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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:



Latest on Global Warming and Climate Change

November 25, 2015 Reducing black carbon and methane emissions could reduce Arctic warming

Source: CBC News

Reducing emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, such as methane and black carbon, alongside carbon dioxide could help reduce the warming of the Arctic by up to 0.25 degrees by 2050, says a new report by the Arctic Council.

November 25, 2015 2015 likely to be warmest on record says UN weather body

Source: BBC News

Global average temperatures in 2015 are likely to be the warmest on record, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

November 25, 2015 World leaders see global-warming deal at hand -- at last

Source: USA Today

After years of conflict and inaction, 196 nations are hoping to finally reach agreement on a plan to combat global warming when they convene outside Paris on Monday for 12 days of negotiations.

November 25, 2015 Fresh water crisis? Parched United Arab Emirates turns to desalinated seawater

Source: Mlive

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — As skyscrapers and gleaming towers rose with lightning speed across the United Arab Emirates over the past two decades, the Gulf nation's thirst for water grew at an enormous rate — so much so...

November 24, 2015 NOAA Global Warming Study Under Fire

R & D Magazine - The study reports global surface temperatures are higher than reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and that the rate of warming for the first 15 years of the 21st century is on par with...

November 24, 2015 Not Good Enough: Meta-Analysis Of Climate INDC Studies

CleanTechnica - Last week, analysts Kelly Levin and Taryn Fransen of the World Resources Institute munched and crunched about a dozen very recent reports that examine how far the world's climate action commitments (intended...

November 24, 2015 Paris is Just One Piece of the Climate Change Puzzle

Council on Foreign Relations - Coauthored with Naomi Egel, research associate in the International Institutions and Global Governance program at the Council on Foreign Relations. Next week's Paris meeting on climate...

November 24, 2015 The Carbon Reduction Efforts Of The World’s Major Cities

Source: Think Progress

More than half the world’s population lives in a city, which means reducing the carbon footprint of urban areas is critical to keeping global warming below 2°C.

November 24, 2015 Allianz Exiting Coal Stocks on Climate Change, CIO Tells ZDF

Source: Bloomberg

Allianz SE is turning its back on coal as returns evaporate from energy generation that is harmful to the environment. Europe’s largest insurer plans to exit holdings in mining companies and utilities that derive more than 30...

November 24, 2015 Food Wastage Means Water Wastage at the Same Time

Food World News - Ruth Mathews, executive director of the Water Footprint Network, an organization founded in 2008 to advance sustainable water use, said that it is important to be aware how things are and where these things are...

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