A new report finds that state agencies face challenges when soliciting Justice40 projects from historically underserved areas

A new report finds that state agencies face challenges when working to implement Justice40 goals. Justice40 is an initiative included in President Biden’s Executive Order 14008, signed on January 27, 2021. The initiative laid out the goal that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The order stipulated that government agencies consult with disadvantaged communities to find the best ways to achieve this goal.

Externalities, energy, and the internet

Data center technology processing passed the milestone of consuming 1% of world energy in 2010 and is projected to increase to 6% by 2030, according to a 2020 Science magazine study  by Eric Masanet, Arman Shehabi, Nuoa Lei, Sarah Smith, and Jonathan Koomey. The authors suggest that governments may need to take on a more considered approach to expanding data centers to meet the growing demand. State and local economic developers offering incentives to recruit data centers may want to take particular note. The non-captured costs, or externalities, of information processing hubs are mounting as the pace of human-induced climate change increases.    

Entrenched parties, resistance to change, stifling economic opportunities in ESG

By April of 2023, state legislatures had filed 99 anti-ESG bills, according to Reuters. Many of these bills are motivated by the perception that investors who prioritize environmental, social, and governance (ESG) compliance by companies in which they are investing are imposing their political beliefs on others. Furthermore, some believe that ESG considerations inhibit investors and thus hurt returns. On the other hand, some critics of these bills argue the opposite: that it is restricting ESG investing that jeopardizes investment returns. In fact, Research from Pitchbook found ESG investing can have as big a return as investing in non-ESG-driven investments.

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor says US entrepreneurship is on the rise

Those who gather data know that the results collected in 2020 during pandemic shutdowns do not reveal actual trends. This phenomenon was the case for a recent survey by Babson College researchers for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Adult Population Survey (GEM APS). They found that rates of entrepreneurship, which had been on the rise since 2015, dropped in 2020. However, their newest research shows an upward trend in 2021 and 2022, when the U.S. had the highest levels of entrepreneurial activity since their first survey in 1999. In 2022, 19% of working-age adults were in the process of running a business or were running a company less than 42 months old.

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