Bhutan shows the way to a sustainable economy

Here is an encouraging report on the sustainable development of the kingdom of Bhutan.  Bhutan is a small landlocked country which lies against the south-eastern Himalyas, more or less between India and China. Drawing on cultural and religious roots which embed respect for the natural world in every-day life, Bhutan has developed its natural resources with a firm eye on biodiversity and ecological sustainability. Remarkably, under its recently re-drawn constitution, each citizen is held personally accountable for the ecological health of the country. It offers at least a hope that other countries could work along similar lines.

Banks and greenwash

All four major Australian banks make strong claims to sustainable status. The ANZ Bank claims carbon-neutrality. At the same time it is happy to fund enormous coal projects if they are approved by governments. This myopia, which quarantines sustainability to its internal operations, and leaves its investment and loan portfolios on business as usual terms, is unacceptable. Shareholders are taking notice and voicing their concern, as reported here.

Crowd-sourcing investment model for funding renewables

Here is a NYT report on the company Mosaic which uses an online platform to match investors to investment projects in solar technology.  It takes a fee for each investment placed.  Although in its early stages, the model has attracted support, and is generating above average returns for investors.  Its model is similar to well-established crowd-sourcing funding sites such as Kickstarter, whose value proposition is to bring investors into a direct relationship with specific projects for which they have specific personal interest.