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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 5, 2014 New study finds 99.999 percent certainty humans are causing global warming

Raw Story - The 2013 îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî Fifth Assessment Report provided an expert consensus that: It is extremely likely [defined as 95-100% certainty] that more than half of the observed...

September 5, 2014 Coal Plant Gets EPA’s First-Ever Approval To Inject Carbon Emissions Underground

Source: Climate Progress

The Environmental Protection Agency for the first time on Tuesday issued permits to allow a coal-fired power plant to capture its carbon dioxide emissions and inject them deep underground, a process that many hope could help...

September 5, 2014 New York, Miami and Boston at risk of rising sea levels

Responding To Climate Change - US: More than 1,700 American cities and towns â including Boston, New York, and Miami â are at greater risk from rising sea levels than previously feared, a new study has found. (The...

September 5, 2014 Half of all Americans impacted by drought are in California

Source: Central Valley Business Times

The National Water and Climate Center says the 38 million people who live in California are joined by 35 million in other states who are living in a drought-affected area.

September 5, 2014 Limited water presents challenge for natural gas fracking

Source: LA Times

Extracting natural gas for energy from shale rock deep underground requires lots of water, but much of the world's shale gas is in regions where water is already scarce, including part of California, according to a study issued...

September 4, 2014 Water Needs to be a Dedicated Sustainable Development Goal

iede.co.uk - UNITED NATIONS, Sep 02 (IPS) - Addressing delegates at the 24th World Water Week in Stockholm, the Executive Director of the îStockholm International Water Instituteî (SIWI) Torgny Holmgren said water...

September 4, 2014 Carbon emissions from electricity grid rise after carbon price repeal

Source: The Guardian

Carbon emissions from the electricity grid rose after the repeal of the carbon price, with analysts predicting further increases as coal-fired power takes a greater share of Australia’s energy mix.

September 4, 2014 New York climate summit is a chance to push for long-term climate neutrality

Source: The Guardian

This month, the UN secretary general will host a major climate summit: it is a moment in time for heads of state, cities, organisations, and companies to announce bold new initiatives to address climate change in the short to...

September 4, 2014 Study: Global warming to heighten risk of Southwestern megadroughts

Source: Washington Post

Exceptional drought, the most severe category, afflicts over 58 percent of California. The current drought may be a mere sneak preview of longer lasting and more devastating drought in the coming century, according to a study...

September 4, 2014 Water Wars: Californians Stealing From Hydrants Amid Drought

Source: ABC News

The worsening drought in California is taking a toll on citizens, some of whom are stealing water in the middle of the night from fire hydrants, officials said.

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