Responding to the market: building technology, greenhouse gas taxes, and PVC reduction.

Responding to the market: building technology, greenhouse gas taxes, and PVC reduction.

Builders respond to the market, learn green building techniques

“While many commercial builders have been involved in green projects — that is, developments that balance style and function with protection of the environment and conservation of natural resources — residential builders have been slower to incorporate these construction features. Part of the problem was that they had scant guidance as to how, but that is changing.”

“Now, builders are receiving guidance on construction techniques “with the help of General Electric’s “ecomagination home builder program,” one of several new programs established to teach developers, contractors, architects and other building professionals the techniques for green construction.”

“The programs come in response to market demand for green housing, which “has been growing — 46 percent of buyers would like a green home, according to an August report by the National Association of Realtors on home buyers’ preferences — but supplies are limited.”

Bloomberg wants national greenhouse gas tax

New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg wants a national greenhouse gas tax.

“Under his plan, polluters like energy companies and utilities would have to pay $15 per tone of greenhouse gas they emit. The money would pay for a cut in federal payroll taxes, giving the average taxpayer the $500 a year break.

“The energy industry likely would pass on the cost of the new tax to the consumer, the mayor admitted on his weekly ABC radio show. “So yes, it gets passed on, but the people who suffer the most get the benefit in the other direction, and the whole world benefits because we pollute less,” he explained.”

“Companies that develop innovative technology to slash greenhouse gases would get some of the anti-pollution tax revenues in the form of tax credits from a new fund, Bloomberg said, according to a copy of the speech will give at a U.S. mayors conference in Seattle.”

Target feels the pressure, reduces PVC products

From Treehugger.com:

“Target may finally be feeling the heat from consumer, health, and environmental groups such as the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ), which has been vociferous in its campaign to get the nation’s fifth-largest retailer to stop selling products made of or packaged in PVC.”

“The retailer, which makes $59 billion in revenues per year, now says it is reducing its use of PVC in packaging and children’s products, such as lunch boxes and bibs. Target says it is committed to systematically reducing PVC beginning with its in-house brands, while collaborating with a variety of its third-party vendors at the same time, according to a CHEJ press release.”


Green economies: Equitable or Devisive?

Brita Belli, from E Magazine questions whether the so-called emerging “green-collar” economy is a way towards equity and sustainability, or if it will benefit an exclusive elite.

“While the traditional economic outlook is bleak, the green economy is taking shape, bringing with it the promise of well-paying manufacturing jobs; of management and sales opportunities with huge growth potential and lots of niche positions for enterprising students and job seekers looking for alternative careers. On the upper tiers of the economic ladder, many CEOs and CFOs are already jumping into green jobs, and online green job directories are heavy with listings for those with established business experience.

“What remains to be seen is if the career ladders appearing in every sector, from green building to organic farming, solar installation and sustainable marketing, are available to all or to a select few.”

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