Climate Migration, 2,700 EV Charging Stations, and ESG Investing *

Welcome to Earth911’s climate, sustainability, and recycling reader, a collection of articles worth your attention today.

U.S. Government Account Office: Climate Migration Is Inevitable

Even if the current administration dismisses the consequences of environmental damage and climate change, the U.S. government is preparing for the consequences. According to the U.S. Government Accounting Office, an independent agency that advises Congress, states the truth bluntly in a new report: “relocation due to climate change will be unavoidable in some coastal areas in all but the very lowest sea level rise projections.” The report examines the experience of two U.S. coastal communities that have already moved to avoid rising seas, an Inuit town, Newtok, Alaska, and Isle de Jean Charles in Louisiana. The G.A.O warns that costs could spiral if the government does not establish clear guidelines and designates an agency to be responsible to manage climate migration programs.

Sea-level rise in and around Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana, between 1963 to 2008. Source: U.S. Government Accountability Agency.

Embodied Carbon: Reducing Product CO2 During Manufacturing

Most of us think in terms of energy and carbon savings from using a product while ignoring the embodied carbon in the products we use. Treehugger’s Lloyd Alter explains that 83% of an iPhone’s lifetime CO2 emissions are related to the initial production of the device. Daily phone use accounts for only 13% of the device’ lifetime carbon footprint. “The [carbon] footprint from use is 10.4 kilograms over 3 years, or 9.4 grams per day using an average power mix; that is equivalent to the carbon footprint of a teaspoon of milk,” Alter writes. It’s essential to understand the production-related embodied carbon footprint of the stuff you buy, if you want to maximize the impact of your responsible consumption.

Investing for Sustainability Is Under Attack

Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia is pushing a new regulation that would prevent 401 (k) investment fund managers from using environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors to select which stocks to include in their portfolios, Bloomberg’s John Authers wrote today. ESG is an important movement to bring all the costs of business into the accounting of corporate performance. If you are interested in supporting green values with your retirement investments, send letters to the Department of Labor, the White House, and your Congressional representatives asking them to block Scalia’s proposal, which prohibits funds from considering any standards that “sacrifice return or accept additional risk to promote a public policy, political, or any other non-pecuniary goal.” ESG investing makes a positive impact that can turn all investing into impact investing, in the words of another Bloomberg writer.

GM and EVgo Will Build 2,700 Charging Stations

General Motors and EVgo, which operates a network of charging stations, will invest to build 2,700 more electric vehicle charging locations, a 600% increase over the current 800 EVgo locations. Unlike the Tesla charging network, these locations will be open to owners of all EVs regardless of the manufacturer who made their car. Curious to know how many charging stations your state has, check out EVadoption’s state-by-state statistics.



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