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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

March 26, 2015 Leaders of European cities make pledge to tackle climate change

Source: The Guardian

Leaders and representatives of 30 European cities will gather in Paris on Thursday to declare their commitment to “clean” policies to fight climate change. Officials will also sign a declaration agreeing to use their collective...

March 26, 2015 EPA Grilled At Supreme Court Over Refusal To Consider Costs

Source: Forbes

The Environmental Protection Agency got a skeptical reception at the U.S. Supreme Court over its refusal to consider costs when it imposed new pollution controls on electric power plants, as conservative justices asked whether it...

March 26, 2015 How much of the world's fossil fuels can we burn?

Source: The Guardian

The much-quoted three numbers of climate change have raised awareness of the simple fact there’s far more fossil fuel than we can burn and the more we extract, the greater the risk of climate catastrophe – but they don’t tell us...

March 25, 2015 Expert: America 'one-sided' on climate change

Source: The Desert Sun

Stanford University professor Jon Krosnick has been studying Americans' attitudes about global warming for nearly two decades and has found in repeated polls that a large majority see climate change as a threat to future...

March 25, 2015 Five Reasons China Should Care About Climate Change

Bloomberg - reporting on the latest assessment of the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî on website China Dialogue last March. One particularly frightening impact will be a marked increase in extreme weather...

March 25, 2015 Chile says drought here to stay, lays out plan to ensure water

Source: Reuters

With no end in sight to a drought that has blighted Chile for the last several years, the government will invest in desalinization plants and reservoirs to ensure access to potable water, President Michelle Bachelet said on...

March 25, 2015 Americans' Rating of Environment Inches Up to Record High

Source: Gallup

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Half of Americans rate the overall quality of the environment as "excellent" or "good," the most positive views of the environment since Gallup began asking this question in 2001.

March 25, 2015 Future of coal, climate and communities debated at hearing

The Charleston Gazette - And Jeremy Richardson, a physicist and energy expert with the îUnion of Concerned Scientistsî, said that West Virginia could also follow the lead of Kentucky, which is using the coal...

March 25, 2015 Beijing schedules closure of final coal-fired power plants

Power Engineering - There is also a drive to restart its nuclear power programme. Emissions fell 2 per cent in China in 2013, the first decline since 2001, according to a Bloomberg îNew Energy Financeî estimate based...

March 24, 2015 World Water Day overshadowed by shortage crisis

Source: The Weather Channel

A new U.N. report revealed that the world could suffer a 40 per cent shortfall in water by 2030 unless dramatic changes are made.

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