Category: siuifjpix

Gov’t Tightens Grip on Foreign Funding

first_imgThe government last Monday announced that all international and local non-governmental organizations (NGOS) receiving foreign funds would now be disclosing details of such funding, including the source, purpose and how the funds were spent.Making the announcement during her Annual Message to Legislature, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said the decision was in line with her government’s “compliance and regulatory environment” policy.Interestingly, people may consider the policy as government suppression of NGOs,’ but President Sirleaf clarified that it is intended to strengthen the NGOs by encouraging them to be transparent and accountable in their stewardship.“Last year, I announced several policy measures on the operations of NGOs that are intended under a compliance and regulatory environment, to strengthen them for proper transparency and accountability of the resources they receive and the results that they produce,” she emphasized.  Instructing the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to enforce her administration’s policy, President Sirleaf declared, “The Ministry is to ensure implementation of those measures by finalizing the NGO’s policy guidelines and re-registration process to be announced by the end of the first half of 2015.”She said the new plan will transition NGOs’ registration from a manual computer based system to an online registration process.According to her, it would enable the international and local non-governmental organizations properly to  account for their operations at the local level where they work, allowing local government to have real time information on which NGOs is doing what and where.“This is consistent with our new drive to de-concentrate and decentralize the delivery of services and to foster greater accountability to local government and citizens’ structure by the NGOs operating at the local level.At the same time, she applauded them for what she described as their “speed and effectiveness during the Ebola outbreak.”“NGOs operating in Liberia continue to be very strong partners in our development work. The speed and effectiveness of their response during the Ebola outbreak made tremendous contribution to our national effort,” she said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Remax wins several sales awards

first_img– Advertisement -Remax Action Realty and Trevor Bolin had quite the honour filled weekend.At a Real Estate award ceremony which took place in Vancouver over the weekend, Fort St. John’s Trevor Bolin, took home two very impressive awards.Councilor Bolin won number one salesman in B.C. for Remax and the local agency was named number one in sales for a small office market.While the agency is no stranger to the Remax small market award, winning number one salesman in B.C. is a new honour to Bolin.He said it’s quite an accomplishment, considering how many markets and agent are present in B.C.Advertisement Photo:  Trevor Bolin and Rich Petersen accept the awards in Vancouver – Photo from Twitter  Bolin also expressed how he feels grateful that the hard work by the local agency is being recognized through the presentation of both the awards.last_img read more

Oh Canada, we party on for thee

first_imgDon’t miss the firework display taking place tonight at 11:00 p.m. inside their new location, Surrerus Fields. The day kicked off with the Classic Car Show and Shine, followed by a community driven parade and a party inside Centennial Park.There were plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy including live music, a carnival, face painting, crafts, farmers market, games and a line of food trucks.In the midst of the crowd was Councillor Dan Davies, enjoying the day with his children close at hand. He says being a life-long Fort St. John local, the Canada Day parade is something he looks forward to every year.- Advertisement -“It’s just nice to bring the family out, watch the parade, see what’s new,” Davies explained with a smile on his face. “Each year it’s something different. It’s just fun for the family, it’s just awesome.”The winning floats for this year’s parade were the North Peace Filipino-Canadian Association, The District of Taylor and The Spirit of the Peace.Yet it was clear that each participant had worked hard to ensure they turned heads, such as the Knights of Columbus, with their music pumping, or the North Peace 4-H Club, a fun combination of children and animals to bring out the spirit of their organization.Advertisementlast_img read more

West Ham vs Bournemouth: Premier League preview and predicted line-ups

first_imgWest Ham United will be aiming to secure their first victory of the season when they take on Bournemouth in east London this weekend.After a tough opening weekend to the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, succumbing to a 4-0 thumping at Liverpool, the home fixture against the Cherries represents the perfect time for Manuel Pellegrini’s men to bounce back and register all three points. Manuel Pellegrini lost his first game in charge of West Ham as they were thumped 4-0 at Liverpool 3 What the managers are saying…Manuel Pellegrini (West Ham United): “I was very disappointed about the result, I don’t think it was a result that we deserved. I don’t think that game will change our minds.“After we lose a game we continue exactly the same. Try to play as well as we can, try to win as much points as we can, play every game in a different way but not thinking about our final target.“We try to have a solid team and I hope we can do it as soon as we can.”Eddie Howe (Bournemouth): “It’s going to be a very tough game for us. They have a very experienced manager, a very good manager who has won the league (with Manchester City).“They have recruited some really good payers and they had a good squad already. It will be a good examination for us and a good marker for us for where we stand. Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth side started the season with a 2-0 win over newly-promoted Cardiff 3center_img How can I listen?Click here to listen to live commentary of West Ham vs Bournemouth on talkSPORT 2.Team news…The Hammers are still without Andy Carroll, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini. Elsewhere, Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has no fresh injury problems ahead of Saturday’s game.Colombia midfielder Jefferson Lerma, the club’s record signing, could be in line for his debut after building up his match fitness during a full week of training.Fellow new recruit Diego Rico is still suspended, while Junior Stanislas (knee) remains sidelined and midfielder Kyle Taylor continues his recovery from a muscular problem.Predicted teamsPredicted West Ham XI: Fabianski, Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku, Anderson, Noble, Wilshere, Antonio, Arnautovic, Perez.Predicted Bournemouth XI: Begovic, Smith, Cook, Ake, Daniels, Brooks, Cook, Gosling, Fraser, Wilson, Defoe. Eddie Howe’s men will head into the encounter full of confidence after opening their account for the new season with a 2-0 victory over newly-promoted Cardiff City last Saturday.The game at the London Stadium kicks off at 3pm on Saturday, August 18 and you can listen to it live on talkSPORT 2. 3 Javier Hernandez found the net for the Hammers in a 1-1 draw in the same fixture last season last_img read more

DIRECTORS OF IRISH COLLEGE WILL NOT BE PROSECUTED IN MICHAEL FERRY CASE

first_imgThe Director of Public Prosecutions has decided that no prosecutions will be taken against the directors of Colaiste Cholmcille.Michael Ferry, right, being taken into court in Donegal Town in December.The Gaoth Dobhair college was at the centre of numerous child sex abuse allegations.Its caretaker, Michael Ferry, is currently in prison serving fourteen years in prison as a result of abusing boys at the college. The company’s directors were listed at that time as Donal O Loinsigh, Seosamh O Gallachoir and Eileen Ni Fhrighil.The DPP has confirmed that no directors will be prosecuted as a result of the incidentFerry had been allowed to stay on in employment despite being convicted in the courts of child sex abuse.A spokesman for the Garda Press Office confirmed the DPP will not seek prosecutions in the case.  DIRECTORS OF IRISH COLLEGE WILL NOT BE PROSECUTED IN MICHAEL FERRY CASE was last modified: March 24th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:colaiste cholmcilleDirectorsdonegalGaoth DobhairMichael Ferrylast_img read more

DONEGAL DONKEYS TO BEGIN NEW LIVES IN SWEDEN TO HELP AUTISTIC CHILDREN

first_imgDonegal Doneky Sanctuary owner Danny Curran (centre) with Daniel and Ingela Reinholdsson, Patrike Sármens and Monica Andersson from Sweden when they arrived in Ireland to choose a few donkeys to take back to their 300 acre farm in Sweden. Also in photo are Sandra Curran and Elsa Curran. (North West Newspix)A Swedish businesswoman’s plan to help children with autism has saved three abandoned Donegal donkeys and could result in many more being rehomed.Monika Andersson owns a 300 acre equestrian centre in Nykoping on the outskirts of Stockholm.They came up with the idea of opening a specialist area at the centre to work with children with autism. However, they were worried that horses may not be suitable for the children with special needs.Monika and her family opted to use donkeys instead but with just 400 or so donkeys in all of Sweden, they didn’t have a lot of choice.Indeed Monika revealed she had only ever seen one donkey in her entire life.In stepped ex-pat Charles McSweeney-O’Rourke, who is originally from Ardara, but now lives in Sweden and is friendly with the Andersson family. He contacted the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary and a visit was arranged.On Monday last Ms Andersson and some other family members including centre manager Ingela Reinholdsson took a plane to Ireland with the intention of choosing two donkeys to ship to Sweden from Donegal.The group spent three days deciding which animals to take back home with them.But they were so impressed by their visit that they chose three donkeys and the paperwork is now being filled in to send the animals abroad.The three lucky donkeys are named Reuben, Hans and Eeyore. Monika and her company have even agreed to pay all the costs in shipping the donkeys back to their new heated home in Sweden where they will form part of the animal therapy treatment programme.The move to Sweden is a real rags to riches story especially for Reuben who had been stabbed with a pitchfork and suffered various types of cruelty before being rescued.Danny Curran of the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary, which cares for more than 60 donkeys at its centre in Raphoe, said he hopes it is the start of a wonderful relationship.“Things have moved very quickly but the bottom line is that three donkeys are now moving to a wonderful new home. “The lovely thing about it is that one of the donkeys was a victim of cruelty, another was found wandering on a road and the other came from a good home.“Donkeys have a lovely nature and I have often seen children with autism hugging them and building up a special bond with them.“It is early days yet but our Swedish friends have said they may be interested in taking more donkeys again next year if things work out,” he said.Danny revealed that their Swedish counterparts are now even planning an open day at their equestrian centre for the Donegal donkeys.“It will be a bit of a journey getting them there and we are still filling out all the necessary paperwork but we’re delighted.“We have more than 60 donkeys at the Donkey Sanctuary and that’s a lot of work on a daily basis.“Hopefully we can build up a nice working relationship with these people and can give these lovely animals a good life for the rest of their days,” said Danny.The donkeys will not leave Ireland for another month but fans of the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary can keep up with their new lives in Sweden on the centre’s Facebook page.DONEGAL DONKEYS TO BEGIN NEW LIVES IN SWEDEN TO HELP AUTISTIC CHILDREN was last modified: July 25th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Half-time: QPR 1 Charlton 0

first_imgMatt Phillips’ fortuitous goal on the stroke of half-time put the home side ahead at Loftus-Road, where Jack Robinson is making his QPR debut.Left-back Robinson, who was signed from Liverpool in the summer of 2014 and suffered a long-term knee injury last March while on loan at Huddersfield, had an encouraging first half.Both teams struggled to create chances before Phillips swung in a cross from the right towards Junior Hoilett. The Canadian failed to make contact and the ball crept into the net at the far post.The best opportunity before that fell to Rangers, but after James Perch collected Phillips’ clever pass and crossed from the right, Sebastian Polter was unable to apply the finishing touch.Troubled Charlton had another let-off when Tjaronn Chery’s left-wing free-kick ricocheted off Perch into the arms of keeper Nick Pope.At the other end, Alex Smithies pushed away a shot from Callum Harriott before Rod Fanni headed wide from Harriott’s free-kick.QPR: Smithies; Perch, Onuoha, Hall, Robinson; Henry, Luongo; Phillips, Chery, Hoilett; Polter.Subs: Ingram, Kpekawa, Faurlin, Petrasso, El Khayati, Gladwin, Washington.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Football Friday rocks the Union Buildings

first_img30 October 2009Scenes of diski dancing and sounds of vuvuzelas rocked the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Friday as Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and a host of Cabinet ministers joined 2010 ambassador Lucas Radebe, mascot Zakumi and a host of other VIPs in a colourful endorsement of the Football Fridays initiative.It was an extraordinary occasion at the seat of government, where strict protocol is usually the order of the day.Click arrow to play slideshowView the full photoset on FlickrVideo: Football Friday hits TshwaneVideo: Diski Dancing in the Capital CityCabinet ministers wearing Bafana Bafana jerseys, including Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile, as well as the Deputy President himself, blew their vuvuzelas and danced South Africa’s own diski dance.The western lawn of the Union Buildings was painted the colours of the South African flag as government officials, 2010 Fifa World Cup™ stakeholders and senior government officials gathered to show support for the national football team and to join in mobilising South Africans to adopt Football Fridays.The initiative aims to build support and enthusiasm as the countdown to Africa’s first World Cup gains momentum, by getting South Africans to wear a football jersey – first choice being a Bafana Bafana jersey – every Friday until the start of the World Cup in June 2010.“We would like to make the call to all South Africans, especially public servants, to wear a football jersey every Friday in anticipation of this great celebration coming our way next year,” Motlanthe told the gathered crowd.He also urged South Africans to learn the diski dance as part of being a good host and preparing to welcome the world in a celebratory style. Doing the dance, he quipped, would also have long-term health benefits.Former Bafana Bafana captain and 2010 World Cup ambassador Lucas Radebe urged South Africans to participate in the Football Fridays campaign.“By wearing our shirt every Friday, we will not only show a sense of patriotism but also encourage the national team to do well,” Radebe said. “Let’s all support this campaign and rally behind Bafana Bafana, because they need us as a nation.”Also in attendance were 2010 Organising Committee (OC) chief executive Danny Jordaan and chairman Irvin Khoza, SA Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani, and members of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), custodian of Brand South Africa.Football Fridays is a joint initiative of the country’s major 2010 partners, namely the OC, the IMC, the Government Communication and Information System, South African Tourism and the South African Broadcasting Corporation.Source: BuaNews, with additional reporting by SAinfolast_img read more

As Facebook Ages, Gen Y Turns to Twitter

first_imgsarah perez Tags:#Features#NYT#Trends#twitter#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Facebook is getting old. No, people aren’t getting tired of it, it’s actually getting old, as in its population is aging. In May of 2008, the median age for Facebook was 26. Today, it’s 33, a good seven years older. That’s an interesting turn of events for a site once built for the exclusive use of college students. So where are today’s college students hanging out now? Well, to some extent, they’re still on Facebook, despite having to share the space with moms, dads, grandparents, and bosses. Surprisingly though, they’re also headed to another network you may have heard of: Twitter.As it turns out, Gen Y likes Twitter…Well, maybe not, but they are using itOver the course of the year, there have been countless reports – some more substantial than others – but all with the same message: Generation Y is just not interested in Twitter. The reports generally cited members of this demographic as saying Twitter was “pointless” and “narcissistic.” Apparently, that’s beginning to change. Well, maybe not their perception of Twitter, but certainly their use of it. Today, Twitter is now the second-youngest of the top four social networking sites. Its median age is 31. MySpace’s is 26, LinkedIn is 39, and, as noted above, Facebook is 33.When looking at specific younger demographic segments, and not just Gen Y, you can see strong Twitter uptake over the past year. For example, 37% of those 18-24 now use Twitter when only 19% did back in December 2008. And in the slightly older 25-34 bracket, a portion of which could still be considered Gen Y, 31% are now using the service compared to only 20% in December of last year. Combined, these two groups account for more than half of Twitter’s network. Why is Gen Y Now Flocking to Twitter?So what gives? Why has Gen Y seemingly changed their minds about the social microblogging network that only months ago they avoided? A recent AP article offered up some ideas including the influx of celebrity tweeters, pressure from teachers or bosses, and it even hinted that Gen Y’ers entering the workplace have found value in the network for business-related purposes. That same sentiment was shared by Meredith Sires of Gen Y trend-watching site, YPulse. She theorizes that the rapid growth in the 18-24 demographic has to do more with the recent college graduates segment of that group finding ways to build entirely new online contact lists and create new identities more closely tied to information-sharing. However, there have not been any in-depth studies that detail all the various reasons that Gen Y has chosen to adopt the microblogging network. To date, everything cited consists of just theories and speculations based on anecdotal evidence. But while all the ideas have merit, the theory that rings truest to our ears is the one put forth by Craig Watkins, a University of Texas professor and author of the book “The Young and the Digital.” He says that what we’re seeing is “…a kind of closing of that generational gap as it relates to technology.” In other words, young and old alike are joining the same networks and socializing in the same spaces. At this point, we would have to agree. After all, Gen Y (or Gen Z for that matter), hasn’t all of a sudden flocked to some new social networking site where the majority of the online user base mostly consists of their peers. Although some niche sites like FML, Failblog, TextsFromLastNight, and Sporcle have apparently attracted this young crowd, their numbers are dwarfed by those of Facebook, Twitter, and the like. It seems as if Gen Y is simply content to join the older adults on the top social networks of today and not strike out on their own…and vice versa. The older social networking users, in turn, never really set up shop on networks designed just for them like the (now “hibernating”) Boomj, a social network for baby boomers, or the online old folks home eons.com. They, too, have gravitated towards Facebook and Twitter. Will this ever change? Will there ever be another network dominated by the digital youth? Of course no one can know for sure, but odds are that unless it’s a closed-off network where entry is barred to those over a certain age, any new social network will have trouble keeping the grown-ups out these days. And even if some such network ever sprang into existence, it may struggle to attract the Gen Y members it desires – especially since they’re so content to socialize on the sites they already use. And now that they’ve added Twitter to that list, the challenge to draw them away to yet another social networking site may prove even more difficult than before.Note: statistics in this article are from Pew Internet’s Recent Report on Twitter for Fall 2009 Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Getting to Zero: Energizing the Green New Deal

first_imgEditor’s note: This is the first in a series on Energizing a Real Green New Deal. You can read the introduction to the series here. Both climate denial and the Green New Deal fail to solve the crucial challenge of our era: How will we create and implement a plan for reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions that is effective, practical, affordable, and rapid. Denial is obviously not a solution and leaves society with the enormous cost of coping with the worst impacts of climate change. On the other hand, the Green New Deal offers solutions that are heavily reliant on federal government control, borrowing, taxation, and spending. And it includes social goals which extend beyond climate change and are destined to become mired in side issues and political gridlock. Neither approach is viable. In this first of three installments, we present a model for an incentive-driven plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in ways that enhance social equity and job creation, while minimizing government regulation.RELATED ARTICLESAmerica Can Afford a Green New Deal — Here’s HowIs the Green New Deal Just a Pipe Dream?New York City Gets Its Own Green New DealLos Angeles Updates Its Plan to Cut Carbon EmissionsGreen New Deal: Just As Dangerous As Climate Denial? Key goals, objectives, and incentives As with all effective strategies, we must first determine our key goals and supporting objectives followed by the specific tasks needed to achieve them. In a market-based economy, the most pain-free and effective way to achieve objectives is to create incentives for actions that support our objectives. To encourage a reduction in fossil fuel use, we need to set specific carbon reduction targets and outline an array of actions needed to reach the objectives. Offering a range of potential actions allows businesses and the public to choose a set of actions they can implement, consistent with their economic and personal situations. Finally, we need to be sure the actions have a positive return on investment. For example, if we want farmers to rebuild soil so it can store significant amounts of carbon, they need to be economically rewarded to make this transition. If we want homeowners to install solar panels, their return on investment needs to be not only positive, but rapid. Incentives can be extrinsic (coming from outside), based on regulations, taxes, subsidies, favorable financing, and tax breaks, or intrinsic (coming from within), based on a positive return on investment, or other less tangible benefits such as improved health and comfort. In most cases, all that is needed to get people and businesses to take action based on intrinsic incentives is to provide education and motivational appeal—a commonly recognized strength of the marketplace. Combining small extrinsic incentives to support intrinsic incentives may create the quickest and most effective road to significant change. State and local governments and utilities have a long history of creating successful financial rebates and educational programs that utilize this strategy to reduce energy use. Defining our goal  Unlike the numerous, diverse goals embodied in the Green New Deal, we should be laser focused on the one central goal that is the challenge of our era: To incentivize individuals, companies and governments at all levels to bring greenhouse gas emissions low enough to keep global warming within 2 degrees C or lower. In the U.S., we will do our part to achieve this by reducing fossil fuel and other greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2040 in a manner that promotes equity, good paying jobs, and prosperity and that utilizes the minimum government involvement needed to leverage our free market system to rapidly reach this goal. The following low- or no-cost approaches are minimally intrusive: Market the intrinsic incentives already in existence, such as the lower cost of ownership and improved performance of electric vehicles and zero-energy homes. Shift tax breaks from fossil fuels to clean energy development, including energy efficiency in buildings and transportation, renewable energy sources, energy storage, and a smart electric grid. Apply a modest tax to carbon-based fuels where they are produced, stored, or refined. Create attractive financing packages for making energy efficiency improvements and adding renewables to homes, businesses, and transportation. Build job growth and social equity into all greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Pursue infrastructure improvements that directly address carbon reductions. Enhance existing government R&D programs and develop new ones in conjunction with industries and universities to create or improve energy efficiency and renewable technologies. Market existing intrinsic incentives at little or no cost The good news is that the intrinsic incentives for all players to move to zero greenhouse emission technologies and strategies already exist and are growing rapidly. One reason is that more and more people, small businesses, large corporations, and local governments are internally motivated to take positive steps to help avoid catastrophic climate change. More importantly, many technologies, such as zero-energy homes, electric vehicles, solar panels, and large-scale renewable electric power, give a greater return on investment and offer more benefits than fossil fuel alternatives. Many of the actions advocated for in this series are intrinsically incentivized because they are good investments for homeowners, car owners, businesses, utilities, and governments. The return on investment and the improvements to people’s lives these new technologies offer will drive the market. The only action needed for these technologies to become the new normal is for utilities and the companies who offer them to harness the marketing powers of American free enterprise. Businesses can readily identify needs, research possible solutions, develop products and services, manage supply chains and distribution networks, set competitive prices, and advertise with gusto. The government’s role is to set overarching goals, provide adequate direction, level the playing field, offer strategic incentives, and build public infrastructure. Local, state, and federal governments can catalyze the formation of marketing alliances to mount effective campaigns that promote the intrinsic benefits of clean energy technologies to the general public. These alliances would include energy utilities, manufacturers of energy-related products, and committed non-profits. Utilities and manufacturers will benefit from business growth. The general public will benefit from positive financial returns. All this with no, or very low, cost to taxpayers. Redirecting existing tax breaks Without creating an additional tax burden, we can realign existing tax breaks and subsidies at the state and federal level to promote measures that will help us reach our net zero greenhouse gas emission goal. According to one estimate, over $20 billion a year in state and federal tax credits are going to the fossil fuel industry. Redirecting these tax credits could make this whopping $20 billion available to incentivize the industries and initiatives focused on greenhouse gas emission reduction while removing support for fossil fuels. The Clean Energy for America Bill, introduced in the Senate, would replace 44 different existing energy tax incentives with incentives for clean electricity, clean transportation fuel, and energy conservation. Passing this bill would be an important step in the right direction. Tax credits should be designed to have the maximum effect on the market. Priority should be given to encouraging those projects where money invested in greenhouse gas reduction will bring a positive return on investment, such as zero-energy homes and buildings, a smart grid, zero-carbon electricity production, and electric vehicles. Because of their positive return on investment, incentives for these new technologies can be modest, effective, and quickly phased out when goals are met or market momentum grows. Tax credits should not be targeted at more expensive, less mature technologies such as electric or hydrogen planes, trains and ships, until R&D has reduced the price enough so that incentives will promote rapid market acceptance. Low- and middle-income households should be offered more generous tax credits to purchase zero energy vehicles, homes, and buildings so they can reap the energy/cost savings and health benefits of these superior technologies. A national advisory board of experts should be created to adjust these tax credits based on market conditions and the evolution of prices in order to leverage the maximum return from each and reduce them as soon as sufficient market momentum is established. A modest carbon tax at the source The market can only make good decisions when it has good information. Unfortunately, the price of fossil fuels ignores many hidden costs, such as increased sickness, toxic spills, mining waste, air pollution and a rapidly changing global climate. Currently, carbon-dependent industries get a free ride with cheap access to public lands, a huge and unregulated dumping area for their waste, i.e., the air we breathe, and even direct government subsidies. These have a real cost to citizens and society. To provide the free market with the information it needs on these costs so it can make rational decisions about fossil fuel use versus clean carbon alternatives, a modest, predictable and stabilizing carbon tax should be levied at the source of fossil fuel production or distribution. While it is not a complete solution in itself, a small carbon tax will begin to price in the hidden costs of fossil fuels, and will be the most cost-effective, least intrusive, and most equitable way to reduce carbon emissions to zero. It is a market-based approach that is supported by more than 3,500 economists, including 27 Nobel laureates. An optimal carbon tax will add a very small but steadily increasing fee to fossil fuels at their source, which will create a predictable, long-term incentive to move toward clean energy. As it gradually increases, it will change the decisions made by citizens, business people, and government officials about cars, trains, aircraft, buildings, generating plants, manufacturing plants, agricultural operations, and military installations. Business and industry will respond to new opportunities, resulting in widespread carbon emission reductions. Electric and hybrid vehicles will become the new normal; all electric zero-energy and positive-energy buildings and homes will dominate the housing stock; clean-fueled trains, ships and airplanes will move goods and people; government and military facilities and operations will be more secure and resilient; and a non-fossil fuel-based, smart electric grid with battery storage will connect it all. This tax can be easily be collected on oil, gas, and coal as they come through pipelines or at refineries or storage facilities. It can be adjusted by a formula to stabilize fuel prices during both price declines and price spikes. Over 30 years, it will very gradually increase the base cost of all fossil fuels. The scheduling of this gradual tax increase along with stabilization of prices gives businesses and families the predictability they need to plan for the future. Revenues from the tax, combined with internal and external incentives, can be used to jump start us on the path to zero in ways that create equity for low income people faced with higher energy costs. Loans and financing Everyone agrees that energy-saving improvements pay off over time. The problem has been that initial costs for these improvements act as disincentives. To overcome this first-cost obstacle, we must create clean energy financing vehicles that make the monthly payments for loans on building, transportation, and infrastructure improvements lower than the monthly energy savings. When the monthly earnings from energy savings exceed the monthly loan costs, it is called profit. When structured properly, loans for energy saving and renewable investments, provide a profit from the very first month, not only benefiting the borrower, but also benefiting suppliers, local economies, and the global climate. Tax credits and/or income from the carbon tax can be used to encourage lenders of all types to offer or underwrite low cost revolving loans to low income people and small businesses for electric vehicles, for zero-energy and positive-energy homes, for solar panels, and for energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes. Similar low cost loans can be offered to small farmers and small forest landowners to provide funds to lower their carbon footprint and to sequester more carbon. Whether they are homeowners, landlords, farmers or small businesses, these revolving loans would be structured to make the earnings from lower energy costs exceed the financing cost so everybody wins. Equity The first priority for tax credits and some of the revenue from the carbon tax will be to create higher tax credits and rebates for low income people to make their homes energy efficient, install solar collectors, buy zero energy homes, upgrade to hybrid and electric vehicles, including used EVs. Landlords of low- and middle-income apartment dwellers should be incentivized to upgrade the energy efficiency of their units and add solar panels, provided they reduce their tenants’ energy bills or rents. Landlords should also be incentivized to provide EV chargers for tenants. Helping lower income families acquire zero-energy homes and electric vehicles will allow them to reap the benefits of low or no utility costs for their homes and reduced fuel costs for their vehicles, and can be a major factor in helping minimize the disproportionate impact of the carbon tax on them. A small portion of the revenue can be returned directly to very low-income individuals by means of a monthly check or a refundable tax credit, as the carbon tax gradually increases. But unlike the current carbon tax bill before Congress, which only uses the tax revenue to give all citizens—rich and poor alike—a check each month, a portion of the carbon tax revenue, along with other incentives, should be used to help lower income individuals reduce their fossil fuel consumption to zero. This approach would save them more money than if they were to continue using fossil fuels while receiving a check to cover some of the higher costs. Infrastructure and jobs The market incentive provided by the carbon tax can be supercharged by devoting a significant portion of the funds to build out a carbon-free infrastructure. For example, revenue could be used to construct a network of highway rest areas with charging stations for electric cars and trucks, to incentivize utilities to convert to non-carbon-emitting energy sources connected by a smart grid, to finance the decommissioning and recycling of fossil fuel facilities that can no longer be used, to transform coal mines and power plants into wind and solar farms, and to retrain the workforce for new clean energy jobs. Fossil fuel companies can be rewarded for restructuring their energy businesses to become clean energy utilities, as Royal Dutch Shell is planning on, so they can enjoy continued success in business and save jobs. And where still needed, federal grants can be made to schools, hospitals, airports, rail lines, and local governments to incentivize building out their share of this carbon-free infrastructure. Using some of the revenue to build out a carbon-free infrastructure will create thousands of good-paying jobs that can’t be replaced by automation or exported. Research and development Some of the revenue form the carbon tax should be used to increase the budget for R&D. To make that funding go even further, national research laboratories can be refocused to conduct more basic research and development to get us quickly and as cheaply as possible to zero greenhouse gas emissions. This can be done in conjunction with university researchers and industry innovators to make it even more cost effective. Areas for R&D should include increasing solar PV and battery efficiency, developing electric and/or hydrogen planes, trains and ships, creating safer, more efficient, and less costly nuclear power, and a developing a highly-effective, renewable-powered smart grid with battery storage. Joseph Emerson is a co-founder of the Zero Energy Project where this article originally appeared. Emerson writes that this series of blogs on the Green New Deal is inspired by Chris Martinsen’s Deconstructing the Green New Deal.last_img read more