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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: October 2017

DKT Nigeria’s Omolara Aluko Wins 2017 Bill & Melinda Gates Institute “120 Under 40” Award

Press Release – Washington, D.C: DKT International is proud to announce that Omolara “Lara” Aluko of DKT’s Nigeria program is a recipient of the 2017 “120 Under 40” award, created by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. The “120 Under 40” award recognizes the accomplishments of the next generation of leaders in family planning.

“Omolara’s work has been instrumental in the nationwide development and implementation of radio and television programs that discuss family planning and contraception in a refreshing, interesting and interactive manner,” says Dimos Sakellaridis, Country Director of DKT Nigeria. “We are excited that our social marketing efforts have made great strides in educating young women and couples about contraceptives- giving Nigerians the power to shape their lives and futures.”

Aluko will be one of 120 outstanding leaders given this award by the year 2020, in recognition of the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) partnership. DKT International continues to work towards its commitment to FP2020, with a goal of providing an incremental 10 million couple years of protection (CYPs) above and beyond what it would otherwise have provided by the end of 2020.

DKT Nigeria’s Honey & Banana brand, offering information and contraceptive options, has amassed over 7,000 followers on Twitter and 65,000 on Facebook in less than a year. This success on social media is the result of fun advertising, user engagement, and the integration of radio shows and TV specials. Honey & Banana campaigns have spurred some of DKT’s most recent successes in Nigeria, including the introduction of Sayana Press and the TV premiere of “Contraceptive Chat with DKT Nurses.” After just a few weeks on air, the television and radio shows generated 2,000 calls from listeners and viewers with questions of contraceptive methods and myths.

In 2016, DKT Nigeria sold over 47 million condoms, 600,000 emergency contraceptive pills, over 430,000 oral contraceptives, 33,000 implants, 51,500 IUDs and over 4 million misoprostol tablets. DKT began to offer Sayana Press injectable contraceptives in 2015, and has sold over 750,000 units. Overall in 2016, DKT Nigeria provided over two million couple years of protection (CYP) and averted 195,964 unintended pregnancies, 4,420 maternal deaths, 5,390 child deaths and 686,433 unsafe abortions.

“We are extremely proud of the work and contributions of Lara Aluko and the continued success of DKT Nigeria in reaching new users with modern contraceptives,” adds Chris Purdy, President and CEO of DKT International.

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YWCA USA Statement on Las Vegas Mass Shooting

Press Release –

Statement by YWCA USA CEO Alejandra Y. Castillo

“We at YWCA USA are shocked and horrified by the mass shooting of concert goers in Las Vegas. Fifty-eight people are dead and more than 500 injured at this time. The impact of tragic events like this is overwhelming for those who witness it, but can also impact others who have been touched by violence in the past. We must come together as a community and provide support for those who have been impacted by this devastating act of violence. Let us strengthen our communities by caring for each other and work to root out violence and hate wherever it may be.”

Learn what you can do to address violence during YWCA’s Week without Violence, October 16-20, 2017


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, stand up for social justice, help families, and strengthen communities. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families.

YWCA has been at the forefront of the most pressing social movements for more than 150 years — from voting rights to civil rights, from affordable housing to pay equity, from violence prevention to health care reform. Today, we combine programming and advocacy in order to generate institutional change in three key areas: racial justice and civil rights, empowerment and economic advancement of women and girls, and health and safety of women and girls. Learn more:

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IIX Catalyzes Impact Investing in the Pacific with Pacific Trade Invest Australia

Press Release – SINGAPORE, 2 October, 2017 – IIX announces the signing of a letter of engagement with Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia), the lead trade and investment promotion agency in the region, to catalyze growth of the impact investing market across the Pacific Islands. Drawing on PTI Australia’s extensive network in the region, IIX will begin to effectively build the market for impact investing beginning in aquaculture and agriculture sectors with plans to expand the ecosystem deeply across sixteen pacific island countries and the surrounding oceans. This understanding between IIX and PTI Australia aims to drive economic growth in the region while highlighting the potential of women-focused enterprises in the agriculture, ecotourism and fisheries industries.

Chad Morris, General Manager, Investment & Tourism, PTI Australia said that he welcomes formalizing the relationship between the two initiatives. “IIX is achieving great things in the impact investment space. I’m excited about the opportunities formally strengthening our relationship brings for the people of the Pacific Island countries.”

IIX Founder, Durreen Shahnaz, expresses, “The Pacific is a region brimming with innovative companies tackling the pressing social and environmental challenges of today. IIX is beyond excited to work with leading institutions to strengthen the impact investing movement and apply a multi-stakeholder approach to sustainable development across the pacific island countries that are some of the most vulnerable countries in the world.”

IIX officially extended its reach into the Pacific earlier this year working in the fisheries sector and then expanding its involvement with support from PTI Australia and Pacific Readiness for Investment in Social Enterprise (Pacific RISE). Pacific RISE is an innovative initiative of the Australian Government established to pioneer and facilitate a social impact investment market in the Pacific. With the support of Pacific RISE, IIX has facilitated an accelerator program with Australian Business Ventures and are looking to support impact enterprises with a gender lens. Together, Pacific RISE and IIX also educated global investors on the potential of impact investing in the region through an online webinar series. Both PTI Australia and Pacific RISE are supported by the Australian Government via the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).

About IIX:

Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) is a Singapore-based impact enterprise that builds pathways to connect backstreets of underserved communities to the Wall Streets of the world through impact investing. IIX investment platforms and innovative financial products enable impact enterprises to accelerate their business and scale their positive impact, while pushing the impact investing space from the margins to the mainstream. To date, the work of IIX has spanned 20 countries and continues to expand with the mission of unlocking US$5.6 billion of impact investment capital, impacting 300 million lives by 2022.

About Pacific Trade Invest Australia:

Founded in 1979, Pacific Trade Invest Australia (PTI Australia) is an Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)-funded Pacific Island agency that creates jobs in the Pacific Islands by facilitating trade and attracting impact investment into the region. With an extensive network and a deep understanding of the Pacific Islands, PTI Australia supports private sector growth to reduce aid reliance, making long-term, sustainable improvements to the region’s economy and the livelihoods of Pacific Islanders.

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Catch Every Kid and Costco Partner to Promote Family Flu Immunizations

The Catch Every Kid campaign from the Group Health Foundation returns for a second year with a focus on flu prevention and health for all children in Washington state.

Press Release – SEATTLE — Today kicks off the second year of Catch Every Kid, Group Health Foundation’s effort to promote childhood immunizations throughout Washington state. This year, Catch Every Kid has partnered with Costco to promote flu vaccination and prevention. Millions of people across the U.S. come down with the flu each year. And, while anyone can get the flu, kids catch it most often.

Catch Every Kid aspires to protect 100 percent of Washington children through vaccination, which is the best defense against the flu. Flu is highly contagious and can lead to serious complications such as bacterial pneumonia, other infections, worsening of chronic medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, and congestive heart failure, and potentially even death. Last year, Washington State Department of Health reported 276 flu related deaths, of which seven were from young people (aged 0-24).

“Last year, Washington state was hit hard by the flu and saw a record breaking number of fatalities. This is even more tragic because there’s a very good way to prevent flu. In fact, vaccinations help decrease the chance of getting the flu by 50 percent,” said Sam Selinger, MD, Group Health Foundation Board member. “We want everyone to have access to the life-saving immunizations they need.”

The Foundation also emphasizes the need to vaccinate your whole family against the flu early this Fall before flu season hits hard. Dr. Selinger notes, “Flu and any communicable disease can spread fast, especially with kids. Most people are contagious before they even realize they have the flu.” Healthy adults can infect others one day before flu symptoms develop, but young children and people with weakened immune systems can spread the flu even earlier. Once flu symptoms develop, people with flu are contagious and do not feel well for up to another week.

This year, getting your vaccination is even easier. Costco and Catch Every Kid are teaming up to make flu vaccinations part of your regular Costco trip: just stop into a Costco Pharmacy with kids starting at age four between October 1 and October 31. No appointment needed. You can make the stop at the Pharmacy go even faster by filling out this form prior to your visit. For children between the ages of six months and four years old, check with your local pharmacy or doctor’s office.

“We believe everyone should have access to vaccinations, and want to make it even easier to protect Washington’s residents by reaching people where they already are,” Dr. Selinger added. “In addition to getting the flu vaccine at Costco, you can also ask about other important and life-saving vaccinations for your family, such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Chicken Pox, Pertussis, Shingles, and HPV.”

The Group Health Foundation is a philanthropic organization in Washington state. Catch Every Kid is a Momentum Fund of Group Health Foundation that aspires to protect 100% of Washington state children through vaccination. We’re partnering with Costco Pharmacies across the state of Washington and Cliff Avril, a professional football defensive end, to help spread the word and provide access to immunizations.

For more information, please visit

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OXXO Partners with The Susan G. Komen Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness

OXXO supports #breastcancer awareness during the month of October together with the World’s Largest Breast Cancer Organization

Press Release – Hollywood, FL, October 3, 2017OXXO Care Cleaners®, the environmentally friendly garment cleaning franchise that was first to use GreenEarth® solvents while offering 24/7 ATM-style service, announced today that it will partner with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the ONLY organization that addresses breast cancer on multiple fronts such as research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives in order to make the biggest impact against the disease, throughout the month of October to support breast cancer awareness.

“This month, OXXO, together with our employees, customers and the local community will proudly support Susan G. Komen’s Foundation through a Cause Marketing Campaign and will create awareness about the critical need to find a cure for Breast Cancer. We are involving every one of our franchise stores in this effort. OXXO has also created its very own “OXXO Cares for the Cure” team of runners that will participate in the Race for the Cure 5k on October 14th. We are truly passionate about this cause and hope to raise significant funding for the organization,” said Salomon Mishaan, CEO & Founder of the OXXO Care Cleaners franchise.

“OXXO was founded on the “we care” principle. We are proud to support Breast Cancer Awareness month through the Susan G. Komen Foundation,” said Elizabeth Pereira, Marketing Manager at OXXO. “We will obtain monetary donations for the organization by distributing flyers in the Community and among our customers, creating a social media awareness campaign, and conducting a mass email marketing campaign. We will also distribute online flyers among our customers and via the Greater Hollywood Chamber of Commerce website,” she added.

To participate, community members and customers can donate in the OXXO Cares for Cancer Donation box located at all of our stores or donate online.

Other recent OXXO community affairs efforts included the Broward Peanut Butter and Jelly Drive, Operation Backpack at the Broward Pantry, the Red Nose Event with Walgreens. Tomorrow’s Rainbow, South Broward High School Band Club, aid for the Women in Distress of Broward County, and Day of Giving to the American Red Cross.

OXXO is excited to hint that it will launch a “surprise” year-long campaign later this month in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Stay tuned!!

About OXXO®

OXXO® is an environmentally-responsible dry-cleaning franchise in the United States. At OXXO®, customers experience the ultimate in garment care with the use of environmentally safe GreenEarth solvents (no use of Perc (Perchloroethylene) chemicals common at other dry cleaners) and now TOP Terra for regular laundry, the latest 24/7 ATM-style pick up service, the most technologically advanced European manufactured garment care equipment and the traditional method of hand-ironing. All garments are cleaned right the first time and personally inspected by OXXO® garment care specialists to ensure superior handling and meticulous attention to detail. Visit for more information and the OXXO® nearest you. For more information about the OXXO Care Cleaners® franchise opportunity, call 1.866.462.6996.

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Jet Linx “Dares You To Tutu” For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Raising Awareness and Funds in Partnership with The Tutu Project

Press Release – OMAHA, Neb. – Oct. 2, 2017 – For the third consecutive year, Jet Linx has partnered with The Tutu Project to continue its heartfelt (and whimsical) approach to the fight against breast cancer. Throughout the month of October, in tandem with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Jet Linx’s entire network of clients, friends and team members across 14 Base locations nationwide come together and don pink tutus in support of The Tutu Project and The Carey Foundation.

Bob Carey, the talented photographer behind The Tutu Project, founded the organization with his wife, Linda, after she was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. In an effort to put a smile on Linda’s face during her darkest days of fighting the disease, Bob began taking photos of himself in a pink tutu.

Today, Bob helps inspire thousands with his awe-inspiring photos and is at it again with a limited edition Jet Linx Tutu Project photo. The photo will be available for silent auction at Jet Linx Base locations and featured in the official 2018 Tutu Project wall calendar. Additionally, Jet Linx will donate $20 as part of its Every Tutu Counts social media campaign for each photo submitted to a Jet Linx Base with the iconic tutus and the #Dare2Tutu hashtag. To date, Jet Linx raised a total of $27,395 for the organization through the #Dare2Tutu social media campaign, silent auctions and member donations. Jet Linx pilots will also be bringing awareness to the skies, with flight crew members wearing pink ties for the month of October.

“It is one of the most fun and rewarding charities we participate in” said Jamie Walker, President & CEO of Jet Linx. “Jet Linx team members, alongside our generous community of clients and friends, proudly wear pink tutus in a bold effort to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer and The Tutu Project.”

“We are very excited that this is our third year working with Jet Linx,” said Linda Carey, co-creator of The Tutu Project & President of the Carey Foundation. “They have been wonderful to work with and they have helped us reach our goals of helping to make the lives and women and men living with breast cancer easier.”

For more information on Jet Linx’s charitable support for The Tutu Project, or to join the movement please visit

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Michael Kors Announces Highlights Of 2017 Watch Hunger Stop Campaign To Fight Global Hunger

Press Release – NEW YORK OCTOBER 1, 2017 — World Food Day is on October 16 and Michael Kors is dedicating the month to new products and activities designed to support Watch Hunger Stop, the brand’s campaign to fight global hunger. Now in its 5th year, Watch Hunger Stop raises funds and awareness to help achieve a world with Zero Hunger. The brand’s partner in the effort is the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), and funds go to support WFP’s school meals program, which reaches over 16 million children in almost 70 countries each year with vital nutrition that helps them fulfil their potential. Thus far, Watch Hunger Stop has enabled WFP to deliver more than 15 million meals to children in need.

“Our multi-year partnership with Michael Kors has resulted in a significant contribution toward progress in the fight against global hunger,” says Rick Leach, President and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Over the past five years, the school meals program, a focus of the Michael Kors effort, has played an enormous role in empowering hungry children with the nutrition they need to succeed in the classroom and lift themselves out of poverty.”


Actress, author, entrepreneur and humanitarian Kate Hudson is again lending her talents to support Watch Hunger Stop, the brand’s annual campaign to fight global hunger. This past June, Hudson traveled with WFP to Siem Reap province in Cambodia to see how the funds raised through Watch Hunger Stop help WFP feed and support children in need. During the field visit, Hudson visited schools, farms and family homes, asking questions and sharing her irresistible warmth and energy. She spoke with local WFP staff members, helped cook school meals and played with children, thoroughly immersing herself in the details of the school meals program and the lives of those it affects.

“This is the third year I’ve had the honor of collaborating with Michael on this important cause,” says Hudson. “In June, I visited schools in Cambodia, where the funds raised by Watch Hunger Stop enable the United Nations World Food Programme to feed children so they receive the nutrition they need to grow and to finish their education. It was an amazing experience­—I can’t wait to share everything that I saw and learned there.”

“I’m thrilled and grateful that my friend Kate is joining us once again in our efforts to end hunger,” says Michael Kors. “She and I share the belief that if we all work together, this is a problem we can solve. Watch Hunger Stop supports WFP’s school meals program, improving the lives of children who deserve the chance for a healthy, happy future. We’re proud to be able to help.”


This year’s Watch Hunger Stop campaign features illustrations by award-winning artist Clym Evernden. Known for his distinctive ink-based style, Evernden graduated from Central Saint Martins, where he studied fashion design. He has contributed to several campaigns for Michael Kors, including for the opening of the Regent Street flagship store. Watch Hunger Stop is the artist’s first philanthropic campaign, and his bold, inviting designs add a vibrant dimension to the Watch Hunger Stop message. Speaking about his artwork, Evernden explains that he “aimed to create strong images that have an immediate global appeal. The use of my spontaneous and instinctive ink line encapsulates the message of the campaign to generate rapid help for those in need, promoting a feeling of proactive involvement.”


Special-edition watches have been a part of the Watch Hunger Stop effort since its inception, with 100 meals donated to WFP for each watch sold.* This year’s highlight is a special edition of the just-launched Michael Kors Access Sofie touchscreen smartwatch.

Featuring a thin, lightweight body with a dazzlingly sharp, full round display, the Watch Hunger Stop Sofie is a sleek, glamorous, black-plated style with a gunmetal pavé top ring and pavé checkered bracelet. It includes the latest iteration of the Michael Kors Access app, with added functionality including My Social, a feature that allows the user to link to his or her Instagram or Facebook account directly on their smartwatch and set a personal post photo as a watch face. A pre-loaded digital face designed for Watch Hunger Stop is available only on this watch.

Like all MICHAEL KORS ACCESS wearables, the Watch Hunger Stop Sofie is compatible with both iOS® and Android™ phones, is powered by Android Wear™ 2.0, Google’s smartwatch platform, and boasts a Qualcomm® Snapdragon Wear™ 2100 processor. Android Wear 2.0 expands the smartwatch experience through customizable dials, user-friendly notifications and messaging, downloadable third-party apps, and help from your Google Assistant.

The Michael Kors Access Watch Hunger Stop Sofie touchscreen smartwatch is sold exclusively in select Michael Kors stores worldwide and on official Michael Kors websites through March 31, 2018, and retails for $395.


An especially stylish way to help Watch Hunger Stop is to buy a pair of black-and-cobalt-blue Lon sunglasses. These special-edition aviators feature flat, mirrored lenses that lend the classic silhouette a modern edge. Each pair sold delivers 100 meals to children through WFP.*

Watch Hunger Stop Lon sunglasses are available in sizes for both men and women, and are sold exclusively in select Michael Kors stores worldwide and on official Michael Kors websites through March 31, 2018. They retail for $159.


Share The Meal is the world’s first app against global hunger. An initiative of WFP, Share The Meal has bright, charming graphics, an effortless interface, and a wealth of facts and photos about people and places you’re delighted to get to know. With Share The Meal, you can donate as little as $.50 with a tap on your screen—and know you’ve helped someone. It’s got all the makings of the perfect daily ritual. Download the Share The Meal app at


Building on last year’s success, Michael Kors has once again created a Watch Hunger Stop Snapchat geofilter, available from October 1-31. Visit a Michael Kors store in the US, Canada or the UK, snap using the special geofilter, and 25 meals will be donated to WFP.**


Every year, Michael Kors designs a new Watch Hunger Stop t-shirt. This year’s t-shirt, designed by Clym Everden, will be given away—no purchase necessary—at select Michael Kors stores around the world from October 14-16. Post a selfie in your t-shirt tagged with #WatchHungerStop and Michael Kors will donate 50 meals to WFP.***


During the month of October, customers can make a donation to Watch Hunger Stop at the register in select Michael Kors stores around the globe.

In select countries, visitors to can follow the on-screen link to donate to WFP directly. In the US, users can also text the word MKHUNGER to 50555 to make a $5 gift (message and data rates may apply).

“Every year I’m inspired by the enormous outpouring of generosity for Watch Hunger Stop from our customers and fans,” says Michael Kors. “And every year we try to make it even easier for anyone who wants to help to get involved. It’s incredible to be a part of this community of people around the world working to end hunger, and I know that if we continue to work, we’ll make it happen.”

For more information, visit:

Watch Hunger Stop:

Destination Kors:

Michael Kors on Facebook:

@MichaelKors on Twitter:

@MichaelKors on Instagram: – (and via mobile)

Michael Kors on Pinterest:

To order the product, visit

To learn more about WFP, visit

World Food Programme on Facebook:

@WFP on Twitter:

Android Wear™ requires a phone running Android 4.3+ or iOS 8.2+. Supported features may vary between platforms. Visit on your Android phone or iPhone® to see if your device is compatible.

Google, Android and Android Wear are trademarks of Google Inc.

iPhone is a trademark of Apple, Inc. Qualcomm and Snapdragon are trademarks of Qualcomm Incorporated.

* For each purchase of these Watch Hunger Stop items from a Michael Kors retail store or official Michael Kors website, Michael Kors will donate US $25 (equal to 100 meals) to WFP. WFP does not endorse any product or services.

** The donation for one snap using the Snapchat Watch Hunger Stop geofilter = $6.25 = 25 meals. Michael Kors will donate up to 1,000,000 meals for the use of the geofilter.

*** While supplies last. The donation for one Watch Hunger Stop t-shirt selfie = $12.50 = 50 meals.

About Michael Kors

Michael Kors is a world-renowned, award-winning designer of luxury accessories and ready-to-wear. His namesake company, established in 1981, currently produces a range of products under Michael Kors Collection, MICHAEL Michael Kors and Michael Kors Mens, including accessories, ready-to-wear, footwear, wearable technology, watches, and a full line of fragrance products. Michael Kors stores are operated in the most prestigious cities in the world. In addition, Michael Kors operates digital flagships across North America, Europe and Asia, offering customers a seamless omni-channel experience.

About the World Food Programme

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. You should not place undue reliance on such statements because they are subject to numerous uncertainties and factors relating to the operations and business environment of the Company, all of which are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the Company’s control. Forward-looking statements include information concerning the Company’s possible or assumed future results of operations, including descriptions of its business strategy. These statements often include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate” or similar expressions. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on assumptions that the Company has made in light of management’s experience in the industry as well as its perceptions of historical trends, current conditions, expected future developments and other factors that it believes are appropriate under the circumstances. You should understand that these statements are not guarantees of performance or results. They involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Although the Company believes that these forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, you should be aware that many factors could affect its actual financial results or results of operations and could cause actual results to differ materially from those in these forward-looking statements.

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Weather Events Intensified By Climate Change & Health Costs Due Fossil Fuel Burning Stunt U.S. Growth

Climate Action Outweigh The Escalating Economic Losses And Costs

Press Release – Economic losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and 76 wildfires in nine Western states, intensified by human-induced climate change, will be the most costly combined weather events in U.S. history.

When the final accounting is completed, the economic losses of these three hurricanes and the wildfires, which happened within one month, could cost nearly $300 billion in damage, 70 percent of the 92 weather events of at least $1 billion in the last decade (Figure 1).

Extreme weather events causing at least $1 billion in economic losses, by decade

Added to the damages of extreme severe storms, hurricanes, floods, droughts and wildfires are the enormous health expenses of burning fossil fuel, the main cause of climate change. Total cost on average is now $240 billion a year (Table 1), excluding the catastrophic events this August and September and excluding climate related economic losses in the agricultural sector and associated with heat stress on humans.

Economic losses: weather events intensified by climate change & health costs from fossil fuel use during the last decade

Sources: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2017).; Energy Policy: The International Journal of the Political, Economic, Planning, Environmental and Social Aspects of Energy, Air pollution emissions and damages from energy production in the U.S.: 2002–2011, Paulina Jaramillo (Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University) and Nicholas Z. Muller (Department of Economics, Middlebury College)

This annual average economic losses and health costs equal about forty percent of the current growth of the U.S. economy, according to a new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States, published online ( by the Universal Ecological Fund.

In the next decade, these economic losses and health costs are projected to reach at least $360 billion annually equal to an estimated 55 percent of the U.S. growth. These escalating costs are due to the continued use of fossil fuels triggering the climate to continue to change.

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain,” says Sir Robert Watson, coauthor of the report and former Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading scientific body on climate change.

“The evidence is undeniable. These recent extreme weather events are a continuation of a three decades trend of increasing numbers, intensities and costs of severe storms, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and wildfires. Simply, the more fossil fuels we burn, the faster the climate continues to change and cost. Thus, transitioning to a low-carbon economy is essential for economic growth and is cheaper than the gigantic costs of inaction.”

These massive costs fall mainly on individuals and families, not the Government or the private sector, says the new report.

“We can expect extreme weather events and economic losses and costs associated with them to continue increasing unless we make dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” says James McCarthy, Ph.D., coauthor of the report and Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University. “The Trump Administration is determined to maximize the use of America’s fossil fuels –coal, oil and natural gas— as well as to cut energy industry regulations. This is taking us the opposite direction.”

Alternatively, addressing this problem can ensure economic growth and create jobs.

“Clean and sustainable energy just requires smart decisions and smarter investments,” says Liliana Hisas, Executive Director of Universal Ecological Fund (UEF) and coauthor of the report.

Soaring number of extreme weather events

“Weather events are the result of natural factors. However, human-induced climate change has altered their intensity and frequency substantially and measurably,” explains Dr. Watson, Director of Strategic Development at the U.K’s Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.

For example: the number of extreme weather events with at least $1 billion in economic losses and damages have increased by almost 2.5 fold, totaling 92 in the last decade (2007-2016), compared to 38 in the 1990s and by more than 4 fold, compared to 21 in the 1980s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Centers for Environmental Information.

In the latest 10-year span, the economic losses from these extreme weather events – droughts, wildfires, severe storms, hurricanes and flooding—have almost doubled, from $211.3 billion in the 1990s to $418.4 billion in the last decade.

In the latest 10 years, weather events of less than $1 billion are estimated at about $100 billion in damages or $10 billion for 80 events a year, compared to $50 billion or $5 billion for 60 events a year in the 1990s.

Hardest hit states by extreme weather events

Not all states are impacted in the same way by extreme weather events.

Texas had 49 events that contributed to or exceeded $1 billion in economic loss, since 2007.

Hurricane Harvey is the most damaging of all these events (Map and Table 2).

Number of extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic losses, by state
The map shows the increasing frequency of billion dollar events (it does not indicate that each state impacted by multi -state extreme weather events has suffered $1 billion in losses for each event)

Number of extreme weather events causing more than $1 billion in economic losses. by state & decade

The table shows the increasing frequency of billion dollar events (it does not indicate that each state impacted by multi -state extreme weather events has suffered $1 billion in losses for each event)

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2017).

The states impacted with economic losses of at least $1 billion from extreme weather events in the last decade are:

  • Severe storm: Texas (32, a more than a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Kansas (24, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Oklahoma and Illinois (23 each, a more than a four-fold and almost a six-fold increase respectively, compared to the 1990s), Missouri (21, a more than a five-fold increase, compared to the 1990s) and Tennessee (18, more than a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Hurricane: Alabama, Louisiana and Virginia (4 each, a two-fold increase, compared to the 1980s); Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland and Connecticut (3 each, a 50 percent increase compared to the 1990s); North Carolina (3); and Mississippi and New Jersey (3 each, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Flooding, as a result of severe storms and hurricanes: Louisiana and Missouri (4 each, a four-fold increase, compared to the 1990s); Texas (3); and Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas and Iowa (3 each, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Drought: California (8, with no billion-dollar droughts in the 1990s or 1980s), Idaho (7, with no billion-dollar droughts in the 1990s), Oregon and New Mexico (6, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Oklahoma (6, a two-fold increase compared to the 1990s), Kansas (6, a three-fold and two-fold increase respectively, compared to the 1990s and 1980s) and Texas (6, a three-fold increase, compared to the 1990s).
  • Wildfire: California (6, a two-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Arizona and Oregon (6, a six-fold increase, compared to the 1990s), Idaho (6, with no billion-dollar wildfire events in the 1990s), Texas, Nevada, Washington and Colorado (5 each, a five-fold increase compared, to the 1990s) and Montana (5,with no billion-dollar events in the 1990s).

The economic impact for a single state can be severe. For example, in August, 2016, 30 inches of rainfall fell in a few days, flooding southern Louisiana. As a result, more than 50,000 homes, 100,000 vehicles and 20,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed. The economic losses due to the floods in Louisiana were $10 billion. Some 75 percent of those affected by the record Louisiana rainfall were uninsured.

In these severe storms, hurricanes, flooding, droughts and wildfires, many individuals, families and businesses lost everything.

Impact on agriculture

Climate change is changing rain patterns. Because agricultural production in the U.S. mainly depends on rain, farmers are especially being hit. Since 2012, farmers across the Central and Western U.S. have suffered $56 billion in economic losses, due to the persistent drought.

The production of corn and soybean –the largest crops in the U.S.—could experience a 20 to 30 percent decrease within the next three decade, if action to address climate change is not taken. Thus, corn and soybean producers could potentially lose $17 to $25 billion annually.

Unhealthy air

Combined with weather events are unhealthy air costs, caused by fossil fuel burning. More than 43 million Americans live in an area with unhealthy air pollution. These costs due to air pollution exposure caused by energy production in the U.S. were estimated at about $188 billion in 2011.

Emissions regulations on the energy sector reduced air pollution health damages by 35 percent or almost $67 billion a year –from $255 billion in 2002.

“The costs of health damages due to air pollution exposure caused by energy production will increase without regulations to the energy industry,” says Dr. Watson. “Individuals and families will have to pay these health costs, either directly or through increased insurance premiums.”

Coastal Cities

Coastal cities such as Miami, Boston, New York, Seattle and San Diego are at most risk due to sea level rise, caused by climate change.

“The question is when and how much sea level will rise,” says Dr. McCarthy. “Lives and almost $1 trillion worth of real estate in coastal areas are at stake.

“The quantity of greenhouse gases that has accumulated in the atmosphere increase global temperature, and in turn warm the oceans. Hurricanes, like Harvey, Irma and Maria, gain strength and moisture traveling over warmer water, making them larger, stronger and more intense, especially endangering coastal cities.”

Fossil fuels account for 80 percent of U.S. energy

Coal, oil and natural gas currently account for just over 80 percent of the primary energy generated and used in the U.S. This percentage has decreased slightly over the last two decades. As a result,

82 percent of America’s greenhouse gas emissions are solely from carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel burning. It is these CO2 emissions, driving the observed climate changes.

Despite the escalating costs and economic losses on U.S. lives, health, homes, businesses and livelihoods, the U.S continues to rely on fossil fuels to produce energy, which includes electricity, fuel and natural gas.

“Every time you turn on the light on or start your car, you are contributing to climate change,” says Ms. Hisas. “Everyone is part of the problem and everyone is part of the solution.”

Economic growth and job creation with climate action

Securing sustained economic growth and job creation –a priority for the current Administration for the next four years in the U.S.– requires generating energy differently, according to the new report. It also requires a more efficient use of energy in all sectors –residential, commercial, and industrial and transportation.

Relying on fossil fuels for economic growth was how many economies grew in the 19th and 20th centuries. More than a century ago, the consequences of burning fossil fuels were not known and understood; they were not appreciable then either. Today, however, they are.

Climate action can provide economic growth and job creation in these ways:

Changing the energy equation

Carbon-free and sustainable energy can provide the additional energy needed in the U.S. Clean energy can also significantly increase the energy employment, now employing 1.9 million workers, via:

Renewable Energy. 10 percent of the energy (or 15 percent of electricity generation) used in the U.S. currently comes from renewables –solar, wind, bioenergy, hydropower and geothermal (Table 3).

Energy use in the U.S. by source, 2016

*Less than 1 % of electricity is used by public mass transit systems and by electric vehicles.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy

Half of the electricity generated by renewables are solely from solar and wind, or about 7 percent of the electricity used in the U.S. These technologies provide almost 500,000 jobs, including manufacturing, construction, project development, operations and maintenance. Jobs in the solar industry grew 17 times faster than the overall job creation in the U.S. economy. In 2016, the solar workforce increased by 25 percent, accounting for 374,000 jobs or more than 40 percent of the employment in the generation of electricity in the U.S.

While a major transition to renewable energy is required, even doubling the solar and wind generation capacity will create 500,000 new jobs. It will also provide sustainable clean electricity, only requiring an initial investment in installation, but there will be significant savings for users in the long-term, due to low operating costs.

Most importantly, doubling the solar and wind generation capacity will reduce the share of electricity generation from fossil fuels (natural gas and coal) by 23 percent –from the current 65 to 50 percent.

The expansion of these renewable technologies will, in turn, make their costs much more competitive and accessible.

Workers in the extraction of natural gas and coal in Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming can with training and investments greatly benefit from these new jobs in renewable energy.

Nuclear. Electricity produced with nuclear power accounts for 9 percent of America’s energy (or 20 percent of electricity generation). Nuclear power provides carbon-free energy and is now safer.

Sixty nuclear power plants in the U.S. employ about 70,000 workers. Two new nuclear reactors are planned for Georgia and an additional four new nuclear power plants are to be built in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas. These new plants will provide at least 10,000 new jobs in the generation of electricity.

Using fossil fuels responsibly

Fossil fuel power plants can be consistent with job creation and a low-carbon economy.

Currently, fossil fuel power plants generate 65 percent of the electricity used in the U.S., contributing 39 percent of the U.S. CO2 emissions. Natural gas and coal are the main sources of electricity generation, accounting for 34 and 30 percent respectively.

The 220,000 workers employed by these fossil fuel power plants may feel threatened by the need to switch the generation of energy to address climate change. However, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies which bury CO2 deep underground would allow the continuing burning of fossil fuels to responsibly meet America’s energy needs.

Of the 16 large-scale CCS plants in operation in the world, eight are in the U.S. An additional CCS plant will be operational this year, placing the U.S. at the top of technological innovation in using fossil fuels responsibly.

Power generation with CCS is still in its infancy and still requires more research and development for its large-scale deployment, according to Dr. Watson. More pilot programs will need to be implemented, since more than 1,000 electric power plants burn fossil fuels in the U.S. (256 use coal and 816 use natural gas).

The research, construction and maintenance of CCS plants could double the current number of workers in energy construction, creating 250,000 additional jobs, while securing the jobs of those currently employed by fossil fuel power plants.

Fusion is an example of new technology being tested to generate electricity. Fusion is the human replication of the mass-to-energy conversion of hydrogen in the core of the Sun that gives the Earth light and warmth. This highly complex process has been duplicated at facilities in San Diego, Princeton, Russia, U.K., Germany and South Korea.

Right now, the International Fusion Energy Organization (ITER), a collaboration of 35 countries, is constructing the largest controlled fusion device ever built in France to prove the viability of fusion.

Fusion is clean, abundant, safe and economic. ITER estimates that the first fusion plants will start coming on line in the mid-2040s.

Innovation and new technologies

New technologies to produce carbon-free energy will also have to be tested and deployed, such as locally produced advanced biofuels from forest and crop residues or municipal and construction waste, and biofuels derived from algae with subsequent sequestration of CO2.

Currently, about 300,000 workers dedicated to research, architecture, and engineering to support energy generation technologies. An additional 50,000 jobs will accelerate the identification, testing and deployment of innovative technologies to generate sustainable clean energy.

Using energy more efficiently

Reducing fossil fuel use will be easier and faster in some sectors of the economy than others. Thus, promoting energy efficiency in those sectors is a key element of ensuring economic growth while taking climate action.

For example, a critical sector of the economy is transportation. Gasoline, diesel and jet fuel –all petroleum-based fuels— account for 92 percent of the energy used in the transportation sector; natural gas is another 3 percent. The remaining 5 percent is biofuels –ethanol and biodiesel—that is added to gasoline and diesel fuel.

These fuels are used in 263 million cars, trucks, motorcycles; 6,676 aircrafts (passenger and cargo), 132,500 transit and commuter buses and rail cars; 397,500 freight trains and locomotives; 11.8 million recreational boats and 465 vessels (tankers, passenger and cargo ships) to transport individuals, passengers and goods throughout the U.S.

Using transportation more efficiently and promoting vehicle performance improvements will ensure that travelling and trade meets needs and demands, while using less fuel.

“This is why it is essential that the Trump Administration support, or ideally, strengthen the 2025 fuel efficiency standards negotiated between the Obama Administration and the automobile industry,” says Dr. McCarthy.

“Reducing the 95 percent fossil fuel use for transportation will require more research to develop alternative biofuels on a large-scale, without compromising food production,” says Dr. Watson. “It also requires electric cars powered by renewable energy.”

Programs to provide consumers with financial incentives to purchase electric cars will make the transition faster and more accessible.

Other sectors that can greatly benefit from energy efficiency include:

  • 136 million U.S. homes and buildings where 324 million people live.
  • Offices, hospitals, schools, police stations, places of worship, warehouses, hotels, shopping malls and industries (manufacturing, agriculture, and construction) where 160 million people work in the U.S.

Generating strategic investments

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy and increasing the efficient use of energy in all sectors will require strategic investments. Much of the revenue for these investments could come from a carbon tax.

The aim of a carbon tax is to reduce emissions, promote a more efficient use of energy and encourage the transition away from fossil fuels.

The potential revenues from a tax on carbon emissions could be up to $200 billion in the U.S.

within the next decade, according to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A carbon tax will increase the cost of gasoline for fuel users. However, a carbon tax will promote a much more efficient use of vehicles and stimulate the transition to electric cars.

“Protecting Americans from the escalating economic losses and costs due to the impacts of climate change can happen. It will require increased efficient use of energy in all sectors, the share of carbon-free electricity to doubled or tripled, and fossil fuel generation with CCS to expanded, along with installing a carbon tax,” says Dr. Watson.


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