The Porter Hypothesis After 20 Years: How Can Environmental Regulation Enhance Innovation and Competitiveness?

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 19 Jan 2011 21:00:00 GMT

Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard University

With additional comments by:
  • Phil Sharp, President, Resources for the Future
  • Daniel C. Esty, Hillhouse Professor of Environmental Law and Policy, Yale University
  • Chad Holliday, former CEO, DuPont

Twenty years ago, Michael Porter, one of the world’s most influential thinkers on management and competitiveness, posited what has since become known as the Porter Hypothesis – the notion that well-designed environmental regulation can spur innovation and improve competitiveness. As current policy debates focus on regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act and concerns about global competitiveness of U.S. industry, Porter’s insights have never been more germane. With these issues in mind, Michael Porter will deliver the annual Hans Landsberg Memorial Lecture at Resources for the Future on January 19, 2011.

Michael Porter is a leading authority on competitive strategy; the competitiveness and economic development of nations, states, and regions; and the application of competitive principles to social problems such as health care, the environment, and corporate responsibility. Porter is generally recognized as the father of the modern strategy field, and has been identified in a variety of rankings and surveys as the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness. He is the Bishop William Lawrence University Professor, based at Harvard Business School. A University professorship is the highest professional recognition that can be awarded to a Harvard faculty member. In 2001, Harvard Business School and Harvard University jointly created the Institute for Strategy and Competitiveness, dedicated to furthering Professor Porter’s work. He is the author of 18 books and over 125 articles.

To RSVP for this event, please send an email with your contact details to events@rff.org.

RFF First Floor Conference Center
Resources for the Future
1616 P Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

WonkLine: June 11, 2009

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 11 Jun 2009 13:51:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Global warming “could lead to the greatest human migration in history” uprooting between 200 million and 700 million people by 2050, according to the International Organization for Migration.

New green jobs sprouted faster than the overall workforce expanded across the nation from 1998 to 2007,”according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Charitable Trusts,” and “California led the nation in all categories measured.”

The Obama administration “plans to announce Thursday a proposal to eliminate the expedited reviews that have made it easier for mining companies to get approval” for mining “the Appalachians by blasting off mountaintops and discarding the rubble in stream valleys.”

Green Jobs, Good Jobs Conference: Green Jobs Expo

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 05 Feb 2009 13:30:00 GMT

Transforming the economy through environmental solutions — creating good jobs and exploring green technologies that reduce global warming and increase energy independence — is key to our future.

Solving global warming can now be centered on reinvigorating disadvantaged communities. The economy can be focused on buildups rather than bailouts. And the focus of energy independence will shift to clean energy and new technologies.

Connect with 2,000 government leaders and decision-makers, as well as business, labor and environmental organizations at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference for three days of exceptional educational programs, renowned speakers and extensive networking opportunities.

The 2009 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference will alternate between plenary sessions and workshops. The plenary sessions will provide a stage for prominent national experts while the workshops will allow participants to explore new ideas and exchange best practices. The conference will focus on how solutions to environmental challenges can be used to drive economic development and create successful and profitable businesses.

Green Jobs Expo

  • 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
  • 8:30 a.m. Morning Keynote
  • 9:30 a.m. Plenary Panel
  • 10:45 a.m. Breakouts
  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. Keynote or Panel
  • 2:30 p.m. Break
  • 2:45 p.m. Breakouts
  • 4:30 p.m. Keynote
  • 6:00 p.m. Networking Reception

Location: Marriott Wardman Park

Green Jobs, Good Jobs Conference

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 04 Feb 2009 14:00:00 GMT

Transforming the economy through environmental solutions — creating good jobs and exploring green technologies that reduce global warming and increase energy independence — is key to our future.

Solving global warming can now be centered on reinvigorating disadvantaged communities. The economy can be focused on buildups rather than bailouts. And the focus of energy independence will shift to clean energy and new technologies.

Connect with 2,000 government leaders and decision-makers, as well as business, labor and environmental organizations at the Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference for three days of exceptional educational programs, renowned speakers and extensive networking opportunities.

The 2009 Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference will alternate between plenary sessions and workshops. The plenary sessions will provide a stage for prominent national experts while the workshops will allow participants to explore new ideas and exchange best practices. The conference will focus on how solutions to environmental challenges can be used to drive economic development and create successful and profitable businesses.

Schedule
  • 7:30 a.m. Registration
  • 9:00 a.m. Welcome
  • 9:30 a.m. Morning Keynote
  • 10:15 a.m. Plenary Panels
  • 12:00 p.m. (noon) Lunch
  • 1:00-6:00 p.m. Advocacy Day – Capitol Hill / Breakout sessions for those not participating in Advocacy Day

Location: Marriott Wardman Park

Green Recovery

Posted by Wonk Room Mon, 01 Dec 2008 17:00:00 GMT

At a time of fiscal belt tightening, when some would put environmental priorities on the back burner, there are many who believe that investing in a green economy now is the best way to achieve both short and long term economic solutions. A recent paper by the Center for American Progress and the University of Massachusetts Political Economy Research Institute, “Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low Carbon Economy,” finds that to promote economic mobility, growth, job creation, and regain technological leadership in the global innovation marketplace, we must fundamentally change how we produce and consume energy in this country and transform our economy to a low-carbon model. Investing in clean energy and efficiency will enable the United States to regain technological leadership in the global innovation marketplace, grow our economy, reduce global warming emissions, and invest in national security.

Please join the Center for American Progress and three of the country’s leading advocates for investments in a green economy for a discussion on how each step of an economic recovery package (stabilization, stimulus, recovery, and growth) can be greened, and explore both national and state perspectives on policy solutions towards transforming our economy to a low-carbon model.

Copies of Hot, Flat, and Crowded will be available for purchase at the event.

Introduction by:
  • Joseph Romm, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Featured Speakers:
  • Governor Ed Rendell (D – PA)
  • Thomas Friedman, columnist, New York Times; author, Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution—and How It Can Renew America
  • Carol Browner, Principal, The Albright Group LLC
Moderated by:
  • Bracken Hendricks, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Live webcast.

Obama Plans Green Economy Listening Tour Before Inauguration

Posted by Wonk Room Thu, 06 Nov 2008 16:48:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Obama Energy LeadershipDan Kammen, the director of the Renewable & Appropriate Energy Laboratory at UC Berkeley and a top adviser to President-elect Barack Obama (D-IL), has told E&E News that Obama may conduct a nationwide “listening tour” to allow his team to hit the ground running for a green recovery:

The incoming Obama team is considering a “listening tour” around the country on energy and environmental issues before Inauguration Day in an attempt to build momentum for its policies and legislative plans.

Last month, Obama told Time’s Joe Klein that an “Apollo project” for a “new energy economy” is his top priority:
That’s going to be my No. 1 priority when I get into office.

In Tuesday’s victory speech before a crowd of 125,000 in Chicago’s Grant Park, Obama indicated that listening to all people of this nation will be central to his administration:

There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as President, and we know that government can’t solve every problem. But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And above all, I will ask you join in the work of remaking this nation the only way its been done in America for two-hundred and twenty-one years – block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.
In the 75 days before Obama takes office, he will also have to weigh in on major events already on the calendar:
Green Stimulus. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today announced she hopes to work with the lame-duck Senate and White House to pass a green recovery stimulus bill before the end of the year, including funding for infrastructure projects “in a way that reduces our dependence on foreign oil, creates good green jobs in America.” On the campaign trail, Obama proposed a $190 billion stimulus package that includes green infrastructure and jobs.

International Action. From December 1 to 12, the next round of international climate negotiations takes place in Poznań, Poland. Obama has pledged to send a team of representatives, in what may be his first major act as President-elect on the international stage.

The Energy Economy in Transition: Mega Trends for the Year Ahead

Posted by Wonk Room Mon, 27 Oct 2008 16:00:00 GMT

David Goldwyn, president of Goldwyn International Strategies LLC and chair of GEEI, will lead this forum “The Energy Economy in Transition: Mega Trends for the Year Ahead.”
  • Scott Barrett, director of the SAIS International Policy Program, will discuss “Prospects for a New Carbon Regime”
  • Michelle Billig, senior director of political risk at PIRA Energy Group and member of GEEI’s advisory board, will discuss “Political Risks on the Rise”
  • Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank and a member of GEEI’s advisory board, will discuss “New Dynamics in the Markets.”

Sponsored by the SAIS Global Energy and Environment Initiative.

For more information and to RSVP, contact 202.663.5786 or geei.sais@jhu.edu.

Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies Kenney Auditorium 1740 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Washington, D.C.

Accelerating Atmospheric CO2 Growth from Economic Activity, Carbon Intensity, and Efficiency of Natural Carbon Sinks

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 26 Sep 2008 14:00:00 GMT

What is the relationship between economic activity and CO2 growth? What is carbon intensity and how does it relate to economic activity? What are the trends in CO2 growth, carbon intensity, and changes in the efficiency of natural reservoirs to store carbon? How does the growth in CO2 compare to the various estimates of CO2 growth contained in the most recent IPCC assessment of climate change? What is permafrost and what is the extent of permafrost thaw in the Arctic? Is permafrost thaw a response to global warming and if so, what is the future likely to hold? Will permafrost thaw result in the release of additional CO2 into the atmosphere from Arctic soils? If so, what is the impact likely to be on global warming? How much carbon is stored in Arctic soils? Assuming that the Arctic continues to warm well above the global average, what is the likely fate of that soil carbon and how might it influence climate in the future?

Moderator:
  • Dr. Anthony Socci, Senior Science Fellow, American Meteorological Society
Speakers:
  • Dr. Josep (Pep) Canadell, Executive Director, Global Carbon Project, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) Marine and Atmospheric Research, Canberra, Australia
  • Dr. Vladmir Romanovsky, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK
  • Dr. Howard Epstein, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Program Summary How Fast is Atmospheric CO2 Growing and Why, and Does it Suggest Ways to Mitigate Climate Change?

The increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single largest human perturbation of the climate system. Its rate of change reflects the balance between human-driven carbon emissions and the dynamics of a number of terrestrial and ocean processes that remove or emit CO2. It is the long term evolution of this balance that will determine to a large extent the speed and magnitude of climate change and the mitigation requirements to stabilize atmospheric CO2 concentrations at any given level. Dr. Canadell will present the most recent trends in global carbon sources and sinks, updated for the first time to the year 2007, with particularly focus on major shifts occurring since 2000. Dr. Canadell’s research indicates that the underlying drivers of changes in atmospheric CO2 growth include: i) increased human-induced carbon emissions, ii) stagnation of the carbon intensity of the global economy, and iii) decreased efficiency of natural carbon sinks. New Estimates of Carbon Storage in Arctic Soils and Implications in a Changing Environment

The Arctic represents approximately 13% of the total land area of the Earth, and arctic tundra occupies roughly 5 million square kilometers. Arctic tundra soils represent a major storage pool for dead organic carbon, largely due to cold temperatures and saturated soils in many locations that prevent its decomposition. Prior estimates of carbon stored in tundra soils range from 20-29 kg of soil organic carbon (SOC) per square meter. These estimates however, were based on data collected from only the top 20-40 cm of soil, and were sometimes extrapolated to 100 cm. It is our understanding that large quantities of SOC are stored at greater depths, through the annual freezing and thawing motion of the soils (cryoturbation), and potentially frozen in the permafrost.

Recent detailed analysis of Arctic soils by Dr. Epstein and his colleagues found that soil organic carbon values averaged 34.8 kg per square meter, representing an increase of approximately 40% over the prior estimates. Additionally, 38% of the total soil organic carbon was found in the permafrost.

A total of 98.2 gigatonnes (1015 grams) of carbon is estimated to be stored in the soils of the North American Arctic tundra. An area-based estimate for the entire Arctic suggests the presence of approximately 160 gigatonnes of carbon. The annual increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide is roughly 2% of this amount, so small changes in Arctic carbon storage could have substantive impacts on atmospheric CO2. The future of this stored carbon is, however, largely uncertain in the face of a changing Arctic environment. Climate change and resulting increasing temperatures in much of the Arctic could increase the decomposition rates of soil organic carbon (producing atmospheric CO2), and increase permafrost thaw, which would expose more soil organic carbon for decomposition. On the other hand, increasing temperatures could also lead to greater sequestration of atmospheric CO2 by tundra vegetation. Actual changes will be the result of complex interactions between processes that sequester carbon and those that release it. Past, Present and Future Changes in Permafrost and Implications for a Changing Carbon Budget

Presence of permafrost is one of the major factors that turn northern ecosystems into an efficient natural carbon sink. Moreover, a significant amount of carbon is sequestered in the upper several meters to several tens of meters of permafrost. Because of that, the appearance and disappearance of permafrost within the northern landscapes have a direct impact on the efficiency of northern ecosystems to sequester carbon in soil, both near the ground surface and in deeper soil layers. Recent changes in permafrost may potentially transform the northern ecosystems from an effective carbon sink to a significant source of carbon for the Earth’s atmosphere. Additional emissions of carbon from thawing permafrost may be in the form of CO2 or methane depending upon specific local conditions.

Dr. Romanovsky will present information on changes in terrestrial and subsea permafrost in the past during the last glacial-interglacial cycle and on the most recent trends in permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere. He will further discuss the potential impact of these changes in permafrost (including a short discussion on potential changes in methane gas clathrates) on the global carbon cycle. Dr. Romanovsky’s research suggests that permafrost in North America and Northern Eurasia shows a substantial warming during the last 20 to 30 years. The magnitude of warming varied with location, but was typically from 0.5 to 2°C at 15 meters depth. Thawing of the Little Ice Age permafrost is on-going at many locations. There are some indications that the late-Holocene permafrost started to thaw at some specific undisturbed locations in the European Northeast, in the Northwest and East Siberia, and in Alaska. Future projections of possible changes in permafrost during the current century, based on the application of calibrated permafrost models, will be also presented. Biographies

Dr. Josep (Pep) Canadell is the executive director of the Global Carbon Project (GCP) based at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia. His work involves internationally coordinated research on i) global and regional carbon budgets and trends, ii) vulnerable carbon reservoirs to changes in climate and land use, and iii) climate mitigation strategies to stabilize atmospheric carbon dioxide. He has published over 70 scientific papers, 8 books and special issues, and the first global environmental change encyclopedia.

Dr. Canadell received his MSc. and Ph.D. degrees on terrestrial ecology from the University Autonomous of Barcelona, Spain, and took several research positions during the 1990s at the University of California at San Diego and Berkeley, and at Stanford University, CA.

Dr. Howard Epstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, specializing in the ecology of arctic tundra, and dry grasslands and shrublands. His current research projects in the Arctic involve 1) the study of land-surface features in arctic tundra related to freezing and thawing of soils, 2) the “greening” of arctic tundra vegetation in response to recent warming, and 3) patterns of arctic tundra vegetation and soils along latitudinal temperature gradients in the Arctic of North America and Russia. Studies outside of the tundra include 1) wind erosion effects on plant community changes in the deserts of southeastern New Mexico, 2) carbon and water cycling in a subalpine ecosystem of western Montana, and 3) carbon sequestration during vegetation recovery in abandoned crop fields of northern Virginia.

Dr. Epstein received an M.S. degree in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Ecology, also from Colorado State, in 1997. He later engaged in postdoctoral studies at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. Dr. Epstein came to the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1998. As part of his arctic research, he has traveled north of the Arctic Circle nearly every summer since 1999 and recently returned from a field expedition in northwestern Siberia. He teaches courses in the Fundamentals of Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology, and Ecology of Grasslands and Tundra. He has published approximately 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on Arctic tundra and dryland ecology.

Dr. Vladimir Romanovsky is a Professor in Geophysics at the Geophysical Institute and the Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks. He also heads the Geophysical Institute Permafrost Laboratory (www.gi.alaska.edu/snowice/Permafrost-lab). His work involves internationally coordinated research on permafrost temperature changes in Alaska, Russia, Canada, Greenland, Kazakhstan, and Mongolia. He is also involved in numerical modeling of past, present and future permafrost dynamics and the remote sensing of permafrost and related cold-climate processes. Dr. Romanovsky’s research interests include the scientific and practical aspects of environmental and engineering problems involving ice and permafrost. These include problems in the areas of soil physics, thermodynamics, heat and mass flow, and growth and decay processes that are associated with permafrost, subsea permafrost, seasonally frozen ground, and seasonal snow cover. Dr. Romanovsky is the author of 110+ peer reviewed scientific journal publications, reports, and book chapters. He was a co-author of the 2005 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment for Chapter 6 “Cryosphere and Hydrology” and the lead author of Chapter 7 “Frozen Ground” in UNEP’s 2007 Global Outlook for Ice and Snow.

Dr. Romanovsky received his MSc. in Geophysics, MSc. in Mathematics and a Ph.D. in Geology from the Moscow State University in Russia. He also received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He has held several research and teaching positions at the Moscow State University prior to moving to Alaska in 1992, where he is currently a professor at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: The New Energy Economy

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 17:30:00 GMT

Facilitator: Vijay Vaitheeswaran

Introduction: The Government’s Role in the New Energy Economy
  • Sen. Jeff Bingaman
  • Rep. Earl Blumenauer
  • Rep. Ed Markey
  • Gavin Newsom
  • Greg Nickels
  • Federico Peña
  • Gov. Bill Ritter Jr.
  • Sen. Ken Salazar
Topic Expansion: Corporate and Community Initiatives in the New Energy Economy
  • Dan Arvizu
  • Mark Falcone
  • Van Jones
  • Carl Pope
  • Jon Ratner
  • Rhone Resch
  • Heather Stephenson

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO

Energy and Climate Change Roundtable: The Business of Climate Change

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 26 Aug 2008 12:00:00 GMT

Moderator: Rick Stengel

Introduction: Practical Examples of the Business Impact

  • Dan Hendrix
  • Mike Kaplan
  • Dr. Jeff Kenna
  • Rose McKinney James
  • Dan Reicher
Topic Expansion: Resources for Business Leadership
  • Frances Beinecke
  • Leo Gerard
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Ira Magaziner
  • Navin Nayak
  • John Podesta
  • Dan Sperling

Space Theatre, Denver Performing Arts Complex, Denver, CO