Harvard joins Climate Action 100+

first_img Much being done to battle it, Bacow says, yet there’s far more to do Facing up to climate change Thousands of intentionally set fires push Brazil’s rainforest close to the tipping point Related Harvard Climate Leadership Conference award recognizes sustainability efforts Amazon blazes could speed climate changecenter_img Earlier this month, Bacow wrote in Harvard Magazine about the University’s ongoing commitment to confronting climate change by continuing to drive advances in research, sustainability, and purposeful engagement with others.“We must meet a perennial Harvard challenge: not just multiplying our distributed efforts but finding ways to connect and amplify them,” wrote Bacow. “We must be a willing partner and active convener in the search for solutions. The stakes are too high, and the need for cooperative effort too great, for us not to engage others in forging pathways forward.” “Climate Change 100+ provides an opportunity for HMC to engage the University’s practical and research-driven expertise regarding climate change with a network of like-minded investors,” said Bill Lee, senior fellow of the Harvard Corporation and chair of the Corporation Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. “We are hopeful that, together with our partners in this important initiative, we can help catalyze measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of companies across the globe.”The investors that signed on to Climate Action 100+ are engaging companies that have significant opportunities to drive the clean-energy transition and help achieve the goals of the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change. The initial 100 companies listed by Climate Action 100+ as systemically important emitters were identified using reported data and greenhouse gas emissions modeling from CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project). Climate Action 100+ released its initial list of 100 companies in 2017 and added 61 more to the list last year, with input from investor signatories.“For the past five years, we’ve seen firsthand from our collaborations through the Principles for Responsible Investment — on issues such as climate change lobbying and methane gas emissions — that engaging directly with corporations can affect significant positive change in their operations,” said Kate Murtagh, managing director for sustainable investing at HMC. “My colleagues and I are excited to expand our efforts by joining this committed group of investors in Climate Action 100+.” A gold star for going green Harvard University announced today that its endowment has joined Climate Action 100+, an investor-led initiative to ensure that the world’s largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters take steps to address climate change.As a member of this global network, representing more than $34 trillion in combined assets, Harvard Management Company (HMC) will join other investors in direct engagement with companies that include more than 100 “systemically important emitters,” accounting for two-thirds of annual global industrial emissions. HMC plans to engage with oil and gas companies, utilities, and others to meet the Climate Action 100+ goals of curbing carbon emissions, strengthening climate-related financial disclosures, and improving corporate governance and risk management.“Harvard has a critical role in tackling climate change, starting with the far-reaching efforts of our faculty, students, and staff to understand the impacts of climate change and to devise technologies and strategies that can accelerate the transition to cleaner, greener energy,” said Harvard President Larry Bacow. “In joining Climate Action 100+, we create another significant channel for engaging with companies around the imperative to adopt sustainable practices and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”In 2014, HMC developed its Sustainable Investing Policy, which expanded on investment stewardship efforts to include measures for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in investment decisions, as well as collaborations with asset managers and companies. That same year, Harvard’s endowment became the first in U.S. higher education to sign on to the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. Since then, HMC has worked to address corporate climate lobbying, methane emissions, and ESG integration in the private-fund industry, among other issues.Since 1972, Harvard has used proxy voting on shareholder resolutions as one avenue to address social and environmental issues facing publicly traded companies. “We must meet a perennial Harvard challenge: not just multiplying our distributed efforts but finding ways to connect and amplify them.” — Larry Bacowlast_img read more

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Harvard readies for a different kind of celebration

first_imgIt will be a day to reflect on challenges and triumphs, growth and change. It will be a celebration of accomplishment and the shared commitment to put the wisdom gained to use in making the world a better and more just place. In many ways, the ceremonies honoring this year’s graduates will be familiar if different, and in a year full of surprises there will be yet one more: a red-headed comedian for whom anything goes.The virtual celebration, Honoring the Class of 2020, will kick off at 11 a.m. on May 28, with the link going live at 10:30 a.m. Welcoming remarks from President Larry Bacow will open the ceremony, followed by orators Michael Phillips ’20 and Sana Raoof ’12, Ph.D. ’18, M.D. ’20. And the Harvard Band, which celebrated its centennial this academic year, will perform.A conferral of degrees, remarks from Harvard Alumi Association President Alice E. Hill ’81, A.M. ’88, Ph.D. ’91 (whose son, Hamish, is among the honorees), and a musical interlude will lead up to the key address by Martin “Marty” Baron, executive editor of The Washington Post. Baron is widely considered to be one of the most consequential journalists working today. In what may be considered something of a preview, Baron spoke with the Gazette about the current state — and future — of journalism and of its heightened importance in the “fake news” era.Celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma ’76, who has been uploading pieces to YouTube from his home during the period of social distancing, will also give a musical performance.The College will stream its online program from 12:30 to 1:15 p.m. Former Class Day speaker and Class of ’85 alumnus Conan O’Brien will make an appearance at the celebration, giving a short address during the livestream on some undisclosed topic.“I don’t dare to predict what students might get out of remarks from Conan,” said Jack Megan, director of the Office for the Arts, of the comedian, writer, and star of the late night talk show “Conan.” “His intelligence, versatility, and lightning fast wit could take us anywhere. But I do know that students will feel his genuine concern for them, for he expressed it so clearly in conversation.“He said yes to this right from the start. He wants to take a hard moment in their lives and make it a little better. I imagine moments of reflection, irony and laughter. Maybe even a little catharsis. Above all, I know they will sense his generosity.”The University-wide celebration will feature programs from the individual Schools (visit Honoring the Class of 2020 website for details). Among the highlights will be Harvard Medical School alumnus and NASA astronaut Robert Satcher Jr., who will take the podium for the Medical School and School of Dental Medicine ceremony; founder and director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson, J.D./M.P.P. ’85, will speak to Law School graduates; and the Business School will begin its Class Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. This year’s postponement of the annual traditional celebration honoring the graduates is not the first disruption of the event in the long history of the University. Smallpox and other issues canceled the 1752, 1757, and 1764 ceremonies, and British-Colonial tensions stood in the way of public events from 1774 to 1778, and again in 1780. During the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918, degrees were conferred, but again large public gatherings were restricted.President Bacow said in a statement in March that the decision to delay the ceremonies was made to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and family members amid the coronavirusout break. He assured the community that an in-person celebration would be held at a future date when it is deemed safe to gather once again.For more information, visit the Commencement Office website.  For more coverage of the day, visit the Gazette’s special series page, Honoring the Class of 2020.last_img read more

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Raised beds = funds

first_imgDeep budget cuts have school administrators searching for creative ways to raise money for learning opportunities. Typically, students sell sweets and wrapping paper to raise funds. Fifth-graders at High Shoals Elementary School in Athens, Ga., are growing and selling produce.The High Shoals Environmental Club teamed up with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences to install raised gardening beds at the school. On Sept. 12, the students planted the first seedlings. Some of the fruits and vegetables will be ready to harvest in two weeks. The plants, which were donated by UGA Cooperative Extension, include wintergreens such as kale, Swiss chard, collards and lettuce, as well as beets and herbs. Set up as a community supported agriculture garden, the student’s are pre-selling shares of the produce and have already raised $500. Through the garden project, the students are learning to become entrepreneurs. They are also learning the science behind growing food, how to make healthy eating decisions and trying vegetables they may not have eaten before. “The knowledge they learn through the garden is something they can take with them and benefit from for the rest of their lives,” said Linda Cooper, the club’s advisor and a HSES teacher.Many of the students have never eaten food they grew in a backyard garden. Student Claire Reuter, 10, is eager to learn new gardening practices. “We have a garden at home, but we’ve never put a lot of effort into it. I’m excited to know how to grow [vegetables] better,” she said. “I am really looking forward to eating what we grow.”The four raised garden beds were built by Famer D Organics with startup funds donated by Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. Angle worked with Cooper to develop the garden as an alternative school fundraiser. “Our goal is to help children better understand where their food comes from. And, in particular, we hope to establish a lifelong appreciation for locally grown food as well as for the people who produce it,” Angle said. The students are already brainstorming post-harvest plans for their crops. While many were interested in donating their share of the produce, others plan to sell their shares at the farmers market. Cooper plans to expand the garden with grants and expects the entire school to become involved. Angle hopes the HSES CSA becomes a fundraising model for other elementary schools to follow.last_img read more

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MED5 FCU kick-starts community mask initiative

first_img continue reading » CUNA photo A South Dakota credit union CEO has leveraged a single donation into a community effort to provide supplies for frontline workers battling the coronavirus (COVID-19).Pam Brown-Graff was watching the local evening news April 5 when she saw a segment highlighting the need for protective medical masks to protect workers at facilities including Monument Health, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Rapid City, S.D.That evening, Brown-Graff, CEO of $79 million asset MED5 Federal Credit Union in Rapid City, pledged $2,000 on behalf of the credit union to support crafters who were making masks for the local community.“Before we became a community charter, we were a medical credit union, so it really hit home with me,” Brown-Graff says.center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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Hundreds gather for 80th Endicott Holiday Parade

first_imgENDICOTT (WBNG) — The 80th edition of the Endicott Holiday parade brought out hundreds of people, all eager to soak in the holiday spirit. This year, the parade added a new partnership, pairing up with the Holiday Magic on the Avenue event, which is in it’s third year. “I love a parade. When you see the people get excited, I get excited,’ Leonard said. “It’s a tradition, you do it every year.” “I get to come out and hear the sounds, see all the people, laugh sometimes cry with my friends,” said Brandon Greene of Newark Valley. “It’s just a beautiful time of year.” The expansion in parade attendees meaning the bigger the audience for those participating in the multitude of bands, floats, cars, tractors and clubs involved in the holiday proceedings. Committee member Chris Whalen though combining the idea was a no-brainer so everyone could enjoy the fun all at once. Leonard told 12 News her first thought when the parade finishes this year will be to start prepping for the 81st Endicott Holiday Parade in December 2020.center_img Leanord says it’s all for the community she serves to enjoy. The parade giving attendees time to spend with family and friends, warming their hearts this holiday season. “It’s a big undertaking. People don’t realize what it takes,” Leonard said. “I’ve been fielding phone calls and emails for days and days on end, but it all comes together and it’s so exciting to see it all happen. It’s kind of like your whole town came out and they’re all on the street together.” “We thought, ‘Well, we got two events on back to back days, people coming out to the avenue both days, which is great, but let’s make it easy on them and one giant holiday celebration,” Whalen said. “It’s great to see people take such pride in the things we do in this community.” Parade chairman Darlene Leonard has been involved in the parade for 20 years, putting in the hard work from the day one of the six-month-long planning period up until the last minute.last_img read more

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South Africa coronavirus cases exceed 1,000, first two dead reported

first_imgCases of coronavirus in South Africa passed 1,000 on Friday, the health ministry said, while also reporting its first two deaths on the first day of a three-week, nationwide lockdown.South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the lockdown, which saw Africa’s most industrialized economy largely shudder to a halt overnight, earlier this week.”This morning, we South Africans wake up with sad news that we now have our first deaths resulting from COVID-19,” the health ministry said in a statement, adding cases had risen to more than 1,000, from 927 on Thursday. Both deaths had occurred in the southernmost province of Western Cape, with one in a public hospital and the other in a private hospital, the statement read.The 21-day lockdown came into force at midnight on Thursday, and largely confines people to their homes aside from specific purposes like buying food or for health emergencies.However, local media on Friday morning showed pictures of bustling streets and long queues outside supermarkets in poor townships – where cramped, squalid conditions make social distancing near impossible, and mean the virus could spread quickly among people reliant on an ailing public health system. Topics :last_img read more

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Dutch trade unions demand higher discount rate for liabilities

first_imgTuur Elzinga, FNV“This new contract acknowledges the reality that a pension is the result of paid in contributions and returns that can be achieved collectively. This is not risk-free,” the unions said.In an interview with financial publication NRC Handelsblad, Elzinga denied that the unions wanted to scupper a pensions accord with their demand for a higher discount rate.“I just wanted to make clear that this pension contract won’t work without a different discount rate, because if it doesn’t, then we can’t confidently consult our members about the result of the negotiations,” he explained.In their opinion piece, the unions reiterated that they wanted to slow down the rise of the retirement age for the state pension AOW, which is set to increase to 67 by 2021. They also called for more leeway for early retirement arrangements as well as mandatory pensions accrual for self-employed people (zzp’ers) in industry-wide pension funds.The Netherlands’ five largest pension funds have expressed disappointment with the position of the regulator and the minister. Coen Teulings, former director of the Dutch Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis (CPB), has also criticised their approach.Last week, Jean Frijns, former head of investments of the €414bn civil service scheme ABP, argued that the DNB’s view on the discount rate was blocking progress on negotiations for a new pensions contract.Today, Dick Sluimers, former chief executive of ABP’s asset manager APG, joined the public discussion by also criticising the view of DNB and Koolmees, urging them to seek a compromise.The negotiations are now focused on a nominal “target pension” in collective arrangements rather than individual pensions accrual with collective risk-sharing. The three largest trade unions in the Netherlands will only support a new pensions agreement if the regulator and government concede to changing discount rate rules and the country’s financial assessment framework (FTK).In an opinion piece published by left-leaning broadcaster BNNVARA, the unions said that the current discounting rules posed “an insurmountable barrier to a new pensions contract and a deal with the social partners”.The unions referred to the views of social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees and regulator De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB). Both have insisted that the risk-free interest rate should be applied for defined benefit (DB) plans.“A new pensions contract should be accompanied by new and matching rules,” wrote Tuur Elzinga, Nic van Holstein and Arend van Wijngaarden, representatives of unions FNV, VCP and CNV, respectively. According to the unions, the theory of a risk-free interest rate made sense for a risk-free pension, but not for a new pensions contract without a nominal guarantee.last_img read more

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Petrobras firms up deals for Marlim 2 FPSO with Yinson

first_imgMalaysian FPSO provider Yinson has signed contracts with Petrobras for the delivery, operation, and maintenance of the Marlim 2 FPSO. As for the FPSO, Marlim 2 will be installed some 150 kilometres off the Brazilian coast, in a water depth of 930 meters. It will have the capacity to process up to 70,000 barrels per day of oil and 4 million cubic meters of natural gas. The other FPSO for the Marlim revitalization project is the Marlim 1. Japan’s MODEC received a letter of intent for the supply, charter, and operations of an FPSO vessel for the project from Petrobras back in October 2019. First oil from Marlim 1 is planned for 2022. Illustration; Source: Petrobras FPSO Marlim 2 will be Yinson’s first vessel to operate in Brazilian waters. Also worth noting, Yinson and Sumitomo Corporation announced their intention to collaborate on the Marlim revitalization project back in March 2019 in the event of a successful bid by Yinson. On Monday, Yinson added that there would be no extension of the term of the charter under the contracts.center_img According to the FPSO provider, the date of final acceptance under the contracts is expected in the first quarter of 2023. Yinson won two letters of intent from Petrobras in October 2019 for the charter and operation of the Marlim 2 FPSO for the Marlim revitalization project in Brazil. The company said at the time that the estimated aggregate value of the contracts was equivalent to $5.4 billion. The contract period is for 25 years from the date of the final acceptance. Yinson said last week that its subsidiaries Yinson Production Pte Ltd, Yinson Boronia Production B.V., and Yinson Boronia Serviços de Operação Ltda, had now entered into definitive contracts with Petrobras for the Marlim 2, under the same terms as stated in the letters of intent from October 2019. Marlim 1 will be MODEC’s 16th project for Petrobras and will be chartered for 25 years. The 15th FPSO order for MODEC from Petrobras was for Búzios 5 field. It was ordered back in June 2019.last_img read more

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Pope warns gossiping priests, nuns to ‘bite your tongue’

first_img Sharing is caring! FaithInternationalLifestylePrint Pope warns gossiping priests, nuns to ‘bite your tongue’ by: Associated Free Press – February 1, 2016 94 Views   no discussions Share Pope Francis (file photo)VATICAN CITY, Holy See (AFP) — Pope Francis told gossip-loving priests and nuns to bite their tongues on Monday, and warned those breaking their vow of obedience to fall into line sharpish.“If you get an urge to say something against a brother or a sister, to drop a gossip bomb, bite your tongue! Hard!” the pontiff said in an improvised speech to members of the clergy marking the end of the Year of Consecrated Life.The Argentine warned against those abusing their religious vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, describing “anarchy” as the “daughter of the devil”.And he bemoaned a drop in the number of people signing up for a religious life, but warned against taking just anyone.“Why is the womb of consecrated live becoming so sterile?” he asked.“Some congregations experiment with ‘artificial insemination’. What do they do? They welcome… ‘Yes come, come, come’. And then there are problems,” he said.“No. We must be serious about who we take. We must clearly distinguish if it is a real vocation, and help it to grow.”The Roman Catholic Church is still smarting from the clerical sex abuse scandal, which hurt the institution globally and saw many believers, particularly in the West, turn their back on the centuries-old institution.The number of priests and nuns in industrialised countries is in sharp decline, though the Church still counts 693,000 nuns around the world and 55,000 priests.center_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

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Mexico halts migrant caravan

first_imgMexican security forces guard the riverside in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico on Jan. 21. REUTERS/ANDRES MARTINEZ CASARES Though United States (US) PresidentDonald Trump’s promised border wall has not been built, the number of migrantscrossing the southern US border has dropped sharply as Mexico stepped up thepolicing of its borders under the threat of punitive US tariffs.(Reuters) Mexico’s National Migration Institutesaid it deported 219 migrants to Honduras by plane in two separate flights. Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard saidaround 1,000 people managed to cross the country’s southern border on Mondayfrom Guatemala.  center_img MEXICO City – The government here onTuesday said it halted a caravan of undocumented Central American migrants whowaded across a river into Mexico. The caravan, part of a group ofseveral thousand people, last week fled rampant gang violence and dire jobprospects in Honduras.last_img read more

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