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US Launch Climate Bonds Flagship Report, Climate Week New York

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US Launch Climate Bonds Flagship Report, Climate Week New York

The 5th annual ‘Bonds and Climate Change: State of the Market in 2016’ report will be presented today at the HSBC Sustainable Financing Briefing by Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative, as part of the opening events of Climate Week.

This annual flagship report from Climate Bonds is the only global analysis of the climate-aligned bond universe. Our analysis discovers and quantifies those bonds that are being used to finance low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure; this includes bonds that are labelled as green as well as bonds that are financing climate solutions but do not carry the green label.

Key findings include:

  • The global climate-aligned bonds universe now stands at $694bn outstanding – A jump of $96bn (16%) from the 2015 figure. This total is comprised of unlabelled climate-aligned bonds at $576bn and labelled green bonds at $118bn
  • The universe is made up of over 3,590 bonds (issued from Jan 2005 to May 2016) from 780 individual issuers across transport, energy, buildings and industry, water, waste and pollution and agriculture and forestry
  • In the US climate aligned universe – corporates accounted for 67% of the US total, Muni / provincial / city 23% and project bonds 10%
  • At 16%, the USA is the second largest country of issuance behind China. Burlington North Santa Fe is the largest issuer from within the USA, making up 17% of USA issuance alone. While issuers in the
  • Energy theme tend to be much smaller, they are also more numerous with over 200 separate Energy issuers making up a total of $28bn issuance
  • Climate Bonds identified $30bn of climate-aligned US muni bonds, 68% of which are unlabelled, $9.7bn is labelled, $20.4bn is unlabelled
  • Transport accounts for 58% of the US climate aligned universe, energy at 25%, water at 6%

Labelled US green bonds:

  • USD is the dominant issuing currency for labelled green bonds – making up 42% of issuance
  • Of US green bonds – Muni / provincial / city make up 44%, corporate at 30%, ABS at 18% and banks at 7%
  • Largest green bond issuers: Toyota (USD 2.99bn), Southern Power Company (USD 2.24bn) and Apple (USD 1.5bn)
  • Prominent municipal issuance includes MTA (USD 782m & 558m) & SFPUC (USD 240m)
  • 40% of the entire global Water theme is made up of US issuers, primarily Municipal bonds which have been labelled as green bonds

 

The USA is well placed to build its domestic green bond base through the municipal markets and more high profile corporate issuance.

 

Sean Kidney, Climate Bonds CEO:

“The USA is well placed to build its domestic green bond base through the municipal markets and more high profile corporate issuance. Further opportunities exist in clean energy, infrastructure, transport, water and low carbon commercial buildings, particularly in major cities.”

“Internationally, the recent G20 and associated GFSG report recognition of green finance directions now give the US via its development, finance and environment organisations, a unique opportunity to assist smaller nations in green bond demonstration issuance, early market development and regulatory support.”

 

Environment

Want to Connect With Nature? Start by Disconnecting From Busyness

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Connect With Nature

Have you ever found yourself staring at one of your (many) devices and feeling slightly disgusted with how much time you waste on technology? If so, you aren’t alone. We all have moments like these and it’s important that we use them as motivation to change – especially if we want to be more connected with nature.

How Busyness Impacts Your Connection With Nature

Whether you realize it or not, you live an ultra connected life. Between smart phones, tablets, computers, and wearable devices, you’re never very far from some sort of technology that can connect you to the internet or put you in touch with other people. That’s just the world we live in.

While it could be argued that this sort of omnipresent connectivity is a positive thing, it’s also pretty clear that being permanently tethered to technology impacts our ability to strip away distractions and connect with nature.

When you’re always within arm’s reach of a device, you feel a sense of busyness.  Whether it’s browsing your social media feed, uploading a picture, reading the news, or responding to an email, there’s always something to do. As someone who wants to spend more time in nature, this is problematic.

4 Practical Ways to Disconnect

If you want to truly connect with nature and live a greener lifestyle, you have to be proactive about finding ways to disconnect. Here are a few practical suggestions:

1. Switch to a New Phone Plan

It’s not always practical to totally unplug from the world. Family and work responsibilities mean you can’t go off the grid and continue to fulfill your responsibilities. Having said that, there are some ways to scale back.

One suggestion is to switch to a prepaid phone plan. When you have a prepaid phone plan, you’re far less likely to spend hours and hours of your time making phone calls, sending texts, and surfing the web. It forces you to be more conscious of what you’re doing.

2. Get Rid of Social Media

Social media is one of the biggest time wasters for most people. Whether you realize it or not, it’s also a huge stressor. You’re constantly being exposed to the best snapshots of everyone else’s lives, which makes you feel like you’re missing out on something (even when you aren’t).

If you want to feel a sense of relief and free yourself up to spend more time in nature, get rid of social media. Don’t just delete the apps off your phone – actually disable your accounts. It’s a bold, yet necessary step.

3. Create Quiet Hours

If you aren’t able to get rid of social media and disable various online accounts, the next best thing you can do is establish quiet hours each day where you totally detach from technology. You should do this for a minimum of three hours per day for best results.

4. Build Community

Do you know why we’re drawn to social media and our devices? Whether consciously or subconsciously, it’s because we all want to be connected to other people. But do you know what’s better than connecting with people online? Connecting with them in person.

As you build real life, person-to-person relationships, you’ll feel less of a need to constantly have your eyes glued to a screen. Connect with other people who have an appreciation for nature and bond over your mutual interests.

Untether Your Life

If you find yourself constantly connected to a device, then this is probably a clear indicator that you aren’t living your best life. You certainly aren’t enjoying any sort of meaningful connection with nature. Now’s as good a time as any to untether your life and explore what a world free from cords, screens, and batteries is really like.

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6 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Move

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Moving can be a stressful and challenging time. No matter how many times you’ve done it in the past, the process of packing up, transporting, and unpacking isn’t very fun. It’s also not very eco-friendly. As you prepare for your next move, there are things you can do to ensure you leave less of a footprint behind.

6 Tips for a Greener Move

Because of the stress and pressure felt when moving, it’s pretty common for people to rush through the process and focus on getting it done. In fact, a lot of people take an “at all costs” approach; they’ll do whatever it takes to make the process as cheap and fast as possible. Don’t be one of those people. It doesn’t take much effort to turn a standard move into an eco-friendly move.

1. Maximize Each Trip

When moving across town, it’s imperative that you make as few trips as possible. Each trip requires more gas, more emissions, and more waste, and more time.

If you’re taking your personal vehicle, consider pulling a trailer behind it. You’d be surprised how much stuff you can fit into a small trailer. Not only will it make your move greener, but it’ll also save you a lot of time.

2. Donate Things You Don’t Want to Keep

The longer you live somewhere, the more junk you accumulate. This isn’t always obvious until you start packing for a big move. Instead of bringing all of these things with you to your next home, get rid of the stuff you don’t need! If the items are useful, donate them. If the items don’t have much value, toss them.

3. Reuse Moving Boxes

Not only are moving boxes expensive, but they’re also wasteful. If you need a bunch of cardboard boxes, consider looking around on Craigslist, asking friends, or checking the dumpsters behind stores. You can usually find a bunch of recycled boxes of all different shapes and sizes. Here are 12 places you can get them for free.

4. Get Creative With Packing

Who says you need moving boxes? You may find that it’s possible to do most of your move without all that cardboard. Things like storage containers, trashcans, filing cabinets, buckets, and dressers can all store items. Blankets and sheets can be used in lieu of bubble wrap to prevent your items from getting damaged.

5. Use Green Cleaning Supplies

Once you arrive at your new place, resist the urge to pull out a bunch of harsh chemicals to clean the place. You can do yourself (and the planet) a favor by using green cleaning supplies instead. Ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and ammonia are great to start with.

6. Forward Your Mail ASAP

Don’t delay in forwarding your mail from your previous address to your new one. Not only is it wasteful for the Postal Service to route your mail to a place where you don’t live, but the next owner is probably just going to toss your letters in the trash.

Moving Doesn’t Have to be Wasteful

Most people only move once every few years. Some people will go a decade or more without a move. As a result, the process of moving often feels strange and new. The less experience you have with it, the less likely it is that you’ll be as efficient as you should. But instead of just diving into the process blind, take some time to learn about what an eco-friendly move looks like. That way, you can leave behind the smallest footprint possible.

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