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Good Money Week 2014: what’s on?

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Good Money Week 2014 is here. For seven days, running from October 19 to 25, investors, finance professionals, charities, churches and more will congregate at events up and down the UK to discuss, debate and champion ethical, sustainable and responsible investment.

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But what do you do if you want to join in? Well firstly, you can visit the events page on Good Money Week’s official website.

But to give you a helping hand, we’ve compiled a brief summary of some of the conferences, debates and meetings taking place during the week itself – and a few that are happening afterwards.

SRI Fact Finding Teleconference

Date: October 20 2014

Time: 10am – 11am

Event Organiser: sriServices

Event Location: Teleconference

City: N/A

Audience: Financial Advisers

Details: The event aims to help advisers offer SRI & ethical options more easily. Attendees will be given the chance to hear from Julia Dreblow and experienced advisers.

How to attend: See here for more information. RSVP to Julia@sriServices.co.uk.

Good Food: Good Money

Date: October 20 2014

Time: 4pm – 6pm

Event Organiser: CCLA and UKSIF

Event Location: CCLA, Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET

City: London

Audience: Finance Professionals

Details: As part of Good Money week, this event will introduce investors to CCLA’s work on nutrition as well as provide an update on the Access to Nutrition Index by The Access to Nutrition Foundation. Also, the event will explore developments in the global nutrition debate, including marketing to children, product formulation and labelling, affordability and accessibility of healthy foods.

How to attend: RSVP to events@ccla.co.uk, clearly stating ‘Good Food: Good Money’.

Taking Positive Investment to the People

Date: October 20 2014

Time: 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Event Organiser: Ethex

Event Location: Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG

City: London

Audience: Finance Professionals and Financial Advisers

Details: This event will be a discussion on the progress the social investment sector in reaching out beyond the city professional to the average citizen. In addition, Ethex will present the main results from its report on positive investing in the United Kingdom, released to coincide with Good Money Week.

How to attend: To register for free, see here.

Good Money Week Parliamentary Reception

Date: October 21 2014

Time: 12.30pm – 3pm

Event Organiser: UKSIF

Event Location: House of Commons Terrace, London

City: London

Audience: Open to all

Details: A lunchtime Parliamentary Reception on the House of Commons Terrace to celebrate Good Money Week, hosted by Dr Julian Huppert MP. This event will feature a cross-party panel of MPs discussing their views on issues relating to long-term investment including climate change, human rights practices and corporate governance issues. It will also include an audience question and answer session.

How to attend: This is an invitation-only event. For more information, contact events@uksif.org.

Tax for the Common Good

Date: October 21 2014

Time: 6pm – 8pm

Event Organiser: Christian Aid

Event Location: St Mary le Bow Church, Cheapside, London, EC2V 6AU

City: London

Audience: Open to all

Details: Launch event for ‘Tax for the Common Good – A study of Tax and Morality’, a publication from Christian Aid. It will include a keynote speech from Lord Williams, presentations and a panel discussion.

How to attend: Contact GDaintree@christian-aid.org to register.

Cash with a Conscience

Date: October 21 2014

Time: 6.30pm

Event Organiser: One World Week

Event Location: Central Library, Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DX

City: Portsmouth

Audience: Open to all

Details: A workshop on using money to make changes. Speakers include Christopher Borysiewicz, Epworth Investments and Methodist Finance Board, and Rev Antony MacRow-Wood (Churches Mutual Credit Union).

How to attend: Admission is free.

How Healthy is the Investment Portfolio of Your Charity?

Date: October 21 2014

Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm

Event Organiser: CCLA

Event Location: CCLA, Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET

City: London

Audience: Charities

Details: An event for health charities on how their investments can help companies improve public health. Further information, including speaker details coming soon.

How to attend: RSVP to events@ccla.co.uk, clearly stating ‘Healthy Investment Portfolio’.

Good Money Week Seminar

Date: October 21 2014

Time: 6.30pm

Event Organiser: Jan Oliff

Event Location: Elim International Centre, De Walden Road, West Malvern, WR14 4DF

City: Malvern

Audience: Open to all

Details: Hosted by Jan Oliff the Good Money Week seminar is an opportunity to learn more and see how a cause has become mainstream and provides a good return whilst meeting ethical concerns. Guest speakers include Ecotricity and Ecclesiastical.

How to attend: To book your free place, contact Jan Oliff on 01886 8225205.

How to Invest in Social and Environmental Change – Live Chat

Date: October 22 2014

Time: 1pm – 2pm

Event Organiser: Guardian Sustainable Business and Barchester Green Investment

Event Location: Online

City: N/A

Audience: Open to all

Details: Join the online discussion to explore the role of finance in tackling huge global challenges, from climate change to human rights.

How to attend: Click here for more information, and to leave your comments and questions for the expert panel.

What is Christian Investment?

Date: October 22 2014

Time: 8.30am – 10.30am

Event Organiser: CCLA

Event Location: CCLA, Senator House, 85 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4ET

City: London

Audience: Faith Groups and Finance Professionals

Details: A CCLA symposium as part of Good Money Week. This event is designed for those who would like to discuss ways the resources at the disposal of Christian churches might be best invested. It is chaired by Dr James Corah, CCLA Deputy Head of Ethical and Responsible Investment & Secretary to the Church Investors Group.

How to attend: RSVP to events@ccla.co.uk, clearly stating ‘Christian Investment’.

ECCR’s 25th Anniversary Service & Panel Debate

Date: October 22 2014

Time: 2pm onwards

Event Organiser: Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR)

Event Location: Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, London, SE1 9DA

City: London

Audience: Open to all

Details: Celebrate ECCR’s 25th Anniversary at Southwark Cathedral to learn about on-going work and meet with others working to keep faith in finance. It will include a panel debate in the Cathedral Library entitled ‘Investing in Equality’, featuring Catherine Howarth, John Battle and Toby Quantrill.

How to attend: Places are free but limited. To secure your place, please RSVP to info@eccr.org.uk, and indicate which parts of the day you will be attending – the service, debate and/or reception.

24 Hours of Values Led Banking

Date: October 23 2014

Time: N/A

Event Organiser: Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV)

Event Location: Webinar

City: N/A

Audience: Open to all

Details: On Thursday 23 October, Global Alliance for Banking on Values are adding local voices from up to 20 countries to a growing, global movement through the #I Am #BankingOnValues campaign.

How to attend: See here for more information.

The London Investor Show

Date: October 24 2014

Time: 9.30am – 5.30pm

Event Organiser: Social Stock Exchange and Investor Conferences (UK)

Event Location: Olympia Central, Hammersmith Road, London, W14

City: London

Audience: Finance Professionals and Financial Advisers

Details: A one-day event and exhibition, dedicated to providing investors with top quality education and information on how to invest. It will feature The Social Impact Investing Forum, by the Social Stock Exchange, taking place at 12.15pm in Company Central.

How to attend: Click here for more information and to register for this event please see here.

Roco Creative Co-op Open House

Date: October 25 2014

Time: 10am – 4pm

Event Organiser: The Roco Creative Co-op

Event Location: The Roco, 283 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2HB

City: Sheffield

Audience: Open to all

Details: In support of Good Money Week, a day of projects, talks and live design decisions with the future super architects and graphic designers of Sheffield.

How to attend: See here for further information.

Money: Master or Servant?

Date: October 28 2014

Time: 6.30pm – 8pm

Event Organiser: St Paul’s Institute

Event Location: Wren Suite, Crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral, London, EC4M 8AD

City: London

Audience: Open to all

Details: Three speakers including Ben Dyson, Founder of Positive Money, will bring their theological, academic and practitioner perspectives to explore the ways in which we relate to money. They will discuss the extent to which this relationship needs to be changed, both by potential alterations to the financial system as well as changes in the behaviours of individuals, corporations and government institutions.

How to attend: This event is currently sold out, but you can add your name to the waiting list here.

Community Shares: Inside the Market

Date: October 28 2014

Time: 4.30pm – 7pm

Event Organiser: Community Shares Unit

Event Location: Impact Hub, Westminster 1st Floor, New Zealand House, 80 Haymarket, London, SW1Y 4TE

City: London

Audience: Open to all

Details: Celebrating its second birthday in October, the Community Shares Unit (CSU) are hosting a reception at the Impact Hub, Westminster in London. It will also be an opportunity for the community shares sector to come together to find out about the latest trends in the market.

How to attend: To register for free, see here.

Photo: Tax Credits via Flickr

Further reading:

Introducing… Good Money Week

Good Money Week: Barchester Green names top five ethical funds

Financial services report recovery as sustainable investment message spreads

Good Money Week goes live with new website

UKSIF rebrands National Ethical Investment Week as Good Money Week

Economy

Will Self-Driving Cars Be Better for the Environment?

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self-driving cars for green environment
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Zapp2Photo | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/zapp2photo

Technologists, engineers, lawmakers, and the general public have been excitedly debating about the merits of self-driving cars for the past several years, as companies like Waymo and Uber race to get the first fully autonomous vehicles on the market. Largely, the concerns have been about safety and ethics; is a self-driving car really capable of eliminating the human errors responsible for the majority of vehicular accidents? And if so, who’s responsible for programming life-or-death decisions, and who’s held liable in the event of an accident?

But while these questions continue being debated, protecting people on an individual level, it’s worth posing a different question: how will self-driving cars impact the environment?

The Big Picture

The Department of Energy attempted to answer this question in clear terms, using scientific research and existing data sets to project the short-term and long-term environmental impact that self-driving vehicles could have. Its findings? The emergence of self-driving vehicles could essentially go either way; it could reduce energy consumption in transportation by as much as 90 percent, or increase it by more than 200 percent.

That’s a margin of error so wide it might as well be a total guess, but there are too many unknown variables to form a solid conclusion. There are many ways autonomous vehicles could influence our energy consumption and environmental impact, and they could go well or poorly, depending on how they’re adopted.

Driver Reduction?

One of the big selling points of autonomous vehicles is their capacity to reduce the total number of vehicles—and human drivers—on the road. If you’re able to carpool to work in a self-driving vehicle, or rely on autonomous public transportation, you’ll spend far less time, money, and energy on your own car. The convenience and efficiency of autonomous vehicles would therefore reduce the total miles driven, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

There’s a flip side to this argument, however. If autonomous vehicles are far more convenient and less expensive than previous means of travel, it could be an incentive for people to travel more frequently, or drive to more destinations they’d otherwise avoid. In this case, the total miles driven could actually increase with the rise of self-driving cars.

As an added consideration, the increase or decrease in drivers on the road could result in more or fewer vehicle collisions, respectively—especially in the early days of autonomous vehicle adoption, when so many human drivers are still on the road. Car accident injury cases, therefore, would become far more complicated, and the roads could be temporarily less safe.

Deadheading

Deadheading is a term used in trucking and ridesharing to refer to miles driven with an empty load. Assume for a moment that there’s a fleet of self-driving vehicles available to pick people up and carry them to their destinations. It’s a convenient service, but by necessity, these vehicles will spend at least some of their time driving without passengers, whether it’s spent waiting to pick someone up or en route to their location. The increase in miles from deadheading could nullify the potential benefits of people driving fewer total miles, or add to the damage done by their increased mileage.

Make and Model of Car

Much will also depend on the types of cars equipped to be self-driving. For example, Waymo recently launched a wave of self-driving hybrid minivans, capable of getting far better mileage than a gas-only vehicle. If the majority of self-driving cars are electric or hybrids, the environmental impact will be much lower than if they’re converted from existing vehicles. Good emissions ratings are also important here.

On the other hand, the increased demand for autonomous vehicles could put more pressure on factory production, and make older cars obsolete. In that case, the gas mileage savings could be counteracted by the increased environmental impact of factory production.

The Bottom Line

Right now, there are too many unanswered questions to make a confident determination whether self-driving vehicles will help or harm the environment. Will we start driving more, or less? How will they handle dead time? What kind of models are going to be on the road?

Engineers and the general public are in complete control of how this develops in the near future. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see all the safety benefits of having autonomous vehicles on the road, but without any of the extra environmental impact to deal with.

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Economy

New Zealand to Switch to Fully Renewable Energy by 2035

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renewable energy policy
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Eviart / https://www.shutterstock.com/g/adrian825

New Zealand’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern is already taking steps towards reducing the country’s carbon footprint. She signed a coalition deal with NZ First in October, aiming to generate 100% of the country’s energy from renewable sources by 2035.

New Zealand is already one of the greenest countries in the world, sourcing over 80% of its energy for its 4.7 million people from renewable resources like hydroelectric, geothermal and wind. The majority of its electricity comes from hydro-power, which generated 60% of the country’s energy in 2016. Last winter, renewable generation peaked at 93%.

Now, Ardern is taking on the challenge of eliminating New Zealand’s remaining use of fossil fuels. One of the biggest obstacles will be filling in the gap left by hydropower sources during dry conditions. When lake levels drop, the country relies on gas and coal to provide energy. Eliminating fossil fuels will require finding an alternative source to avoid spikes in energy costs during droughts.

Business NZ’s executive director John Carnegie told Bloomberg he believes Ardern needs to balance her goals with affordability, stating, “It’s completely appropriate to have a focus on reducing carbon emissions, but there needs to be an open and transparent public conversation about the policies and how they are delivered.”

The coalition deal outlined a few steps towards achieving this, including investing more in solar, which currently only provides 0.1% of the country’s energy. Ardern’s plans also include switching the electricity grid to renewable energy, investing more funds into rail transport, and switching all government vehicles to green fuel within a decade.

Zero net emissions by 2050

Beyond powering the country’s electricity grid with 100% green energy, Ardern also wants to reach zero net emissions by 2050. This ambitious goal is very much in line with her focus on climate change throughout the course of her campaign. Environmental issues were one of her top priorities from the start, which increased her appeal with young voters and helped her become one of the youngest world leaders at only 37.

Reaching zero net emissions would require overcoming challenging issues like eliminating fossil fuels in vehicles. Ardern hasn’t outlined a plan for reaching this goal, but has suggested creating an independent commission to aid in the transition to a lower carbon economy.

She also set a goal of doubling the number of trees the country plants per year to 100 million, a goal she says is “absolutely achievable” using land that is marginal for farming animals.

Greenpeace New Zealand climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson believes that phasing out fossil fuels should be a priority for the new prime minister. She says that in order to reach zero net emissions, Ardern “must prioritize closing down coal, putting a moratorium on new fossil fuel plants, building more wind infrastructure, and opening the playing field for household and community solar.”

A worldwide shift to renewable energy

Addressing climate change is becoming more of a priority around the world and many governments are assessing how they can reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and switch to environmentally-friendly energy sources. Sustainable energy is becoming an increasingly profitable industry, giving companies more of an incentive to invest.

Ardern isn’t alone in her climate concerns, as other prominent world leaders like Justin Trudeau and Emmanuel Macron have made renewable energy a focus of their campaigns. She isn’t the first to set ambitious goals, either. Sweden and Norway share New Zealand’s goal of net zero emissions by 2045 and 2030, respectively.

Scotland already sources more than half of its electricity from renewable sources and aims to fully transition by 2020, while France announced plans in September to stop fossil fuel production by 2040. This would make it the first country to do so, and the first to end the sale of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

Many parts of the world still rely heavily on coal, but if these countries are successful in phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to renewable resources, it could serve as a turning point. As other world leaders see that switching to sustainable energy is possible – and profitable – it could be the start of a worldwide shift towards environmentally-friendly energy.

Sources: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-06/green-dream-risks-energy-security-as-kiwis-aim-for-zero-carbon

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-hydrocarbons/france-plans-to-end-oil-and-gas-production-by-2040-idUSKCN1BH1AQ

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