George Jacob is the President & CEO of Bay Ecotarium- the largest non-profit watershed conservation group in the San Francisco Bay Area celebrating its 40th year in environmental advocacy.
With the US Presidential elections barely days away, rhetoric on Climate Change, Green New Deal, Energy independence, rejection of fossil fuels, Cleantech, UN Sustainable Development Goals and planting Trillion Trees, is also gathering momentum.
While California Governor Gavin Newsom recently announced moving away from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, others advocated for carbon neutral societies, banning plastics, increasing recycling and incentivizing Green Businesses. On one hand there is agreement in principle with some of the advocacy trends, there are wide differences on finding a common denominator of consensus of means, methods and metrics of monetary arbitration of geo-political engagement as well as ownership of carbon debt.
In September 2018, San Francisco hosted Governor Jerry Brown’s Global Climate Action Summit. 29 philanthropists gathered atop the Ohana floor of the Salesforce Tower an announced a combined commitment to combat Climate Change, pledging a whopping $4 billion by 2023. The funding is to advance innovation, advance affordable low emission technologies, spur green investments and address environmental justice challenges through sustainable practices.
Some of the challenges that continue with Green Bonds is lack of awareness on how these Bonds work and perform across different sectors of energy, biogas, clean power, clean-tech and sustainable sectors. The other prevailing challenge is knowing what is really deemed “green”, as many of the products an process that seem so, may actually be responsible for exacerbating the problem indirectly. The third continuing concern is that there are currently no standards to calibrate an index of Green Bond investment impact, though there are measurable parameters that can gauge sectoral tipping points. The real lens of course, is to assess the impact of such investments across multiple sectors, beyond targeted business decisions of dividends and returns.
The first recognized Green Bond was issued in 2008, rapidly crossing $254 billion in a decade by 2019, paving the way for investors to gain tax exempt income! In August this year, Google’s parent company Alphabet issued $5.75 billion in sustainability Green bonds, the largest initiative in corporate history. An increasing number of companies are issuing Green bonds aimed at environmental and sustainability causes. These Bonds are seeing dramatic over-subscriptions and are opening up new market vistas for a better environment and investment into our collective sustainable futures. Green buildings, green programs, smart engines, electric and hybrid vehicles, low carbon emissions, reduced consumption, energy efficiency, ocean conservation, clean water, renewable energy and scores of other socially responsible ventures are beginning to gain traction owing to these Green and Blue Bonds.
These Bonds are what the Marine Protected Areas, Hope Spots, the National Parks and Preserves are for the vulnerable and cherished havens of the magnificence of nature, and kernels of life itself. They lend us a perspective of our own mortality and the consequences of our reckless interventions to the delicate balance that nurtures our fragile ecosystems vital to our own survival. The “Bond” ironically and metaphorically, is our pact with nature and a reflection of our collective resolve to making a difference and– first stem, and then turn the tide of man-made environmental collapse.
The circular economy of today and tomorrow holds great appeal to young professionals and greater promise to Gen Alpha screenagers for the greater Good of our lifestyles and our Blue Marble.