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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
September 9, 2016 California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs New Climate Change LawsSource: NPR
...the state will ratchet up its fight against climate change by launching an ambitious campaign to scale back emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
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September 8, 2016 Climate Change Makes Flooding Like Louisiana’s More LikelySource: Slate
Global warming has dramatically increased the likelihood of the type of torrential rainfall that flooded Louisiana last month, according to a new study by government and private sector scientists. Researchers working with the...
September 8, 2016 Norway’s Sovereign-Wealth Fund to No Longer Invest in Duke EnergySource: Wall Street Journal
OSLO—Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund, the world’s largest, said it would no longer invest in Duke Energy Corp. over the Charlotte, N.C.-based utility’s environmental record, a rare move against a specific company to penalize...
September 6, 2016 A tale of clean cities: Strong local leadership key to solving urban sanitation challengeSource: Reuters
A staggering 54% of the global population now live in urban areas, and city infrastructure is struggling to keep up in many countries, leaving millions without access to clean water and toilets and dramatically increasing the...
September 6, 2016 The media loves doomsday stories about the West’s water crisis. Here’s what they miss.Source: Vox
With California facing the worst drought in the historical record and Lake Mead dropping to its lowest level ever, there are plenty of worries that the region’s vast agricultural regions will one day wither and cities will run...
September 6, 2016 The Oceans Can’t Protect Us Anymore—Here’s WhySource: National Geographic
The oceans, which have borne the brunt of most of global warming, have finally hit their limit as dying corals and plummeting fish stocks signal that the seas are at a dangerous tipping point, according to the broadest ever look...
September 6, 2016 Landfalling Typhoons Have Become More IntenseSource: Climate Central
In the Northwest Pacific, already a hotspot for tropical cyclones, the storms that strike East and Southeast Asia have been intensifying more than those that stay out at sea over the last four decades, a new study finds.
September 1, 2016 Arctic sea ice will miss record low despite major melt, experts saySource: The Guardian
Though Arctic sea ice started the summer at record lows, it is unlikely to set a new record annual minimum, reports Climate Central
Source: The Guardian
Australia the only country to receive a rating of ‘very poor’ in a majority of categories in Climate Transparency scorecard
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