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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 3, 2016 Monarch butterflies make impressive comeback in Mexico’s Wintering Grounds

Source: Maine News Online

Monarch butterfly population has bounced back as per the data collected from Mexico. Officials at the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced that a surge has been seen in the population of wintering monarchs in Mexico. The...

March 2, 2016 Climate activists threaten to shut down world's major coal sites

Source: The Guardian

Climate activists will use direct action to try to shut down major fossil fuel sites across the world in May, including the UK’s largest opencast coal mine in south Wales.

March 2, 2016 EU not seen increasing emissions targets despite Paris deal: draft

Source: Reuters

EU regulators will say this week the European Union does not need to set a more ambitious greenhouse gas target until the next decade, a text seen by Reuters shows, even though the Paris climate deal stipulates a preliminary...

March 2, 2016 Experts assess the impact of climate change on public health

Source: Phys.org

Climate change is already having a noticeable impact on the environment and global health. Around the world extreme weather events, increased temperatures, drought, and rising sea levels are all adversely affecting our ability to...

March 2, 2016 Parts of Great Barrier Reef face permanent destruction due to El Nino: scientists

Source: Reuters

Parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef face permanent destruction if the current El Nino, one of the strongest in two decades, does not ease this month, scientists said on Wednesday.

March 2, 2016 Dry spell ate away at snowpack of drought-ridden California

Source: Washington Post

An unwelcome three-week winter dry spell left the California snowpack at just 83 percent of average, a setback for the state as it tries to break out of record drought, state snow surveyors found Tuesday.

February 29, 2016 Washington considers nation's first carbon emissions tax

Source: Oregon Live

SEATTLE — Washington could become the first state in the nation to impose a direct tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels such as coal, gasoline and natural gas.

February 29, 2016 Warren Buffett says it's 'highly likely' climate change poses a major problem for the planet

Source: Techinsider

Buffett writes that he is not denying the science showing that climate change will likely be a problem. But he's just not 100% certain that it will be.

February 29, 2016 Emissions on the rise from Australia's largest climate polluters, data shows

Source: The Guardian

Australia’s biggest climate polluters increased their emissions in the year to July 2015, according to the latest data from Australia’s Clean Energy Regulator.

February 29, 2016 As sea levels rise, economic damage piles up even faster: study

Source: Reuters

Extreme floods whipped up by storms will become ever more costly for cities as ocean levels edge up around the world's coasts in coming decades, they wrote in a study that could help guide governments budgeting to protect...

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