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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 23, 2015 Why You Should Feel Optimistic About A Global Climate Deal

Source: Think Progress

Think Progress - director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists and an expert on domestic and international climate change policy. The atmosphere is very different than it was six years ago in the run-up to...

November 23, 2015 The Paris Climate Summit Is A Step Closer To Solving Global Warming

Source: The Science Times

There have been 138 world leaders that confirmed in attending the fast approaching climate talks in Paris. Just a week ago after the incident that claim at least 130 lives, a big event is about to happen in the city concerning...

November 19, 2015 Colorado unveils plan to manage water amid drought, demand

Source: Salon

DENVER — The snow that falls on the Colorado mountains melts into trillions of gallons of water every year, and most of it flows downstream to Mexico, California and 17 other states. On Thursday, Colorado will release its...

November 19, 2015 Climate risk becoming a pressing issue for investors and governance alike - These figures are similar, but not identical, to Bloomberg New Energy Finance's own data, showing a 19% rise in clean energy investment last year, to $318bn. In related news, the UK Department for Energy and...

November 19, 2015 Big Antarctic ice melt scenarios 'not plausible'

Source: BBC News

Scientists say the contribution of a melting Antarctica to sea-level rise this century will be significant and challenging, but that some nightmare scenarios are just not realistic.

November 18, 2015 In Coal Setback, Rich Nations Agree to End Export Credits

Source: Bloomberg

Members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development struck an historic agreement Tuesday to scale back public financing for coal-fired power plants, dealing another blow to the industry ahead of a global summit...

November 18, 2015 Barack Obama 'Optimistic' of Paris Climate Summit Success

Source: NDTV

Manila, Philippines: US President Barack Obama said today he was optimistic an elusive deal to contain global warming could be forged at an upcoming crunch summit in Paris, and insisted an ambitious deal would boost a flagging...

November 18, 2015 Meeting a Global Carbon Limit Is Cheaper Than Avoiding One

Source: Scientific America

It is a steep hill to climb if the world is to avoid warming the earth's surface by no more than two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the limit beyond which we will seriously harm the planet. That number is driving the...

November 18, 2015 To tackle climate change cheaply, first secure indigenous forest rights

Mongabay - Investing in forest rights for indigenous peoples and local communities can yield massive economic benefits in averted carbon dioxide emissions, according to a report the Washington, D.C.-based NGO World Resources...

November 18, 2015 Could Climate Change Trigger Another Genocide?

Source: Pacific Standard

When a true expert like Yale University’s Timothy Snyder says that climate change could bring on conditions similar to those that led to the Holocaust, you sit up and listen. onEarth talked to the history professor about his new...

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