The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame | EURACTIV.com


It’s been exactly a year since the HLEG released its Final Report. The long-awaited recommendations were well received and highlighted the critical role of public policy in shifting capital flows to support the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.

A few short months later, the European Commission released its Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth and soon after released the three legislative proposals that have shaped the progression of work since then, covering the disclosure of sustainability risks, a pan-European taxonomy to classify environmentally friendly activities, and low-carbon benchmarks.

However, other HLEG proposals are lagging somewhat behind. The work on investors’ duties, which covers a whole set of recommendations as to how sustainability risks should be integrated in investment decisions is one example. We did not see the omnibus proposal recommended by the HLEG, and work on this topic is progressing slowly.

Source: The beacon of sustainable finance in Europe must not lose its flame – EURACTIV.com

CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn | EURACTIV.com


As global emissions continue to rise, hopes of containing the planet’s warming “well below 2°C” – the headline target of the Paris Agreement – are fading by the day, according to a new report by the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC).

This means carbon removal technologies “will need to take on increased importance in the EU’s climate change strategy this year and in the near future,” EASAC said in a new report published on Tuesday.

Source: CO2 removals ‘increasingly necessary’ to avoid climate disaster, scientists warn – EURACTIV.com

Government’s Growing Problem: Paying Its Technical Debt | Nextgov


In many ways, the definition of technical debt is still being defined.

But pretty much everyone agrees that it’s mostly based on the cost of maintaining aging software and systems, especially those which have existed well beyond their expected or planned lifecycles.

So in essence, an agency buys software or a computer system and takes on some technical debt right away because in addition to whatever the item costs, they need to pay people to maintain it.

Hopefully, when a system is new, that does not involve too much labor. However, many agencies try and hold on to systems as long as they can to avoid new capital expenses, even though that often means adding manual processes and patches to maintain security and usability. So the technical debt of owning that system grows.

There was a House hearing back in 2015 about IT modernization where some shocking facts about technical debt, though it was not commonly called that quite yet, came to light. It might have also been the first time that The Pareto Principle, first conceived in 1896, was applied to government IT.

The Pareto Principle states that for many events, 80 percent of the effects can be contributed to 20 percent of the causes.

For government IT, it was discovered that 75 percent of the IT budget in 2015 was earmarked for operating and maintaining legacy equipment, with only 25 percent going to new technology buys.

Source: Government’s Growing Problem: Paying Its Technical Debt – Nextgov

A Brief History of Presidential Lethargy – Management – GovExec.com


No one doubts the job of president of the United States is stressful and demanding. The chief executive deserves downtime.

But how much is enough, and when is it too much?

These questions came into focus after Axios’ release of President Donald Trump’s schedule. The hours blocked off for nebulous “executive time” seem, to many critics, disproportionate to the number of scheduled working hours.

While Trump’s workdays may ultimately prove to be shorter than those of past presidents, he’s not the first to face criticism. For every president praised for his work ethic, there’s one disparaged for sleeping on the job.

Source: A Brief History of Presidential Lethargy – Management – GovExec.com

GTY Buys Six Tech Firms to Create Public Sector-Focused Software Company | GovCon Wire

GTY Technology Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: GTYH), a special purpose acquisition company founded by former Accenture (NYSE: ACN) and EMC executives, has wrapped up its purchase of six technology companies in a push to expand presence in the public sector market.

The deals resulted in the formation of a new software company that consolidates Bonfire Interactive, CityBase, eCivis, Open Counter Enterprises, Questica and Sherpa Government Solutions, Las Vegas-based GTY said Tuesday.

“The public sector is undergoing an extensive digital transformation,” said Stephen Rohleder, the combined company’s chairman and CEO.

Source: GTY Buys Six Tech Firms to Create Public Sector-Focused Software Company – GovCon Wire

Congress bucks DHS on bid to move cyber research funding | FCW


Congress rejected a bid to shift about $90 million in cybersecurity research funding to a newly formed agency at the Department of Homeland Security in the recent funding bill.

The Science and Technology Directorate at DHS will retain that funding, which DHS sought to move to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

Source: Congress bucks DHS on bid to move cyber research funding — FCW

Judge issues stay in JEDI protest case | FCW


Oracle’s lawsuit against the Department of Defense looking to stop its $10 billion cloud buy is being frozen temporarily while DOD probes conflict-of-interest allegations.

Judge Eric Bruggink of the Court of Federal Claims issued a stay in the case Feb. 19, in response to a motion from the DOD. According to the brief order, DOD is reconsidering “whether possible personal conflicts of interest impacted the integrity of the JEDI Cloud procurement.”

The DOD’s motion seeking the stay remains under seal.

The conflict-of-interest allegations stem from the participation of two individuals in the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure procurement with strong ties to Amazon Web Services, the vendor widely seen as having the inside track in this procurement because of its work provisioning classified cloud services for the intelligence community.

Source: Judge issues stay in JEDI protest case — FCW

Why Saudi Arabia Is Investing $20 Billion in Pakistan | Time


Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been shunned by much of the world after the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October, which the CIA concluded he had ordered. A-list executives pulled out of his Riyadh investment forum (dubbed ‘Davos in the Desert’), street protests greeted his arrival in Tunisia in November, and there were reports Morocco’s King Mohammed VI snubbed him on a visit to the North African country.

That wasn’t the case earlier this week in Pakistan, however, which bestowed its highest civilian award on the young Saudi prince, gave him a gold-plated gun, and declared Monday a public holiday in honor of his two-day visit to Islamabad.

“Saudi Arabia has always been a friend in need, which is why we value it so much,” Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said Sunday, while seated next to MBS, as the crown prince is known. Earlier Saudi’s de-facto leader had announced investments in Pakistani petrochemicals, power generation, and mining projects worth more than $20 billion.

Source: Why Saudi Arabia Is Investing $20 Billion in Pakistan | Time

Donald Trump’s Emergency Declaration Faces Legal Challenges | Time


The central issue at play is a constitutional question: whether Trump’s emergency declaration violated Congress’s constitutional authority to appropriate funds. But the “they” in Trump’s scenario— “they will sue us”— turned out to be several groups with specific concerns about the effects of building a border wall.

Here’s a look at four court challenges Trump’s emergency declaration will likely face.

Source: Donald Trump’s Emergency Declaration Faces Legal Challenges | Time

Is the Future of Grocery Shopping B.Y.O. Container? | EcoWatch


If you think this is going to be yet another column admonishing you for not doing enough to curb the amount of single-use plastic in our waste stream, you can relax. You don’t need a lecture at this point.

You might already know, for instance, that global consumer culture has generated more than 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since the middle of the last century, and that we currently produce 300 million tons of it a year, half of which is made up of items used only once.

And you’re probably aware that roughly 8 million metric tons of this discarded plastic ends up in the ocean, where it threatens marine life of all kinds. It’s unlikely anyone needs to tell you that every year we throw enough plastic away to circle the planet four times, or that a mass of plastic waste floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean is three times the size of France.

Source: Is the Future of Grocery Shopping B.Y.O. Container? – EcoWatch