first_imgAs a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Vermont has been recognized for leadership in reducing emissions responsible for global warming.   The EPA recognized the RGGI states for building a cap-and-trade program, which limits emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants. The RGGI, created in September 2007, is composed of 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic state.  Member states have capped power sector carbon dioxide emissions at current levels through 2014. The cap will then be reduced by 2.5 percent in each of the four years 2015 through 2018, for a total reduction of 10 percent.The Climate Protection Awards were presented at an annual awards ceremony held in Washington, DC. Vermont is the greenest state in the nation and was the first to sign onto RGGI, Governor Douglas said. I maintain that the course to economic prosperity is tied to our abundant natural resources and respect for a healthy working landscape. I call it the Vermont Way.The EPA recognized the RGGI states for their leadership in building a model cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Each participating state has implemented rules to cap emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel-fired power plants. Together, the RGGI states auction over 80 percent of allowances and dedicate the proceeds to consumer benefit programs. To date, the RGGI states have conducted three auctions that have generated over $262 million for energy efficiency, energy conservation, clean energy development, and other consumer benefit programs throughout the region.Winners of the awards were chosen on the basis of originality and public purpose; global perspective and implication; and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”EPA applauds the leadership of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in protecting our global environment,” said Dr. Kathleen Hogan, Director of EPA Climate Protection Partnerships Division. “You have set the bar high, and for that, we thank you.”To date, the EPA has presented over 150 awards to individuals, dedicated companies, forward-thinking organizations, and government institutions from eighteen countries, including Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States. Last year, 15 individuals and organizations earned the award by advancing climate science, slashing energy consumption, inventing technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and inspiring others to take action. More information about past winner accomplishments is available online at www.epa.gov/cppd/climateawards(link is external).This year s ceremony was attended by over 200 high-ranking corporate officers, notable individuals, influential NGOs, and foreign dignitaries who are current or previous winners of the Climate Protection Awards.The Climate Protection Partnerships Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the EPA Climate Protection Awards. This award program was established in 1998 to recognize exceptional leadership, outstanding innovation, personal dedication, and technical achievements in protecting the climate.About the Regional Greenhouse Gas InitiativeThe 10 Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states participating in RGGI (Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont) have designed the first market-based, mandatory cap-and-trade program in the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Participating States have regulations in place to cap and then reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that power plants in their region are allowed to emit, limiting the region s total contribution to atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.A CO2 allowance represents a limited authorization to emit one ton of CO2, as issued by a respective participating state. A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of each compliance period. Because CO2 allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all state programs, the ten individual state CO2 Budget Trading Programs, in aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions. For more information about RGGI, turn to: www.rggi.org(link is external)About Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Inc.RGGI, Inc. was created in September 2007 to provide technical and administrative services to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. RGGI, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. For more information please visit: www.rggi.org/rggi(link is external)Source: Governor’s Officelast_img read more

first_img March 1, 2003 Jan Pudlow Associate Editor Regular News Dr. Hobbs broadens her horizons on assignment in Brazil Dr. Hobbs broadens her horizons on assignment in Brazil Associate EditorVivian Hobbs views herself as the conscience of The Florida Bar Board of Governors, not bashful to spark frank talk about women and minorities and the legal profession, helping lawyers see old issues in new ways.An assistant professor of English and the humanities at Florida A&M University, she’s one of two citizen members of the Board of Governors.Her background and experience recently got broadened in Brazil, when she was one of a dozen educators from around the country chosen for the 2002 Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad Program Grant, funded by the International Education and Graduate Programs Service of the U.S. Department of Education.“We worked every day. There was not a museum in Brazil that we didn’t see,” said Hobbs, of her international educational adventure. “The museums, it’s just like being in Rome. It’s a beautiful country!”Hobbs, along with the others, was put to work researching for a paper she wrote titled, “Salvador da Bahia: A ‘Modern’ Imperial Rome,” where she explored influences of the Roman Catholic Church and the African religion of Candomblé in Salvador/Bahia.As the resulting scholarly volume, Broadening Horizons: Building Educational Linkages Between Brazil and the United States, that includes papers from all of the 12 scholars, describes: “The striking resemblances of the European and African religious pantheon, classical mythology, ritual practices, and imperial and modern history, enable Dr. Hobbs to draw lively cross-cultural comparisons of Roman, African, and Afro-Brazilian culture that affirm the enduring legacy and continual presence of classic and modern civilizations.”“You’ve got to remember, I’m a humanities person, so I am interested in the religion. I was interested in this predominantly Catholic country, all these beautiful cathedrals and monasteries, all the stuff I’ve read about that began a little after medieval times. It was all right there for me,” Hobbs said.“But the most striking thing was this is a country of such a beautiful people. I mean, physically, they are all beautiful. And nobody is any one particular race. It’s truly blending, the most I had ever seen.”There are the Amerindians, already in Brazil when the Portugese first arrived.“As a result, they have completely blended that European/Portugese people with the Indians. Then you have the African slaves coming in,” Hobbs said. “The most amazing fact I discovered was that on the census, you decide what your race is. You can be white. You can be African-Brazilian, Amerindian, and some subcategories under those.”In true bold Vivian Hobbs style, she wasn’t afraid to ask the Brazilian government officials: “If I came to live in Brazil, you mean I could check ‘white’?”“They kind of became uncomfortable with that,” said Hobbs, an African-American woman with a Ph.D.“They said, ‘Since you aren’t white, your educational background would put you in that category, so you very well could.’“And I said: ‘Are you kidding me!’ I’m looking at them like they are off their rockers. The census is absolutely no good down there, if you’re talking about ethnicity and racial makeup. It’s just an estimation. It’s how you see yourself, basically,” Hobbs said of what she considers the country’s loose definition of race.In Brazil, Hobbs concluded, prejudice is based not on skin tone, but economics.She describes the Brazilians as “a very warm people, very accepting, even in their poverty.” And the poverty of the favellas, shacks nestled around the high-rise buildings, was the most destitute living conditions she had seen in her travels.“This is what bothered me, as an African-American more than anything else: What are you going to do about what’s happening to you? Because when I came up in the ’60s, if you wanted change, you’ve got to go out there and fight for change. I just didn’t see any of that. They have just accepted the fact that some people are going to be poor, and some are going to be rich.”With mostly poor and, there is no middle class in Brazil, Hobbs said.The high point of the month of travel and research to three areas— São Pãulo, Salvador/Bahia, and Rio de Janeiro—was when Hobbs was invited to give a lecture in women’s studies at the prestigious Pontifica Catholic University.At first she panicked about the language barrier, but most of the students spoke English well. And she took comfort in teaming up for the three-hour lecture with Florida State University Professor Christopher Shinn, one of the 12 Fulbright-Hays fellows.“The students at first were prepared to be polite. But then as I talked, I could see their interest perking up. And the one thing I realized is students are students are students,” Hobbs said. “Before I knew it, they didn’t want me to go.”The whole trip that she calls “the experience of a lifetime” came with a bonus. University officials have invited her back for a three-month exchange teaching role.“They want me to come back as a scholar in residence,” Hobbs said, aglow just thinking about the possibilities of more scholarly research made richer by new cultural experiences.last_img read more

first_img continue reading » As challenger brands and big tech muscle in further into financial services, how can banks and credit unions survive the attacks? Frankly, they need to stop focusing on these new rivals — and instead concentrate on improving the value their financial products to consumers. That energy will address consumers’ rising expectations and counter new players’ actions. You can’t stop the newcomers, but you can push your own offerings to new heights.It’s natural, in the face of deteriorating results, to try to fight rivals head on. But when this doesn’t help, financial institutions shift the focus inside and seek out scapegoats. But typically results continue eroding. So they pour money into increased advertising and aggressive sales drives.On the surface, this seems very decisive. But none of this helps. It just demoralizes and demotivates the institution’s partners and staff.Institutions must instead determine what’s wrong with their offerings, what’s missing, and why consumers reject them. You can’t force the world to adopt your product, but you can adapt your product to the world. Indeed, digital transformation is pointless if it doesn’t improve user experience. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more