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Wall Street announces "Carbon Principles" - but what do they mean?

So, big news on Wall Street today regarding coal and our climate. Three of the largest investment banks (Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan Chase) announced the formation of the “Carbon Principles” - a set of guidelines the banks will follow when lending money to carbon-intensive projects, such as coal-fired power plants. While the banks don’t go so far as to say they WON’T finance coal-fired power plants - if I were the CEO of a utility or coal company - I’d be worried. Here’s my analysis of these principles: WHAT’S GOOD: Banks are REALLY keen on...

UPDATE: GM Responds to RAN Activists!

Last week I told you that RAN supporters shut down interactive features on General Motor's new greenwashing website, gmnext.com. We posted pictures of student activists at the Detroit auto show protesting automakers on the site and thousands of RAN supporters flooded GM with comments supporting the students and asking the giant automaker to take real steps, not just greenwashing PR, on climate and green jobs. Within a matter of hours GM shut down comments on the site. Then, Christopher Barger, Director of Global Communications Technology for GM, came to our blog and wrote that they turned of the...

I love my veggie grease...now what?

There is a growing consensus that the highly touted "fuel of the future" may not be the panacea that we once that it was. Agrofuels, made from large-scale industrial crops, like palm oil, soy, sugarcane and canola, have far more social and environmental problems than benefits. But, let's get clear on something. Agrofuels are very different than locally and sustainably produced, small-scale, biofuels. Agrofuels are not at all the same thing as the recycled veggie grease that innovative people have been using to fuel their cars, in a sincere effort to reduce their carbon footprint. Agrofuels are being put...

OfficeMax and Grand & Toy day of action - more pictures!

Its the day after RAN's OfficeMax and Grand & Toy day of action, yesterday OfficeMax and Grand & Toy locations across the United States and Canada heard hundreds of activists demand that the stores publicly support a moratorium in Grassy Narrows. Here are a few of the latest updates: In Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 25 people came out in -40 Celsius weather to support Grassy Narrows. Activists also signed letters that they plan to send to OfficeMax CEO Sam Duncan. In Toronto, Ontario Ryerson University's Journalists for Human Rights chapter hosted a great action and sent this summary: At around 4 p.m., five of our chapter members set off from Ryerson happily laden with posters, flyers and caribou antlers and ready to protest. Despite the frigid temperatures and wicked wind, we were very keen to get out there and help spread the message for Grassy. When we...

OfficeMax: Support the Moratorium in Grassy Narrows!

Reports from activists about their OfficeMax and Grand & Toy protests today are trickling in. It was a frigid and blustery day for a day of action, but people came out in force to demand that OfficeMax and Grand & Toy publicly support a moratorium in Grassy Narrows. In Milwaukee, activists braved -3 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to pay a visit to their local OfficeMax. After flyering both inside of the store, and right outside the main entrance (and getting kicked out of both locations) they took this picture of themselves: The shot is blurry, but wouldn't any picture be blurry if your snapshot-taking finger was frozen solid? In Seattle, RAN activists visited OfficeMax's location near the University of Washington campus. We held a banner outside of the store, on the very busy intersection where OfficeMax is located. We talked to many passers-by...

Where is the action in Honolulu?

I’m in Honolulu this week, joining local organizers and activists outside the Major Economies Meeting (MEM) at the East-West Center on UH-Manoa’s campus. The 16 biggest carbon-emitting nations are here at President Bush’s request to discuss “Energy Security and Climate Change,” but the meetings are closed to the public, and hopes are not high that anything substantial will come out of these talks. As a matter of fact, this Major Economies Meeting is seen by many as the Bush administration’s diversion from any substantive agreements going forward in Bali last month. Yesterday we were out in force in the pouring rain in front of the governor’s mansion in Honolulu, where she was holding a reception for the delegates of the MEM. The local message is that we need serious...

All Eyes on OfficeMax and Grand&Toy

Reports and pictures are just starting to roll in from the dozens of actions at OfficeMax and Grand & Toy locations throughout the US and Canada. Early this morning, Activists in Toronto locked themselves to the Headquarters of Grand & Toy for the better...

How Do They Do That? RAN NYC Sneaks Into Another Banker's Meeting

This morning, three RAN NYC activists snuck into Citi's Financial Investor's Conference in New York City's Waldorf Astoria. Despite the Waldorf's reputation for screening party crashers, one environmentally-minded conference goer managed to get in to Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis's presentation....

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