South Bend’s director of sustainability talks about need, plans for climate action in the city

first_imgIn a joint initiative between the Kellogg Institute and the Office of Sustainability, Therese Dorau, South Bend’s director of sustainability, spoke at Notre Dame on Friday about the recently adopted climate action plan for South Bend.In Nov. 2019, the South Bend Common Council unanimously approved “Carbon Neutral 2050” to reduce the city’s carbon emissions, according to the South Bend Tribune. The plan was one of the final initiatives of Pete Buttigieg’s mayoral tenure.“Now we’re in the process of determining the details for implementation,” Dorau said.Dorau said the plan sets two short-term and medium-term goals. The first is to reduce emissions by 26% by 2025, in keeping with the Paris Climate Accord, a goal that she says many local governments, businesses and states are “committing to in the absence of a national commitment.”“We already have a lot of the resources and the capacity that we need here in the community, in South Bend,” Dorau said. “So, it’s really just a matter of rolling it out with intention and commitment to get to that first level.”The medium-term objective is a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2035, which will require more resources, planning and policy change, Dorau said. The end goal is achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.Dorau spoke about the need, benefits and strategies behind South Bend’s “Carbon Neutral 2050.”The need, she said, for climate action, is based on greenhouse emissions data, climate science and experiences. In regards to data, the administration calculated South Bend’s carbon footprint at 1.3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.Furthermore, Indiana-based scientific predictions of climate events were carried out in 2018 by the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment. She also talked about the city’s experience with two major floods in 2016 and 2018.Dorau prompted the audience to reflect on the benefits of climate action.“As you look towards your life after graduation, or if you ever were to leave South Bend to move somewhere else, what would you be looking for in your community?” Dorau asked.The conversation steered toward climate resiliency, education, green spaces and clean air and water. Dorau also mentioned improved public health, cost savings, economic growth and increased equity, among other topics.“Because we saw that 94% of our footprint was coming from these two categories, that’s where a lot of our strategies ended up: transportation and energy,” Dorau said.The 25 actions in the plan, she said, can be condensed into “two basic ideas … use less, and if you can’t use less, use better.”In terms of transportation, this would mean reducing miles and trips, or using cleaner fuel, she said. In regards to energy, it would mean improving efficiency, or using renewable sources.Dorau mentioned some current resiliency projects in the city that reduce fossil fuel use, including Howard Park, which is seeking LEED certification, and Diamond Avenue’s bioretention system, “a natural, green storm water infrastructure that filters and stores water before it flows into the river in a storm event,” Dorau said.She also talked about the solar panels on top of South Bend Fire Station #4 and other strides made in public transportation.“I want to end with a reminder of what we’re trying to protect here in South Bend: a diversity of seasons … a diversity of faces, of passions, of talents,” Dorau said. “As climate stress becomes greater, it’s going to be harder to do this, to build these community features, and [it’s going to be] more important that we protect them.”However, “Carbon Neutral 2050” is not without criticism. Some activist groups such as the Sunrise Movement wanted an earlier timeline in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030, as promised by more progressive plans like the Green New Deal.Garrett Blad, National Press Coordinator for the Sunrise Movement, told The Observer last year that the plan was inadequate, irresponsible and dangerous.“It doesn’t follow what the scientists say,” Blad said then. “When standing on the national stage, Mayor Pete himself even said that the time for carbon neutrality should be decades ago. Why did he still set the timeline on 2050 for South Bend?”Dorau told The Observer that “the University of Notre Dame is uniquely positioned … because it is a faith-based and mission-driven organization, to justify the investments and the behavior change a little bit easier than a local government, which has to stay fairly neutral.”“I mentioned finding champions and lifting them up as examples to say ‘This can be done.’ Notre Dame is setting example in our community,” she said.In 2019, the University implemented Grind2Energy, a system to convert food waste into renewable energy, and announced that it had stopped burning coal a year ahead of schedule. Among other initiatives, these are part of Notre Dame’s five-year Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy launched in 2016.“The city definitely considers Notre Dame a key partner in climate change, not only because we share a border, and your emissions are our emissions,” Doreau said. “But also, because the opportunity and the interest in reducing those emissions is shared.”Tags: carbon neutrality, Climate change, sustainabilitylast_img read more

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Mel B Will Star in Chicago on Broadway

first_img View Comments Chicago Star Files Related Shows Mel B(Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)center_img from $49.50 Mel B Whoopee! Mel B, “Scary Spice” of the iconic Spice Girls, is set to star in Broadway’s Chicago! The America’s Got Talent judge will begin performances on December 28 and remain at the Ambassador Theatre through February 19. A production spokesperson told that the role she will be playing will be announced soon.Mel B is a chart-topping music artist, actress, author, TV host and entrepreneur. She’s currently starring on hit TV shows on three different continents: in the U.S. as a judge on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, in the U.K. as host of Lip Sync Battle U.K. and in Australia as a guest judge on The X Factor. She made her Broadway debut back in 2004 in Rent, when she played Mimi.Chicago currently stars Veronica Dunne as Roxie Hart (through November 27), Lana Gordon as Velma Kelly, Paul Alexander Nolan as Billy Flynn, Raymond Bokhour as Amos Hart, NaTasha Yvette Williams as Matron “Mama” Morton and R. Lowe as Mary Sunshine.last_img read more

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IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Renewables: ‘Still a Lot of Work to Be Done on Storage and on New Business Models’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Daniel Firger, who leads global work on climate change and clean energy for Bloomberg Philanthropies and who moderated an afternoon discussion today on clean energy finance, posed the question: “With advocates pushing for more clean energy on the grid, what really is going to drive additional renewable energy project development in the U.S. in the next couple of years?”Deutsche Bank managing director Vishal Shah said he thought that from a standpoint of increasing renewable energy development in the U.S., the extension of the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind and the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) last December was a good step.“There’s still a lot of work to be done on storage and on new business models,” he said. “That’s where some investments could be done.”Panelist Jonathan Barrett, president of Luminus Management, was skeptical about the efficacy of investing in renewable projects in this country in the near future. “I don’t think that the current dollars spent on reducing carbon emissions in the US are well spent,” he said.Barrett took issue with the idea that the tax credits would promote technological advancement. “The vast majority of dollars that are going to come out of taxpayers’ pockets to fund ITC and PTC will not be going to new technologies,” he said. “They’re going to existing technologies or slightly improved ones,” to help them get a leg up on traditional fuel sources. IEEFA Energy Finance 2016: Renewables: ‘Still a Lot of Work to Be Done on Storage and on New Business Models’last_img read more

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Ohio utility commission charts coal’s declining share of state’s electricity generation

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Columbus Dispatch:Coal has quickly slipped as Ohio’s dominant source of electricity.In just a dozen years, coal has gone from powering 87 percent of the state’s homes, stores, offices and factories to 47 percent last year, according to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. The use of coal in fueling electricity fell 11 percentage points from just 2017 to 2018 even as President Donald Trump has vowed to revive the coal industry.It is a similar story elsewhere around the country, especially in the Midwest and East, where several coal-fired power plants have shut down in the past several years. Coal is falling victim primarily to cheap, abundant supplies of natural gas, some of it sourced in the Utica and Marcellus shales in eastern Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.Columbus-based American Electric Power, one of the nation’s largest power companies and once heavily dependent on coal, has slashed its carbon dioxide emissions 59 percent since 2000 with a goal of an 80 percent reduction by 2050 as the company moves away from coal to natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar.“Coal was by far the dominant source of the resources in this part of the country,” said Nick Akins, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. Now, with the revolution of shale along with the regulations on emissions of power plants, it is harder to make the case for coal,” he said.“It (a coal plant) is a large capital investment, maybe a 60- to 80-year investment. Where technology is moving today, it is a tough bet to make,” Akins said.More: Coal no longer dominant source for Ohio electricity Ohio utility commission charts coal’s declining share of state’s electricity generationlast_img read more

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Ecuadorean Police Confiscates Cocaine Destined to Europe

first_imgBy Dialogo January 16, 2013 The Ecuadorean Police seized 190.6 kg of cocaine that were to be shipped to Europe from Guayaquil’s maritime port, the institution informed on January 14. The illegal cargo was found on January 11 inside a container with canned fruit, and dogs from the counter drug unit were used during the operation, Guayaquil’s police commander Patricio Pazmiño stated. The cargo was in the name of an exporting company based in Guayaquil, the officer told the press. “It is presumed that this company was illegally using the name of a well-known food firm to export,” Pazmiño said, while he indicated that the cargo would be worth a million dollars in the international market. In 2012, Ecuador confiscated about 32 tons of drugs, mainly cocaine, compared to the 26 tons seized in 2011; 18 tons in 2010; and a record of 68 tons in 2009.last_img read more

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Bristol office take-up breaks 1m sq ft barrier

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Joseph Mariathasan: Preparing for infrastructure to take off

first_imgInfrastructure assets offer long-duration cash flows that are relatively stable with low default risk. They could be ideal for many pension funds, yet infrastructure investment has suffered from confusion over what it can represent and how best to gain exposure.While infrastructure assets offer a mixture of attractive yields and high growth, they are not homogeneous. Moreover, economic exposure can be obtained in a number of different ways, including debt, unlisted equity, listed equity, and direct ownership of infrastructure assets – each with different risk-return profiles.Macro-economic influences vary greatly across different asset classes and, as a result, the way portfolios are constructed matters if investors wish to have stable, inflation-linked cashflows across economic cycles.Infrastructure therefore needs a better descriptive framework to outline the universe of opportunities and the characteristics of each sub-class for investors to understand how best to incorporate elements within their investment strategies.     London’s Heathrow AirportManagers such as AMP Capital are more ambitious and have bought major infrastructure assets such as airports. Hywel Rees, a principal in global infrastructure equity at AMP, explains that airports are of specific interest due to their complexity.Most infrastructure assets have just one type of customer, whereas airports have two – airlines and passengers – and their interests are often conflicting. In addition, airports can generate significant revenues from a wide range of ancillary activities including hotels, property and engineering businesses that all form part of an airport ecosystem. These activities can give an element of resilience in the face of a downturn in travelling customers.Airports also have a wide range of stakeholders, given the impact that an airport can have on a local economy. Their success or failure is heavily dependent on a wide range of factors, from the size of the market available to them locally, to their efficiency in dealing with the turnaround of planes.Managing airports can be a challenge and, as a result, there can be big differences between their performance, particularly when they face challenges such as bad weather.As the debate over Heathrow’s proposed third runway recently showed, politics and vested interests can also skew decision making. Not surprisingly, AMP prefers to invest in smaller regional airports rather than major hubs like Heathrow.For pension funds, if infrastructure is ever to be a key component of a portfolio, the challenge may be for fund managers to develop more coherent analyses of what the opportunities are, and for funds to have well-defined characteristics. The problem for pension funds with an infrastructure allocation is still deciding in which bucket to place it. Europe has the best available infrastructure assets on offer with a requirement for a €2trn spend by 2020. Asia is a heterogeneous region, while the US has generally poor infrastructure assets available for private investment.Private infrastructure debt is arguably the most obvious way to gain exposure to infrastructure. This is essentially private debt linked to projects such as hospitals, schools, roads and utilities. The debt itself tends to be investment grade and senior secured, so investors have access to real assets in the case of a default.Take flight: IPE Real Assets explores the global travel boomcenter_img More people are on the move than ever before. For institutional investors, this means opportunities from airport infrastructure to hotels, as IPE Real Assets explores in its latest issue.Read more…Going down the equity route has led to issues over structure, with the typical private equity fund maturity of 10 years being far too low for assets with lifespans of decades.One way around this is to invest in listed infrastructure companies. In North America, for example, there is roughly $700bn (€600bn) worth of publicly traded utilities but hardly anything like a similar amount available for investment in the private markets.There are three key risks that investors need to be aware of, according to Heiko Schupp, global head of infrastructure investments at Columbia Threadneedle Investments.The first is operational risk in the construction and management of infrastructure assets. Managing that is the skill of fund managers, and is essentially what investors are paying them to do.On top of that, there are also political and regulatory risks, as all infrastructure assets have some connection with government. This risk can be mitigated to some extent by diversification and through a focus on environmental, social and corporate governance issues, which can provide a safety check on possible future problems – whether a move away from coal, or a breakdown of trust with host governments.Finally, there are macro and economic risks. Assets such as ports and toll roads are highly correlated to GDP. By combining assets with different correlations to GDP and interest rates it is possible to have a smoother distribution of portfolio returns.Another option for investors – instead of purchasing infrastructure debt or equity – is to purchase the asset directly. Typically, these opportunities lie in assets such as wind farms, which can be run by third parties.last_img read more

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People moves: SEB taps €59bn pension provider’s investment boss for CEO

first_imgAMF/SEB – Javiera Ragnartz (pictured), chief investment officer at the SEK619bn (€59.3bn) Swedish pension provider AMF , is leaving for a new job as chief executive of SEB’s subsidiary SEB Investment Management , as well as overseeing the bank’s investment activities.Ragnartz has been CIO at AMF since the spring of 2017. Before this she worked at Riksbanken, the Swedish central bank, and has also led the fund management company at Handelsbanken.  In her new role at SEB, she will report to the board of SEB Investment Management as well as Johan Torgeby, SEB’s president and chief executive. AMF said it had already started the process of recruiting a replacement for Ragnartz, who was to stay at the Stockholm-based organisation for the time being to ensure an orderly handover. SEB said she would take up her new role at the bank this summer.Mercer – Andrew Kirton , Mercer’s chief investment officer, is to exit the consultancy giant at the end of March after more than 20 years at the firm. He has held a variety of roles at Mercer during that period, including head of investment consulting for the company’s UK, Europe, and global operations.Most recently Kirton has been working on the consultancy’s responses to the UK Competition and Markets Authority’s investigation into the investment consulting and fiduciary management sectors.Mercer said Kirton’s responsibilities would be shared between four senior staff: Hooman Kaveh, global CIO for delegated investment solutions; Bill Muysken, global CIO for alternatives; Deb Clarke, global head of investment research; and Donn Cox, alternatives business leader. Cox joined Mercer last year through its acquisition of Pavilion, a US consultant.Meanwhile, Mercer has also made a number of additional appointments following the acquisitions of Pavilion and Summit Strategies Group last year, as well as its strategic partnership with Morningstar. Graham Pearce has been appointed global segment leader for Mercer’s defined benefit (DB) client group, responsible for actuarial and investment advice strategy for this sector. He replaces Benoit Hudon , who recently took on the role of UK wealth leader for the company. Bruce Cadenhead is Mercer’s new global chief actuary, while Troy Saharic has been appointed global segment leader for defined contribution (DC) and master trusts.Redington – The UK consultancy group has hired Carolyn Schuster-Woldan from LCP . In her new role she will be a managing director in Redington’s investment consulting team. At LCP Schuster-Woldan was a lead consultant to a range of defined benefit schemes, advising on objectives, strategy and implementation. She previously worked at Mercer and Hewitt Bacon & Woodrow (now part of Aon).Robeco – The €171bn Dutch asset management group has hired Andrew Knell as director of business development for its UK institutional team. He joins from Northern Trust Asset Management where he was senior investment strategist for the global equity team. He previously worked at Russell Investments for eight years, latterly as client executive for Russell Indexes.Robeco said Knell would be responsible for growing Robeco’s institutional client base. The firm already runs roughly £7bn for UK clients, including insurers, pension funds and fiduciary managers.In addition, Robeco has hired Connor Murphy from Fidelity International as a business development analyst in the UK institutional team.XPS Pensions Group – Robert Evans has joined the UK consultant as a principal. He was previously at Mercer where he provided strategic advice to pension fund trustees.Paul Cuff, CEO at XPS Pensions Group, said Evans would “further strengthen our actuarial consulting team and demonstrates our commitment to growing the business”. “Pension schemes are going through a huge volume of change and need the right support, expertise and advice,” Cuff added.Morningstar – The investment research provider has appointed Paul Malone as CEO for its UK operations and regional leader for “west EMEA”. He has worked at Morningstar for 10 years, most recently as head of UK sales and business development. Universal-Investment – The German asset management giant has hired Sean O’Driscoll as its new country head for Luxembourg. He joins from AXA Funds Management in Luxembourg, where he also served as country head. He has also lead Luxembourg and Irish operations at BlackRock and helped expand State Street’s Irish business.O’Driscoll will be responsible for growing Universal’s platform for third-party asset managers in the Grand Duchy. Universal has more than €50bn in assets under administration in Luxembourg, the company said in a statement.Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM)  – Portfolio manager Vladimir Demine  has been appointed to the newly created role of head of ESG research in MSIM’s international equity team. The asset manager said he would be analysing thematic environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and liaising with its global stewardship team and Morgan Stanley’s Institute for Sustainable Investing and global sustainable finance team. Demine joined Morgan Stanley in 2009 from UBS Global Asset Management. SEB Investment Management, AMF, Mercer, Redington, Robeco, XPS Pensions Group, Morningstar, Universal-Investment, Morgan Stanleylast_img read more

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Special audit commissioned at IMPACS

first_imgGEORGETOWN, Guyana – CARICOM’s Implementation Agency for Crime and Security (IMPACS) will be the subject of full financial audits following a special-purpose audit that will probe further into the institution’s operations.During the special-purpose audit, which CARICOM’s Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) yesterday announced it had commissioned, IMPACS’ Executive Director Lynne Anne Williams has been sent on leave.In the interim, a statement from CARICOM said, Francis Forbes, a former Commissioner of Police of Jamaica and Security Adviser to the CARICOM Secretary General, and currently Adviser, Security Crime and Liaison at IMPACS, has been identified to head the agency in the interim.“Following the completion of this audit, full financial audits of that Institution covering the period from its establishment in 2006 to 2010 will be undertaken,” it said.These investigations follow allegations of misappropriation of funds and other fraudulent accounting practices, published in the Trinidad Express newspaper.The decision to go forward with the special purpose audit was among several taken by CONSLE at its First Special Meeting this week. The meeting was called to consider, among other things, the recommendations of the Bureau of CONSLE arising out of the report of a preliminary investigation into the agency following the media allegations. The Bureau had requested the preliminary investigation at a meeting on April 29 and had received the report at a second meeting on May 25.The Council also discussed the report of a European Union Institutional Assessment of the Agency, a copy of which was submitted to IMPACS in May 2011.  “In this regard, the CARICOM Secretariat was requested to assist IMPACS with respect to ensuring internationally accepted standards in the areas of accounting, auditing, internal control, procurement, and human resources management systems,” the CARICOM statement said.Chairman of CONSLE Dr Errol Cort, Minister of National Security and Labour in Antigua and Barbuda, said the Council was ensuring that all the elements would be in place for robust systems of governance and oversight of IMPACS so that the region’s security agenda was not compromised.The CONSLE also discussed a consultant’s report on the management framework for crime and security in the region and established a committee to further review the report and make recommendations to the Council.Caribbean 360 News Share Tweet NewsRegional Special audit commissioned at IMPACS by: – June 3, 2011 11 Views   no discussionscenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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Former Turks and Caicos premier seeks immunity

first_imgMichael MisickPROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — According to sources in the Haitian community in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), who tend to exchange information with their friends and relatives in Haiti, former TCI premier Michael Misick (45), who has reportedly sought refuge in the Dominican Republic, may be trying to use matrimony to escape repatriation and prosecution in the TCI. Haiti, which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic, is therefore in close proximity to sources in the Dominican Republic, who claim that Misick has married the daughter of a high ranking Dominican Republic official and therefore is immune from extradition. This would be the third known marriage for Misick.According to earlier reports, the Dominican Republic authorities had previously given assurances to their American and British counterparts that they would hand over Misick if called upon to do so.While this story has yet to be confirmed there is much local concern over the fact that the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT) has yet to question Misick, who was the central figure in the 2009 Commission of Inquiry into allegations of widespread government corruption. Misick has rarely visited the TCI in recent times and has not been seen here since members of his former administration have been arrested and charged with a number of offences, including money laundering and bribery.One of Misick’s last political moves was to support current Progressive National Party (PNP) leader Clayton Greene in his quest to lead the besieged party in a late 2010 convention. All of the contenders were beneficiaries of the Misick regime and all were known to have supported Misick in the February 2007 elections, less than two years before the British Foreign Affairs Committee began to call for a Commission of Inquiry.Misick is the only member of the PNP to flee justice.Meanwhile, in a newly released press statement, former TCI chief minister turned pastor, Oswald Skippings, has said, “Michael Misick was neither the master or the mind that masterminded such an diabolical plot to take over the Crown land and all other tangible assets of the Turks and Caicos people and milk its coffers dry.”The former member of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) executive council and now party stalwart, who last served as deputy leader under Floyd Seymour, did not explain who in his opinion did mastermind the massive sale of Crown land and make the large and expensive loans for the hospitals, other large operating loans, approve purchases of millions of dollars worth of pavement and other government projects without the ability to pay for them.Skippings does, however, appear to contradict himself and charge both past politicians and administrators, saying, “Yes, some of the poor past politicians and administrators are guilty of some infractions and I might add with the help and collusion of executives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) who are no less guilty, including British governors and British appointed governors.”Skippings, who was once TCI’s youngest chief minister, goes on to chide those who continue to support the British takeover, which is now two-and-a-half years old. When the FCO first announced the need for an interim government, they anticipated two years of direct rule more or less.“The situation is such that even its [the direct rule government] once most ardent supporters and sympathizers have lost all confidence in this British regime, with the exception of a few like minded privileged sympathizers who are reaping where they have not sown and arbitrarily calling the shots at Waterloo [the governor’s residence on Grand Turk],” said SkippingsFinally, Skippings goes on to warn that the people of the TCI will soon emerge from an inactive submissive state to contest the continuation of British direct rule. Skippings did not call for any financial assistance, despite the wide spread discontent over massively increased taxation needed to address the large and increasing debts, as well as health care costs.By Caribbean News Now contributor Share 20 Views   no discussions NewsRegional Former Turks and Caicos premier seeks immunity by: – February 27, 2012 Tweetcenter_img Share Share Sharing is caring!last_img read more

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