Global environmental challenges
President Barack Obama came into office with climate change and the environment on his list of top priorities.
Nearly a year later, one of the top environmental groups in the United States says that Obama has made the grade so far.
In a review of his green record, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) highlighted dozens of moves by Obama at home and abroad. They cited the $50 billion the president put in the stimulus package for cleaner energy and energy efficiency; an executive order for federal agencies to set targets to cut emissions by 2020; and the adoption of strict auto emissions standards, modeled after environmental trendsetter California.
Abroad, the group said that Obama has restored U.S. leadership in the arena of climate change. They pointed to Obama’s efforts to secure an accord at the global climate change summit in Copenhagen — an outcome that the president has said people are justified in being disappointed with — and to partner with China, India and Latin America on clean energy.
The United States became the No. 1 wind power market in the world in 2008. But under the credit crisis in 2009, the building of new wind farms slackened and the United States ceded its top global spot to China.
With the demand for renewable energy still growing, the American Wind Energy Association is eyeing 2010 as a critical year. Here are some of their top trends to watch for:
from Mario Di Simine:
Having an integrated clean technology strategy will be a big part of winning business in the 21st century, a Coca-Cola executive told Reuters.com on Monday, and its investments in refrigeration will likely have the biggest impact on that strategy long-term.
The world's biggest soft drinks maker has hooked up with Greenpeace on an initiative to eliminate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) -- greenhouse gases with a high warming effect -- from its refrigeration and cooling equipment by 2015, said Jeff Seabright, Coke's vice president for Environment & Water Resources.
Well into the first week of the U.N. Conference on Climate Change, the haves and have nots of the world are still divided over who should pay for the cleanup of the planet. Poor countries want rich countries to cough up more ambitious goals for emissions cuts and developing technologies.
But executives at the two largest U.S. solar power companies took a shine to the statement, which clears the way for federal regulation and came as a global climate summit opened in Copenhagen. Now they’ll keep their eyes on Congress to act on future legislation.
Clean technology investors who have suffered through 2009 can find cheer in a new report by the Cleantech Group that gives its top ten predictions for 2010.
The number one prediction: Private capital growth will recover, the research group said.