Monthly Archives: August 2008

Political Will Required to Build a Green Economy

Bracken Hendricks

The Democratic party has shied away from linking clean energy, the economy, and the environment since Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Energy Policy. But the political winds are changing. At Tuesday evening’s Democratic National Convention, almost all of the speakers hit on the theme of green collar jobs. Nancy Floyd of Nth Power noted that there are 2.4 million green collar jobs worldwide — but less than 10 percent are in US. Presumptive Democrat candidate Barack Obama’s platform calls for more than doubling that number to 5 million green collar jobs in the US alone. And he’s framing it as a win-win-win to get us off foreign oil, stop global warming, and create tons of green jobs in the US. This week, we feature the second part of our conversation with Bracken Hendricks, co-author with Congressman Jay Inslee of Apollo’s Fire, and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance. The discussion focuses on the political will required to build a green economy.

Bracken Hendricks

Apollo's Fire

Apollo Alliance

Barack Obama’s New Energy Platform

DNC speech by Nancy Floyd of Nth Power

Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Energy Policy

Green Jobs: Towards Sustainable Work in a Low-Carbon World report by the Worldwatch Institute as part of the UNEP- ILO- ITUC Green Jobs Initiative

Job Opportunities for the Green Economy report from the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

CWR Headlines:

Joe Biden’s Got Environmental Creds
Google.org Pumps Money into Geothermal Energy
Buffett and Gates Visit Tar Sands

Conrad MacKerron

CWR ViewPoint:  read

Conrad MacKerron of the As You Sow Foundation comments on the labor and human rights implications of greening the supply chain.

Prius Envy and the Greening of Wal-Mart: A Blind Spot for the Human Cost

Green Collar Jobs Build the Clean Energy Economy

Bracken Hendricks

Climate change, racial discrimination, and economic recession may seem impossible to solve. But building a green economy could do the trick. The beauty of the green economy is that it could tackle all these problems at the same time. But only if labor is a driving force behind it. And that’s beginning to happen. Green collar jobs build a clean energy infrastructure. They’re hard to outsource because most of the work, like weatherizing homes, happens on-site. Advocates are working to make the green workforce more racially inclusive. And incomes could rise as demand grows for workers left out of the oil-based economy. Today we speak with 2 of the most prominent advocates for green collar jobs and the green economy. Today, we speak with Bracken Hendricks, author of Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a green economy. We also hear from Van Jones, founder of Green For All, an initiative seeking to lift 250,000 people out of poverty through green-collar jobs.

Bracken Hendricks

Apollo's Fire

Apollo Alliance

Van Jones

Van Jones

CWR Headlines:

Burying Carbon from “Clean Coal” Increases PollutionBut a New Process Can Turn Carbon Emissions Into Toothpaste

Reducing Poverty and Protecting the Environment: Can the World Bank Do Both?

Vinod Thomas

The World Bank Group’s mission is to reduce poverty. The Bank also works toward environmental sustainability. What’s the link between them, and does its practice on the ground promote both priorities? That’s the question posed by the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group or IEG in a recent audit of the Bank’s funding projects. The results? Disappointing. CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Vinod Thomas, Director-General of the IEG about the report. The IEG is producing a follow-up report focusing directly on the effectiveness of the the World Bank Group’s environmental and social sustainability safeguards and standards.

Vinod Thomas

Environmental Sustainability: An Evaluation of World Bank Group Support

CWR Headlines:

Russian-Georgian War Could Mean a New Cold War Between Russia and the West
Wal-Mart Wants to Keep Green Definitions Fuzzy

Web Extra: Full interview with Peter Zeihan of Stratfor on the Russia-Georgia War

Steve Herz

CWR ViewPoint:  read

Steve Herz comments on how International Finance Corporation social standards fail to protect against human rights abuses. Herz recently co-authored a report on the human rights performance of the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the Equator Principles. The analysis was conducted in partnership with the World Resources Institute, the Center for International Environmental Law, the Bank Information Center, BankTrack, and Oxfam Australia. Herz practices international, environmental, and human rights law in Oakland, CA.

The International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards and the Equator Principles: Respecting Human Rights and Remedying Violations?

Javatrekker Dean Cycon Traverses the World of Fair Trade Coffee

MudmenDean Cycon has long believed in using business to promote social justice, and Fair Trade is his bailiwick. As founder and CEO of Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee, he’s helped small coffee farmers around the world get a fairer price for their product. From Papua New Guinea to Peru, he’s helped farmers build cooperatives and establish educational and health programs for their families. And perhaps most importantly, he’s listened to them — the stories of their lives and their work. He’s put his experiences together in a terrific book called Javatrekker: Dispatches from the World of Fair Trade Coffee, which won a 2008 Gold Medal for best travel book from the online magazine, Independent Publisher.

Dean’s Beans

2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal for Travel Essays: Javatrekker

Grist post by Eric Hofner of the Orion Grassroots Network: “Grassroots globalization: Dean’s Beans founder on the good effects of trade” (see comments thread about this CWR show)

CWR Headlines

Final Round of WTO Doha Talks Collapse

CWR ViewPoint

Brian Campbell of International Labor Rights Forum comments on the plight of cocoa farmers and workers.

International Labor Rights Forum