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Global Warming and Climate Change, Global Warning Information, Updates

Global Warming and Climate Change

Updated January 2011

The year 2010 ended with an enormous blizzard that engulfed the northeast US, paralyzing New York and Boston and much of the Atlantic Coast.  That storm was followed almost three weeks later  by yet another severe snow storm that had the same effect.  Speculation started immediately that these events had their  roots in global warming – Time Magazine wrote:

“The World Meteorological Organization recently reported that 2010 is almost certainly going to be one of the three warmest years on record, while 2001 to 2010 is already the hottest decade in recorded history. Indeed, according to some scientists, all of these events may actually be connected.”

Just a few days before at the CNN debate on climate change, UN Climate Secretary Christiana Figueres said that “private businesses are better placed than governments to tackle global warming because they can act faster...”  There appeared to be an agreement at the event that the urgency to reduce carbon emissions was such that business could not afford to wait for governments to act.

Prior to the UN-sponsored Cancun Climate Conference in December 2010, the world's largest global investors were urging the conference delegates and the US Congress to “take action now in the fight against global warming or risk economic disruptions far more severe than the recent financial crisis.”

Unfortunately, at Cancun and the year before in Copenhagen, government progress to address climate change only inched slightly forward.  But while government consensus moved by inches, the scientists tell us we should be moving by miles   – or do they?

The last two years has seen the debate of the existence of human-caused climate change -- or any climate changed -- challenged by doubters.   Some poor science conducted by some believers/ supporters, followed by unfortunate media reporting and the issues identified as hot in the recent Congressional elections saw weak support for global warming among Americans. Witness this: “The poll, one of four annual surveys conducted by Shelton Group, surveyed 1,098 Americans who at least occasionally buy green products and found only about half believe climate change is occurring and caused by human beings…”

While the majority of the American  public apparently are yet to believe in the problems of climate change and global warming and world governments unable to agree on a course of action, AC will continue to focus on potentially one of the greatest issues world society faces. Since this section was begun in April 2008 more than 1,200 articles, commentaries and reports  have been posted for our readers.  No doubt there is more to come.  (We invite you to tell us where you stand on the issues.)

 -----------------------------

Institutional investors are focused on the potential or rising risk posed by climate change to the companies they hold in portfolios.  “Climate change,” “global warming” and “sustainability” (of the company owned, over the long-term) are trigger phrases now for all manner of shareholder activities – and corporate responses. The argument is not always about “if” climate change is occurring or “who” or “what” is responsible – often, the investors now ask:  What is the company doing to prepare for and mitigate the risk?  Investors have many questions:  Has the company charted its “carbon footprint” – has management taken steps to inform shareowners of real or potential climate change risks – what are the potential costs of mitigating such risks – and more.

Looking to put muscle behind these requests, shareowners are filing numerous proxy petitions (shareholder sponsored proxy resolutions) on the ballot in 2008.  Coalitions are being formed to address climate risk issues at public companies.  On September 18, 2007, a broad coalition of investors, state officials with regulatory and fiscal management responsibilities, and environmental groups filed a landmark petition asking the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to require publicly-traded companies to assess and fully disclose their financial risks related to climate change issues. The coalition formally asked the Commission's Division of Corporation Finance to immediately begin "[c]losely scrutinizing the adequacy of registrants' climate disclosures" under existing law.

The institutional investors involved represent $1.5 trillion in managed assets and include major public employee pension funds, state treasurers and comptrollers, state attorneys general and major environmental organizations.  Their “First of a Kind” resolution will create major waves on Wall Street and in the corporate suites as the campaign goes on.   (This issue is not going anyway anytime soon.)

The coalition includes the Environmental Defense, Ceres, the California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Maine State Treasurer David G. Lemoine, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, North Carolina State Treasurer Richard Moore and Oregon State Treasurer Randall Edwards, as well as New York State Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo.

The Securities and Exchange Commission staff had no immediate reaction, but in the overall dialogue regarding shareholders rights, federal regulations and corporate governance, this measure landed like a bombshell in Washington, DC.  Accountability-Central will continue to present news and commentary as the climate change issue unfolds and various capital markets players present their views and opinions.

Learn more about climate change: http://www.learnstuff.com/climate-change-and-global-warming-an-objective-overview/

 

 


Latest on Global Warming and Climate Change

October 24, 2014 E.U. agrees to cut emissions by 40% by 2030

Source: Fortune

European Union leaders patched over their differences to agree new long-term targets for emissions of greenhouse gases. At a summit meeting that dragged on until the early hours of Friday morning, heads of government from the...

October 24, 2014 Food giants Cargill and General Mills believe in climate change. Will they defend themselves from it?

Source: Grist.org

When I think about companies like Cargill and General Mills, I don’t exactly imagine a den of climate hawks. So I’ve been surprised to see a string of announcements from food industry giants about their environmental initiatives....

October 23, 2014 As The Weather Changes, So Do Beliefs About Climate Change

Source: Science 2.0

Who can forget the winter of 2013-2014? Record-breaking cold temperatures and heavy snowfall hit from the Rocky Mountains all the way to the East Coast. Although the majority of Americans still believe that global warming is...

October 23, 2014 The Future of Energy: How to Transition to a Renewable Economy

Source: GreenTech Media

We need to ride the waves already our way and do our best to start new waves...

October 23, 2014 China's coal use falls for first time this century, analysis suggests

Source: Guardian(UK)

The amount of coal being burned by China has fallen for the first time this century, according to an analysis of official statistics. China’s booming coal in the last decade has been the major contributor to the fast-rising...

October 23, 2014 How to Divest Your University from Fossil Fuels

Source: The Seattle Globalist

Last week Glasgow University became the first academic institution in Europe to commit to pulling all investments out of fossil fuels. They will phase out $29 million in investments over the next ten years.

October 23, 2014 Climate change: EU eyes new green energy targets

Source: BBC

An EU summit gets under way shortly in Brussels aiming for agreement on carbon emission cuts that could make Europe a global leader again in climate policy.

October 23, 2014 Climate talks told to ease rifts as heat busts record

The Business Insider - AFP/File Giuseppe CacaceThe UN's îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC) says that on current trends, the planet could be up to 4.8 C warmer by 2100 and sea levels up to 82...

October 22, 2014 Why Climate 'Uncertainty' Is No Excuse For Doing Nothing

Source: Science 2.0

Former environment minister Owen Paterson has called for the UK to scrap its climate change targets. In a speech to the Global Warming Policy Foundation, he cited “considerable uncertainty” over the impact of carbon emissions on...

October 22, 2014 7 industries at greatest risk from climate change

Source: CNBC

Rising temperatures and sea levels, along with increased incidence of extreme weather events, pose a threat to the global economy. Global infrastructure spending, public food supply, health and surging demand for energy are among...

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