It's hard not to love clothes. Beyond their practical purpose, they reflect one's personality and priorities. Clothes spark conversations and harbor memories. They feel good and boost confidence—and they're an easy way to inject some novelty into one's life. A quick purchase here and there adds variety to a closet and gives a person something to look forward to wearing.
The problem, however, is that many of us are doing too much of this. The fashion industry is one of the biggest global emitters of greenhouse gases, even according to the most conservative estimates. In Europe, it is the fourth largest contributor to those emissions after housing, transport, and food. The fashion industry is well on its way to doubling its emissions by 2030, and if no decarbonization actions are taken, will be emitting 2.7 billion tonnes of CO2e by that same year. Continuing at that rate, it could use over a quarter of the world's carbon budget by 2050.
A new report from the Hot or Cool Institute, titled "Unfit, Unfair, Unfashionable: Resizing Fashion for a Fair Consumption Space," analyzes the fashion situation in G20 countries. Recognizing that "global emissions must be reduced by 45-55% by 2030 if we are to have a 50% chance to stay below 1.5 degrees warming," its authors present an "equity-based footprint target" for per-capita fashion consumption for 2030.
The report strives to fill a knowledge gap that exists in the current climate scenarios relating to fashion. Most research focuses on technology-based solutions to mitigating the problem while disregarding or downplaying the role of lifestyle changes. But this report shows that personal changes do make a difference and that many common "eco-friendly" practices, such as donating secondhand clothes to the developing world, may have a net-negative effect.
Fashion consumption is profoundly unequal among and within countries. The richest 20% of Britons emit 83% above the 1.5-degree target, while 74% of Indonesians live below sufficiency consumption levels for fashion. People in the richest G20 countries (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, U.K., U.S.) must reduce their fashion-related footprints by an average of 60% by 2030 in order to stay on track for the 1.5-degree target. Upper-middle-income countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, Turkey) must reduce theirs by over 40%.
These necessary reductions would bring consumption down to what the report calls a fair consumption space, defined as "a space where consumption levels stay below environmentally unsustainable levels yet above sufficiency levels that allow individuals to fulfill their basic needs." Individuals with higher footprints are required to make greater reductions than those already living with less.
The graphs denoting where emissions occur along a garment's lifecycle are fascinating. A significant 84% of greenhouse gas emissions embodied in fashion consumption "occur in upstream production, from fibre cultivation to garment tailoring and finishing." As consumption levels lower and use-times increase (which happens in lower income countries), the carbon footprint of upstream production decreases while the impact of the use and disposal phases increases.
What this means, however, is that donating and exporting secondhand clothes to developing markets is a less effective climate-fighting strategy than many would like to believe—simply because the disposal phase represents so little of an item's overall impact. From the report: "On average, about 10% of emissions occurring in the disposal phase of garments are linked to second-hand donations and exports. Around 30% of used clothes exported are directly incinerated or landfilled at the destination."
This is where the report really shines, with its emphasis on practical solutions. It turns out that reducing purchases of new clothes is the single most effective way to reduce fashion's carbon footprint, leading to reductions more than four times greater than the next best solution, which is increasing use time of garments, and over 3 times higher than what is considered achievable through accelerated decarbonization of the fashion industry.
Other valuable actions include repairing and mending items, washing less and at lower temperatures, and buying secondhand. But if none of these is implemented, "purchases of new garments should be limited to an average 5 items per year for achieving consumption levels in line with the 1.5-degree target."
If you recoil at the thought of fashion quotas, Lewis Akenji, director of the Hot or Cool Institute, pointed out in a presentation for the report's launch that some degree of rationing is inevitable. "This is what governments do," he said. They can ration resource use, pollution, level of volume and frequency in the market and fashion cycle. This is done through taxes or altering practices around returns. "There's a broad spectrum of possibilities [and] it's an inevitable part of the discussion."
Perhaps it's comforting to think of fashion quotas in terms of a "sufficiency wardrobe," another concept presented in the report. This refers to figuring out what one needs to dress well (spoiler alert: it's less than you think!) and not exceeding those limits.
Wardrobe sizes have ballooned over the past century. "In the 1950s, a guide for good dressing for an adult woman living in a city referred to 42 pieces of garments (excluding accessories and underwear) as being enough to cover a whole year’s needs for different types of garments." A 2019 study found that "the wardrobe size in the Netherlands varies from 70 pieces up to 429 pieces (excluding undergarments) and proposed a total of 80 pieces as the sufficient amount to fulfill wearing needs."
During the report's launch, guest panelist Dilys Williams, director of the London-based Centre for Sustainable Fashion and Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability, reframed the question of the sufficiency wardrobe in the following way: "How do we become more selective about the things we choose to represent ourselves?"
She said a sufficiency wardrobe is not limiting, but rather selective. "It's about joy and delight and rarity, which is the premise of luxury." Indeed, if we're only buying five items a year, we can likely afford to spend more time planning, choosing, and caring for those pieces—almost like a piece of wearable artwork.
Nevertheless, the report does call for fashion consumption to be reframed as a functional service, rather than an emotional experience, in order to avoid overconsumption. "The emotional aspects intrinsic to experiencing fashion, changing garments and experimenting with self-expression could be filled by other practices such as providing skills for modifying or mending one own's clothes, using upcycled materials, and changing the attitude towards fashion aesthetics (i.e., new is not always the best choice)."
Meanwhile, the promotion of unsustainable fashion behaviors should be discouraged in media and popular culture, according to guidelines attached to government funding and film licensing. Moves such as banning free returns and next-day deliveries could cut down on impulse purchases, while implementing repair centers and circular business models would make sustainable consumption more attainable.
The general message of the report is one of hopefulness. One is struck, of course, by the direness of the situation, but also feels empowered by the numerous practical solutions that accompany the mind-boggling statistics and fascinating graphs. The Hot or Cool Institute has done a thorough job and managed to present information in a highly readable and engaging format.
You can read the full report here.
New York CNN Business —
CNN on Thursday executed sweeping layoffs and implemented a series of changes that impacted multiple divisions across the news organization, including ending live programming on HLN, the company’s chief executive, Chris Licht, said in a memo to employees.
“The changes we are making today are necessary and will make us stronger and better positioned to place big bets going forward without fear of failure,” Licht wrote in his memo.
The layoffs, which started Wednesday and were expected to impact hundreds of employees, largely had been completed by Thursday afternoon. A CNN spokesperson declined to say how many employees were let go, but the cuts targeted several areas of the company, including some on-air talent and members of management.
The series of changes, which came after Licht conducted a months-long review of CNN’s business after taking over in May as the network’s head, notably included the ending of live programming on HLN, CNN’s longtime sister channel. Licht said that, starting December 6, CNN “will no longer produce live programming for HLN.”
HLN will instead simulcast “CNN This Morning” and, Licht said, HLN’s crime programming will move under the purview of Kathleen Finch, a programming executive at Warner Bros. Discovery, CNN’s parent company.
“I want to take a moment to thank Robin Meade — she is not only an exceptionally popular anchor, but also one of the longest-running morning hosts in history,” Licht wrote in his memo. “I know the HLN audience will miss her and the other HLN talent.”
Licht said that the network was “also shifting our approach to paid contributors,” after cutting from its stable of commentators on Wednesday.
“In some areas, we will rely more on our CNN journalists,” Licht wrote. “Overall, we will engage contributors who are subject-matter experts that expand and diversify the viewpoints we bring our audience.”
Licht said that other changes included CNN International “reorganizing some of its teams and bureaus.” And he said, effective immediately, CNN International’s 5 pm ET show “will be replaced by a simulcast of CNN US for that half hour.”
CNN en Español, Licht said, will move to diversify its audience beyond news. Licht said CNN will still produce news for the channel, but will “look to develop a far more robust digital platform for CNNE with the aim of launching it in 2024.”
Licht also announced several other divisions were undergoing restructuring, including U.S. newsgathering, operations, research, creative marketing, and programming.
When the layoffs commenced on Wednesday, Licht described the process as one that would be a “gut punch” to the network, telling employees in a memo that “it is incredibly hard to say goodbye to any one member of the CNN team, much less many.”
Employees at the company had been anxiously bracing for the layoffs since Licht informed them last month that “unsettling” changes lie ahead.
The layoffs come as media companies are being battered by brutal economic headwinds that have taken a bat to the advertising sector. Licht noted in October, when he signaled large cuts were coming, that there is “widespread concern over the global economic outlook” and that CNN “must factor that risk into [its] long-term planning.”
Other media organizations have also cut costs as they work to best position themselves for the stormy economic climate. Disney said last week the company needed to restructure, and AMC Networks announced Tuesday that it would cut 20% of its staff. Social media companies such as Meta, which also rely on advertising revenue, have also executed layoffs in exact months.
CNN, which still posts profits in the hundreds of millions of dollars, was spared from the cuts that wreaked havoc on the industry during the pandemic. Prior to this year, the last major cuts to occur at the organization were in 2018 when less than 50 people lost their jobs as the company restructured its digital business.
The cuts to the organization also come after CNN’s former parent company, WarnerMedia, merged earlier this year with Discovery, creating a media juggernaut laced with billions of dollars in debt and a need to slash costs across the board. The merger had just been completed in April when the company announced it was shuttering streaming service CNN+ a month after it was launched.
David Zaslav, chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery, the company that was formed when WarnerMedia and Discovery became one, has promised investors that he will find more than $3 billion in savings in the combined organization.
After Licht took over as head of CNN, he conducted a months-long review of the business. That review led to him identifying changes that should be made, Licht said in October. Some of those changes have already been implemented, as CNN has made smaller cuts to parts of its business in the last several months.
“Our goal throughout the strategic review process has been to better align our people, processes and resources with our future priorities, strengthen our ability to deliver on CNN’s core journalistic mission and enable us to innovate in the years ahead,” Licht said in his Thursday memo. “At the highest level, the goal is to direct our resources to best serve and grow audiences for our core news programming and products.”
“To achieve these goals, we will be reducing open job positions, reimagining our workflows and aligning our staffing, investments and focus around three key strategic priorities: programming, newsgathering and digital,” Licht added. “All decisions are designed to strengthen the core of our business.”
[Ad hoc announcement pursuant to Art. 53 LR]
This press release is also available in Français (pdf) and Deutsch (pdf)
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Vevey, November 29, 2022
Nestlé outlines value creation model and 2025 targets at investor seminar
Confirms its longstanding Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Focus on food and beverages, including Nestlé Health Science and nutritional health products as an additional growth platform.
Confirms sustainable mid single-digit organic sales growth expectation.
Affirms return to underlying trading operating profit margin range of 17.5% to 18.5% by 2025.
Sets annual underlying EPS growth target range of 6% to 10% in constant currency.
Announces strategic review of Palforzia.
Updates full-year 2022 outlook: we now expect organic sales growth between 8% and 8.5%. The underlying trading operating profit margin is expected around 17.0%. Underlying earnings per share in constant currency and capital efficiency are expected to increase.
At its investor seminar today in Barcelona, Nestlé will share its strategy for sustainable value creation and outline its 2025 targets. The company will detail how it will continue to deliver sustainable mid single-digit organic sales growth. Nestlé expects to return to an underlying trading operating profit margin range of 17.5% to 18.5% by 2025, following the margin impact of a sharp increase in cost inflation in 2021 and 2022. The company also expects to deliver an annual underlying EPS growth range of 6% to 10% in constant currency over the period 2022 to 2025. It plans to trend toward free cash flow of 12% of sales and ROIC of 15% by 2025.
During today's presentations, Nestlé will describe its plans to boost growth through brand building, innovation and digitalization, while supporting margin development through efficiency programs. The seminar will also cover how Nestlé Health Science is developing its leadership position in nutrition and health.
Mark Schneider, Nestlé CEO: "We have made significant progress in exact years, accelerating organic growth, increasing margins and enhancing capital efficiency. Today, we outline our value creation model and targets for 2025 as we aim to deliver consistently in turbulent times. We will continue to invest for future growth, investing behind our brands, delivering impactful innovation, leveraging digitalization and improving speed and agility. Creating shared value for stakeholders remains our focus, with Good for You, Good for the Planet at the heart of our strategy."
Regarding financial metrics, Nestlé pursues a value creation model that balances growth in earnings per share, competitive shareholder returns, flexibility for external growth and access to financial markets. The company will continue to invest to drive brand building, innovation, digitalization and sustainability.
The company has created significant value through portfolio management, contributing to increased growth and improved margins. The net annual return on acquisitions since 2018 is between 11% and 13%, with a large majority of transactions at or above their business plans. Nestlé will continue to pursue external growth opportunities in fast growing segments and regions. The company remains disciplined in its approach to portfolio management, looking for strategic and cultural fit, as well as attractive financial returns.
Nestlé has decided to explore strategic options for Palforzia, the peanut allergy treatment, following slower than expected adoption by patients and healthcare professionals. The review is expected to be completed in the first half of 2023. Going forward, Nestlé Health Science will sharpen its focus on Consumer Care and Medical Nutrition.
Nestlé also confirms its ongoing program to repurchase CHF 20 billion of its shares over the period 2022 to 2024. The company has already bought around CHF 9.7 billion of shares in 2022. Nestlé aims to maintain its practice of increasing its dividend year-on-year in Swiss francs.
Today's investor seminar will be webcast live and available for replay, along with the slides of the presentations in Events.
Christoph Meier Tel.: +41 21 924 2200
Luca Borlini Tel.: +41 21 924 3509
Energy transitions in the power and transportation sectors are key in advancing toward international net-zero targets, but without companies and governments taking action to accelerate low-carbon technologies, the goals may not be realized, according to BloombergNEF.
The research company released its 2022 New Energy Outlook with a focus on two decarbonization pathways – an economic transition and a net-zero scenario. The economic outlook assumes no new policy to enhance clean energy transitions, and the net-zero target looks at advancing energy technologies, including rapid deployments of clean power generation.
BloombergNEF analyzed country-level results and used industry modeling, including what the steel, aluminum, and cement industries should take on for the greatest chance at decarbonization. It also updates material-demand forecasts.
The report finds that emissions need to fall by 30% by 2030 and 6% a year through 2040 to achieve net-zero goals under the Paris Agreement.
BloombergNEF says that under the net-zero scenario the world can stay on track for decarbonization through rapid deployments of clean power, electrification, and to a lesser extent increasing the use of hydrogen, and carbon capture and storage. David Hostert, the global head of economics and modeling at BNEF and lead author of the report, says although there is a pathway to net zero, clean power deployment needs to quadruple by 2030 to realize the goal.
“To get on track this decade, there needs to be $3 invested in low-carbon supply for every $1 in fossil-fuel supply,” he says. “We need to see a massive acceleration in the build-out of power grids, manufacturing capacity for low-carbon technologies, and supply of critical metals and materials. These could become painful bottlenecks tomorrow if left unaddressed today.”
Moving from fossil fuels for power generation will be the single largest factor in emissions reductions. Doing so will account for half of emissions reductions through 2050, the report says, and energy will be largely generated using wind and solar sources. Under that scenario, wind and solar would make up nearly three-quarters of the world’s power generation.
Electrification of transport, industrial process, and buildings are potentially the next biggest source of emissions reductions, accounting for around a quarter necessary to reach net zero. BloombergNEF says the technologies exist to make these transitions, but the implementation has been slow, especially in the case of heating for buildings.
The scenario also sees carbon capture and storage implementation increasing from 40 megatons in 2021 to more than 7 gigatons by 2050. Emission-free hydrogen use would also need to quadruple by 2050.
Under the economic transition scenario, the rapid growth of renewable energy and the electrification of transport would eliminate half of the world’s energy-related emissions. They can do so with no additional subsidy, especially due to the lower costs of wind, solar, and battery technology over the past decade.
Wind and solar would account for two-thirds of the world’s power generation, and BloomberNEF modeling shows emissions peak in the power sector around 2023. Global coal, gas, and oil use would peak over the next decade.
The report finds that energy emissions fall by 57% and transportation emissions by 22% by 2050. However, this scenario alone isn’t enough to reach the 2050 Paris Agreement target, BloombergNEF says.
Overall, the report suggests six strategies for policymakers and private investors to enhance energy transitions. They include accelerating the deployment of existing clean technology, phasing out carbon-intensive activities, and supporting energy transitions in emerging and developing markets.
CNN Worldwide Chairman and CEO Chris Licht outlined the network’s changes as the network went through a significant round of job cuts.
“At the highest level, the goal is to direct our resources to best serve and grow audiences for our core news programming and products,” Licht wrote in a memo to staffers on Thursday.
“To achieve these goals, we will be reducing open job positions, reimagining our workflows and aligning our staffing, investments and focus around three key strategic priorities: programming, newsgathering and digital. All decisions are designed to strengthen the core of our business.”
A couple of hundred positions were impacted by job cuts on Wednesday and Thursday, including paid contributors and salaried employees. Among those departing are political analyst Chris Cillizza and anchor, correspondent Martin Savidge and HLN’s Robin Meade.
Some of the biggest changes will happen at HLN, its former Headline News channel. CNN will end live programming for the channel and instead will simulcast CNN This Morning in the AM hours. The true crime series will be moved to Warner Bros. Discovery networks, led by Kathleen Finch, and will be merged with Investigation Discovery, Licht wrote.
Other changes include a reorganization at CNN International, with a CNN simulcast replacing the 5 PM half hour, while CNN en Español will try to expand its audience “by diversifying the network’s programming beyond news,” Licht wrote. He said a “far more robust” digital platform for that brand will debut in 2024.
In newsgathering, Licht cited a goal to cover the U.S. “more broadly.” “We are restructuring across some of our beats, realigning resources to staff up in some units and in more areas around the country,” he wrote.
CNN also will change its approach to paid contributors, focusing on “subject-matter experts that expand and diversify the viewpoints we bring our audience.” He said that in other cases they will rely more on CNN’s own journalists.
Programming staffs also are being reduced, with combinations of teams in dayside and weekend lineups.
Licht’s memo is below.
To my CNN colleagues,
As promised in my note yesterday, I am following up with an overview of the changes we have made across the company. Our goal throughout the strategic review process has been to better align our people, processes and resources with our future priorities, strengthen our ability to deliver on CNN’s core journalistic mission and enable us to innovate in the years ahead. At the highest level, the goal is to direct our resources to best serve and grow audiences for our core news programming and products.
To achieve these goals, we will be reducing open job positions, reimagining our workflows and aligning our staffing, investments and focus around three key strategic priorities: programming, newsgathering and digital. All decisions are designed to strengthen the core of our business.
While it is not possible to capture every impacted role in an email like this, I want to walk through the broader changes we are making:
Beginning December 6, CNN will no longer produce live programming for HLN and instead will simulcast CNN This Morning. HLN Crime programming will move under the WBD Networks led by Kathleen Finch and will be merged with ID. I want to take a moment to thank Robin Meade— she is not only an exceptionally popular anchor, but also one of the longest-running morning hosts in history. I know the HLN audience will miss her and the other HLN talent.
CNN International is reorganizing some of its teams and bureaus, and effective immediately, the 5:00-5:30pm ET show will be replaced by a simulcast of CNN US for that half hour.
CNN en Español
CNNE’s linear network will seek to expand its audience by diversifying the network’s programming beyond news. We will continue to produce news for CNNE, and throughout next year, we will look to develop a far more robust digital platform for CNNE with the aim of launching it in 2024. We believe that investment will better serve and significantly grow our Spanish-language news audience, and we will have more to share on that in 2023.
We are restructuring across some of our beats, realigning resources to staff up in some units and in more areas around the country. This will help us deliver on our goal of covering the United States more broadly. Many of the staff reductions in Newsgathering will be offset by the addition of new roles to best serve our audience across platforms.
We are also shifting our approach to paid contributors. In some areas, we will rely more on our CNN journalists. Overall, we will engage contributors who are subject-matter experts that expand and diversify the viewpoints we bring our audience.
Our programming teams will see some reductions in show staffs and, in some cases, the combination of teams for our dayside and weekend lineups.
The Creative Marketing team will see an overall reduction in size, realigning around in-house production and consolidating creative and strategy roles in New York. Roles will be added to both support that work and expand our digital and growth marketing efforts.
Research is reorganizing to focus resources on CNN’s core businesses and to optimize our recently integrated Digital Analytics and Data Science teams.
The Operations teams are restructuring to align with the changes to other units across the organization.
CNN Digital conducted an exercise earlier this fall to ensure they were best structured for the future. They made changes then and, as a result, there are no further impacts in this process.
The changes we are making today are necessary and will make us stronger and better positioned to place big bets going forward without fear of failure.
To our departing colleagues, I want to express my gratitude for your dedicated and tireless service and for your many contributions to CNN. To all employees, I want to underscore the importance of taking the time you need to best be able to move forward. You can find resources to support you now here. I will be holding a town hall on Tuesday to answer your questions, which can be submitted anonymously here.
I am proud of this CNN team, and together we will ensure CNN continues to be the world’s most vital source of news and information.
A new report has revealed some of the barriers prospective students face in studying life sciences at postdoctoral level.
The conclusions and recommendations are included in a new report which reveals that black graduates, women and those who have non-graduate parents are less likely to succeed in the life sciences at Ph.D. level.
The report, which was commissioned by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, revealed inequalities that created barriers for graduates from post-1992 universities wanting to pursue a career as a researcher in the life sciences.
The research behind the report, which was carried out by the University of York, found that "prestigious higher education institutions continued to be richer and whiter for life sciences at the doctoral degree level."
Using data from the Higher Education Statistical Agency (HESA) and from BBSRC doctoral training programs (DTPs), the study examined equality, diversity and inclusion across the life science disciplines.
One of the report authors, Professor Paul Wakeling, from the University of York's Department of Education, said, "These findings are really concerning and we absolutely need to address them. We hope the report will inform and galvanize efforts to widen access to doctoral study in the life sciences and address early career inequalities."
"We found relatively low levels of movement across some universities between undergraduate and doctoral level in the life sciences, suggesting that there are structured pathways which work against graduates from the post-1992 universities, which are sometimes referred to as 'new universities' or 'modern universities'."
"Our report suggests that universities and funders need to take serious action to address the underrepresentation of black graduates at doctoral and postdoctoral levels to make rapid progress in achieving a more diverse and inclusive research workforce in the life sciences."
Citation: Report outlines key recommendations to broaden diversity of PhD students in life sciences (2022, December 2) retrieved 9 December 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-12-outlines-key-broaden-diversity-phd.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen tours the Ford Motor Company's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center that builds the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning with Linda Zhang,(R), chief engineer for the vehicle, before delivering an economic speech in Dearborn, Michigan, on September 8, 2022.
Jeff Kowalsky | AFP | Getty Images
The Treasury Department released guidelines Tuesday detailing new wage and apprenticeship standards firms must meet to qualify for tax incentives under the Inflation Reduction Act.
"I want to send a message to investors, developers, contractors looking at clean energy projects," said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh. "I encourage them to take advantage of all these opportunities. They are more than tax incentives, they're powerful tools for building a skilled workforce."
The standards go into effect on Jan. 29, 60 days from the announcement.
"We felt it was critical to work quickly to provide initial high level clarity around these important labor standards," said Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. "You now have concrete guidance on how to find those wage rates so as to comply to the Inflation Reduction Act's requirements."
The Inflation Reduction Act, which became law in August, allocated $369 billion toward addressing climate change through clean energy initiatives. The majority of the investment, around $270 billion, is through direct tax incentives.
The administration on Tuesday further detailed steps needed for companies to qualify for the tax incentives. Firms have to pay workers the prevailing wage for their area and abide by rules for the use of apprenticeship programs. The prevailing wage is determined by the Department of Labor and posted on its sam.gov website.
"The central component of this law is the strong labor standards put in place to ensure that the jobs we're creating is part of our transition to a clean energy economy of good paying, high-quality jobs, and that those job opportunities are broadly accessible," Yellen said. "Workers should benefit from the clean energy economy they're helping to build."
The prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements are needed for companies to receive the Advanced Energy Project Credit, the Alternative Fuel Refueling Property Credit, the Credit for Carbon Oxide Sequestration, the Clean Fuel Production Credit, the Credit for Production of Clean Hydrogen, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction, the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit and the Renewable Energy Property Investment Tax Credit.
The prevailing wage stipulation is also required for the New Energy Efficient Home Credit and the Zero-Emission Nuclear Power Production Credit.
As part of its guidance for receiving the credits, Treasury also outlined record-keeping requirements and the definition of when a project officially begins.
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On May 13, State Senator Meghan Kallman PhD’16 introduced a state senate bill proposing a public option for affordable housing in Rhode Island which would allow the state to directly fund construction projects through a state agency. Since then, the Ocean State has taken various approaches to Improve affordable housing options.
In June, the state legislature passed a budget including a $10 million pilot program for the state to develop a pilot housing project. In August, Governor Dan McKee signed a bill establishing a statewide Department of Housing — a proposal included in Kallman’s bill. In November, the state announced that $166 million in funding would be made available for affordable housing.
But Kallman’s Create Homes Act, co-sponsored by six other Democratic state senators including Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, did not pass. At a Zoom meeting Monday evening, progressive organizing group Reclaim RI discussed the bill and its path forward.
Rhode Island’s housing crisis forces the state to use all available affordable housing funds from the federal government, said Paul Williams, founder and director of the Center for Public Enterprise, a think tank focused on creating public housing options. Williams spoke alongside Brandon Welch, a Reclaim RI policy director, at the event.
By allocating Department of Housing funding to develop cross-subsidized projects that economically balance losses from low-income tenants with rent from higher-income tenants, the state could increase its supply of affordable housing, Williams said.
“The private market won’t meet that need because it can’t generate the profits it wants with rents that are affordable to low and moderate-income people,” Williams said.
The initial bill called for using funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, but Reclaim RI Co-Chair Daniel Denvir noted that other funding methods are possible, such as a tax on housing speculation or a tax on second homes.
Current Rhode Island law requires that towns and cities make 10% of their available housing affordable — but only six of 39 communities met that requirement as of 2021, according to HousingWorks RI’s 2021 fact book.
“Clearly, Rhode Island has not had a comprehensive plan historically for housing overall and for affordable housing,” Welch said.
An increase in state-developed affordable housing would impact everyone, Welch added. Lower-cost options would force landlords to “compete in honest terms.”
The bill, as written in May, also includes a provision allowing the state to overrule “exclusionary housing laws” in cities and towns that do not meet the 10% threshold — while offering increased education funding to any state that voluntarily exceeds the threshold, according to event slides.
Additionally, it provides for the creation of a land bank, prevents the sale of “social housing to corporate entities” and calls for the “preservation and renovation” of existing multifamily housing, according to event slides.
Williams noted that while some concerns about the program have emerged, the pilot program funded this past summer can serve as a “test case” for questions regarding tenant governance and the financing of publicly developed housing.
That pilot program, Denvir added, marks a “paradigm shift,” despite the original bill’s failure to pass.
“We believe it’s the first direct state investment in creating new public housing perhaps since the 1930s,” he said.
For the bill to reach McKee’s desk this spring, a handful of developments have to occur, Welch explained. First, funding for the bill must make it into the 2024 budget — but the bill itself will also need to be reintroduced. The success of the reintroduced bill will partially depend on it being introduced earlier in the legislative session, which begins in January.
“Hopefully, the bill can be introduced early so it receives the attention it needs and can be passed during the session,” Welch said. A number of people “interested in the bill” and who believed it had merit thought it “came too late.”
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Will Kubzansky is a University News editor from Washington, D.C. who oversees the admission & financial aid and staff & student labor beats. In his free time, he plays the guitar and soccer — both poorly.