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[1THING] Blog: Archive for January, 2018

[ These quiet policy changes will pave way for massive development on public land ]

Trump’s decision to roll back mitigation policies right before Congress releases a new infrastructure bill is a one-two punch against the environment.


[ EPA budget shrank 55% as agency workload grew: The numbers ]

Other than a bump under Obama’s administration, funding for the agency has been in a downward spiral for the past 40 years.


[ Are electric vehicles finally taking off? Here’s what you need to know. ]

With billions going into developing more powerful electric vehicles, we’re seeing progress on several fronts.


[ 6 tech-driven factors will help make a truly modern grid ]

Modernizing our power grid – using technology available today – could be the single largest opportunity we have to fight climate change.


[ These 4 environmental wins just proved that fighting back works ]

If you’re dreading three more years of environmental threats, remember that we can still score victories.


[ Investor concern over methane risks on the rise. It should worry industry. ]

Many operators continue to ignore the financial and reputational risks methane poses, with potential implications for the entire industry.


[ How blockchain could soon upend America’s power markets ]

The energy market may eventually be a bigger user of blockchain than the financial services sector.


[ China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants ]

China Bans Ivory Sales to Save Elephants


Adapted from post by Molly Bergen of EarthShare Member Conservation International.

Last year, China announced plans to phase out its domestic ivory market — a major development acknowledging the growing threat poaching poses to Africa’s dwindling elephant population, which has been cut in half in only 25 years.

On January 1, 2018, the ban finally went into effect. It’s a big step in the effort to stop poaching and save elephants. Anticipation of the ban has already had a positive impact, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council: the wholesale price of ivory in China has fallen by more than 50% in the last three years.

While there has been an international ivory trade ban since 1989, many countries such as China have maintained domestic markets, which allow the resale of ivory imported before 1989. However, this legal trade of older ivory is frequently used as a front for the illegal import of newer tusks. Around 2002, there was an uptick in elephant slaughter across Africa just as an economic boom was expanding the income of millions of Chinese — and making the purchase of ivory carvings, a common status symbol, more attainable.

According to Keith Roberts, executive director of Conservation International’s wildlife program, it’s too soon to tell what exactly the full impact of the new ban will be.

“On the one hand, it’s great that China has put a time frame on the closure of their markets; it reveals the country’s political will to address the ivory poaching crisis,” he said. “However, there are a lot of unknowns. We are dealing with transnational organized criminal syndicates, and ivory has been and continues to be a lucrative business for them. Therefore, I would expect the market to go underground, and this may well push the price of ivory up and further encourage the killing of elephants.”

Because closing the markets doesn’t actually stop the consumer demand for ivory, it won’t necessarily stop the problem on its own.

“Closure of the markets is step one,” Roberts continued. “Step two must be the government getting serious about disrupting and arresting those involved in the criminal syndicates that are responsible for most of the poaching. Step three should be a campaign to push for the closure of the legal markets in neighboring countries, which are regularly used by Chinese traders to source contraband.”

China’s professed willingness to expand its involvement in this global crisis is critical to reduce the ivory trade, especially given Africa’s ongoing struggles to fight poaching on the ground. And other countries, including the US, must step up to protect elephants too (find out how here).

Could 2018 be a turning point for Africa’s elephants? Time will tell.

More information:
Poaching Crisis: Africa’s Wildlife on the Brink, EarthShare
African Elephant Facts, African Wildlife Foundation
To Save Elephants, It Takes a Village, Conservation International


[ How electric trucks could disrupt highway transport and save businesses billions ]

Tesla is among a number of auto manufacturers that see a robust, long-term market for zero-emission electric trucks.

[ What you need to know about what’s in – and absent from – Moody’s climate risk report ]

Moody’s report left out this critical disaster risk information for communities seeking to retain their credit worthiness.