you are going to starve to death as a result of it. Coupled with rising sea levels and shortages of drinking water, mankind has no future unless… it adopts Sustainable Development. ⁃ TN Editor

Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the way people use the land is making global warming worse, a new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious.

“The cycle is accelerating,” said NASA climate scientist Cynthia Rosenzweig, a co-author of the report. “The threat of climate change affecting people’s food on their dinner table is increasing.”

But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said.

Earth’s land masses, which are only 30% of the globe, are warming twice as fast as the planet as a whole. While heat-trapping gases are causing problems in the atmosphere, the land has been less talked about as part of climate change. A special report, written by more than 100 scientists and unanimously approved by diplomats from nations around the world Thursday at a meeting in Geneva, proposed possible fixes and made more dire warnings.

“The way we use land is both part of the problem and also part of the solution,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, a French climate scientist who co-chairs one of the panel’s working groups. “Sustainable land management can help secure a future that is comfortable.”

Scientists at Thursday’s press conference emphasized both the seriousness of the problem and the need to make societal changes soon.

“We don’t want a message of despair,” said science panel official Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London. “We want to get across the message that every action makes a difference.”

Still the stark message hit home hard for some of the authors.

“I’ve lost a lot of sleep about what the science is saying. As a person, it’s pretty scary,” Koko Warner, a manager in the U.N. Climate Change secretariat who helped write a report chapter on risk management and decision-making, told The Associated Press after the report was presented at the World Meteorological Organization headquarters in Geneva. “We need to act urgently.”

The report said climate change already has worsened land degradation, caused deserts to grow, permafrost to thaw and made forests more vulnerable to drought, fire, pests and disease. That’s happened even as much of the globe has gotten greener because of extra carbon dioxide in the air. Climate change has also added to the forces that have reduced the number of species on Earth.

“Climate change is really slamming the land,” said World Resources Institute researcher Kelly Levin, who wasn’t part of the study.

And the future could be worse.

“The stability of food supply is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases,” the report said.

In the worst-case scenario, food security problems change from moderate to high risk with just a few more tenths of a degree of warming from now. They go from high to “very high” risk with just another 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) of warming from now.

“The potential risk of multi-breadbasket failure is increasing,” NASA’s Rosenzweig said. “Just to give examples, the crop yields were effected in Europe just in the last two weeks.”

Scientists had long thought one of the few benefits of higher levels of carbon dioxide, the major heat-trapping gas, was that it made plants grow more and the world greener, Rosenzweig said. But numerous studies show that the high levels of carbon dioxide reduce protein and nutrients in many crops.

For example, high levels of carbon in the air in experiments show wheat has 6% to 13% less protein, 4% to 7% less zinc and 5% to 8% less iron, she said.

But better farming practices — such as no-till agricultural and better targeted fertilizer applications — have the potential to fight global warming too, reducing carbon pollution up to 18% of current emissions levels by 2050, the report said.

If people change their diets, reducing red meat and increasing plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables and seeds, the world can save as much as another 15% of current emissions by mid-century. It would also make people more healthy, Rosenzweig said.

The science panel said they aren’t telling people what to eat because that’s a personal choice.

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Sustainability Los Angeles

Los Angeles County Deep Dives 88 Cities Into Sustainability Plan

Los Angeles County follows the city of Los Angeles in adopting one of the most ambitious Sustainability/Green New Deal plans in the nation, virtually guaranteeing eventual bankruptcy and slum conditions. ⁃ TN Editor

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously adopted the OurCounty Sustainability Plan, one of the boldest, most comprehensive regional approach to sustainability ever issued by a county in the United States.

The plan, drafted over the course of two years with the help of nearly 1,000 community and expert stakeholders from every part of the County, sets forth an ambitious agenda that looks to transform the region in the years and decades ahead.

Recognizing the urgency of existing regional challenges and the climate crisis, the plan aims to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement by creating a fossil-fuel-free Los Angeles County within the next three decades. It includes nearly 160 health-focused strategies centering on communities that have been disproportionately affected by environmental pollution for decades.

“At its heart, this plan is both a call to action and a commitment to future generations,” said Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who, with Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, sponsored the motion to create the County’s Chief Sustainability Office, which led to the development of the plan. “This is our unequivocal statement that climate change is real, and that our County will not stand around waiting for the federal government to wake up and create the policies and programs needed to address it.

Unlike other sustainability plans, the OurCounty plan is unique in its regional focus as it moves to confront a wide range of environmental, social and economic challenges.

“The OurCounty Sustainability Plan charts a path forward to not only confront climate change and pollution, but to do so in ways that also address other challenges, like traffic, the housing affordability crisis, and longstanding inequality,” said Board of Supervisors Chair Janice Hahn. “We don’t have to choose between clean air and good jobs, or between investing in a greener economy and an economy that works for everyone, or even between preserving local ecosystems and building abundant housing that our residents can afford.  These false choices force us to think small when the real solutions are so much bigger.”

“This Sustainability Plan takes a strategic approach to improving the health and quality of life in communities across Los Angeles County,” Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said. “The demand for more affordable housing, well-paying jobs, healthier living, and clean and green transportation are all intertwined. Collectively, we must pursue bold and holistic strategies if we are serious about prioritizing the sustainability of our region.”

Overall, OurCounty proposes to make Los Angeles County a more equitable, prosperous and resilient region in the years ahead. The plan’s goals and milestones include:

  • Powering unincorporated areas and County facilities with 100% renewable energy by 2025
  • Increasing urban tree canopy coverage by 15% by 2035
  • Diverting more than 95% of waste from landfills
  • Developing land-use tools to limit new development in high climate-hazard areas
  • Phasing out single-use plastic by 2025 to ensure a cleaner ocean and less landfill waste
  • Cutting back on imported water by sourcing 80 percent of water locally by 2045
  • Ensuring that all residents have safe and clean drinking water, and that rivers, lakes and the ocean meet federal water quality standards
  • Leading efforts to make sure that at least 65% of new housing is built within 1/2 mile of high frequency transit by 2035
  • Supporting construction of more than half a million affordable housing units by 2045 to improve public health and community sustainability

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Brookings: Global Spending On SDGs Now Exceeds $20 Trillion

Sustainable Development is rapidly degrading Capitalism and Free Enterprise with massive malinvestment to realize the Utopia-based 17 SDGs specified by the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

“Malinvestment is a mistaken investment in wrong lines of production, which inevitably lead to wasted capital and economic losses.” (Ludwig von Mises) Malinvestment causes booms and bubbles, which are currently seen throughout the world. ⁃ TN Editor

Pouring several colors of paint into a single bucket produces a gray pool of muck, not a shiny rainbow. So too with discussions of financing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Jumbling too many issues into the same debate leads to policy muddiness rather than practical breakthroughs. Financing the SDGs requires a much more disaggregated mindset: unpacking the specific issues, requiring specific resources, in specific places.

In a forthcoming paper, we zoom out on the global SDG financing landscape in order to zoom back in on country-specific contexts and gaps. In particular, we consider how much the world’s governments are already spending on SDG-related issues every year, how spending varies across income levels, and how the spending patterns link to country-by-country estimates of needs. We focus on the public sector due to its lead responsibility for tackling both the public goods and the “no one left behind” issues embedded in the SDGs and the 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, the latter including a “social compact” commitment to provide universal access to basic services. This research can be considered as complementary to assessments of where the private sector can best contribute to SDG financing. Below we summarize some preliminary findings, noting that all results are subject to refinement as we complete the analysis.

1. GLOBAL PUBLIC SECTOR SDG SPENDING IS ALREADY MORE THAN $20 TRILLION PER YEAR

Our first key finding is that, as of 2015, governments around the world were already spending approximately $21 trillion per year on SDG-related sectors: health, education, agriculture, social protection, infrastructure, justice, and conservation. If recent global economic trends continue under a business-as-usual scenario, SDG-related public spending (hereafter described more simply as “SDG spending”) likely reaches $33 trillion or more by 2030, in constant dollar terms. In other words, global SDG spending in the public sector alone will grow by around $12 trillion per year, simply through the world’s ongoing processes of economic growth.

Does this extra $12 trillion per year of SDG spending tell us anything about prospects for SDG achievement? Not at all. The global aggregates are about as useful as tracking world rainfall totals when trying to grow a plant in the Sahel. First of all, as Figure 1 shows, the majority of current global SDG spending is taking place in high-income countries, telling us very little about how well each dollar is linked to SDG outcomes in each of those countries, and telling us even less about financing adequacy in lower-income countries. Second, a majority of the SDG spending growth out to 2030 is likely to take place in fast-growing upper-middle-income countries (UMICs), but this again tells us little about how the new resources might shape better SDG outcomes in those places, or what will generate outcomes in less economically prosperous places.

In lower-middle-income countries, we estimate that total SDG spending will increase from around $780 billion in 2015 to more than $1.9 trillion in 2030. This is spread across a population likely to grow from 2.9 billion people to 3.5 billion people over the same period, equivalent to a growth in per capita spending from around $265 to around $530. Meanwhile, in low-income countries (LICs) with even faster population growth, we estimate that SDG-related spending will increase from only around $70 billion in 2015, roughly $115 per capita, to almost $180 billion in 2030, roughly $210 per capita. This per capita figure works out to a steady 4 percent annual growth rate in the LICs.

Altogether, these numbers indicate considerable growth in SDG spending across income levels. But the huge variations in orders of magnitude also underscore how little the multitrillion-dollar growth in global annual SDG spending aggregates mean, for instance, in the world’s poorest countries.

2. SDG SPENDING RISES PROPORTIONATELY WITH GDP PER CAPITA

Delving a layer deeper, our research draws attention to the limits even of considering averages by country income category. As shown in Figure 2, there is a clear relationship between public SDG spending and GDP per capita. For every dollar of higher income, countries have, on average, a correspondingly higher level of average SDG spending. Importantly, when drawing a line through the cross-section, its slope is greater than one, suggesting that SDG spending rises faster than GDP per capita. For every 10 percent higher level of average GDP per capita, we find average SDG spending to be 13 percent higher.

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July 29: The Day When Earth Ran Out Of Resources

Sustainable Development Technocrats have no idea how many resources the earth has to serve mankind, but that doesn’t stop them from telling you that you have over-shot your annual quota. ⁃ TN Editor

On July 29, humanity will have used nature’s resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability organization that has pioneered the Ecological Footprint. It is Earth Overshoot Day. Its date has moved up two months over the past 20 years to the 29th of July this year, the earliest date ever.

Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29th means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths. Overshoot is possible because we are depleting our natural capital – which compromises humanity’s future resource security. The costs of this global ecological overspending are becoming increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events.

“We have only got one Earth – this is the ultimately defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences,” said Mathis Wackernagel, co-inventor of Ecological Footprint accounting and founder of Global Footprint Network.

His just released book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budgetdemonstrates that overshoot can only be temporary. Humanity will eventually have to operate within the means of Earth’s ecological resources, whether that balance is restored by disaster or by design. “Companies and countries that understand and manage the reality of operating in a one-planet context are in a far better position to navigate the challenges of the 21st century,” Wackernagel writes.

Accelerate solutions to #MoveTheDate

“With Earth Overshoot Day occurring ever earlier in the year, and a big part of it being the growing amounts of CO2 emissions, the importance of decisive action is becoming ever more evident. For this reason, we are working with all parties to find effective approaches,” said María Carolina Schmidt ZaldívarMinister of Environment, Chile, and chair of the Climate COP25 scheduled this December in Santiago de Chile.

Moving the date of Earth Overshoot Day back 5 days each year would allow humanity to reach one-planet compatibility before 2050. Solutions that #MoveTheDate are available and financially advantageous. Significant opportunities are to be found in five key areas: cities, energy, food, population, and planet. For instance, cutting CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning by 50% would #MoveTheDate by 93 days.

Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Bertrand Piccard, founder of the Solar Impulse Foundation, and Sandrine Dixson-Declѐve, co-president of the Club of Rome, are among those who took to Twitter in recent weeks, calling to #MoveTheDate in video statements. Shoot your own statement.

Just days ahead of Earth Overshoot Day, Global Footprint Network launched the beta version of the #MoveTheDate Solutions Map where people are invited to champion existing solutions. Users can also connect with each other on the basis of geography and focus of interest, accelerating the implementation of new projects in the real world. Developed with startup Mapotic, the social platform also features solutions identified by partners, starting with Buckminster Fuller Institute award laureates.

The #MoveTheDate Solutions Map is designed to complement the Footprint Calculator. The latter, which enables people to calculate their own Ecological Footprint and their personal Earth Overshoot Day, draws more than 2.5 million users per year and is now available in eight languages, with Chinese and Portuguese most recently added.

The relevance of one-planet compatibility for successful business strategies is explored in a whitepaper by Schneider Electric and Global Footprint Network that was published July 22. Follow the twitter discussion via #SEMoveTheDate. Previous research by both organizations shows that if 100% of the existing building and industry infrastructure were equipped with available energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies from Schneider Electric and partners, the date of Earth Overshoot Day would move back by 21 days at least.

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