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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

February 20, 2015 Winter storms ease California drought

Source: Reuters

Wet winter storms that dropped up to a foot (30 cm) of rain on parts of California have modestly eased the state's ongoing drought over the past three months, U.S. drought experts said on Thursday.The portion of California in the...

February 20, 2015 Is 'Net-Zero' Carbon Goal to Rescue the Climate Plausible?

Source: Inside Climate News

Scientists and policy experts say the time has come to phase out carbon emissions entirely; Shell, Exxon and BP call it an unrealistic idea.

February 20, 2015 Melting Arctic And Weird Weather: Is Climate Change At Work Here?

Source: Science 2.0

Everyone loves to talk about the weather, and this winter Mother Nature has served up a feast to chew on. Few parts of the US have been spared her wrath. Severe drought and abnormally warm conditions continue in the west, with...

February 20, 2015 The UK must fight for better World Bank environment policy

Source: The Guardian

Destroying eco-systems, devastating forests, threatening vulnerable species, hurting the poor, increasing inequality, facilitating corruption, warming the planet, promoting “unfair trade” and encouraging human rights abuses, the...

February 20, 2015 Arsenic, nitrates among pollutants in California drinking water: report

Source: Reuters

California’s public drinking water systems violated safety levels for contaminants more than 1,000 times during the 2012-2013 fiscal year says a report that cites high levels in some water systems of arsenic, nitrates and other...

February 19, 2015 NASA Study Finds Increased Risk of U.S. Megadrought

Ecology - The Fifth Assessment Report, issued by the United Nations îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC) in 2013, synthesized the available scientific studies and reported that increases in evaporation...

February 19, 2015 Comment: Climate policy lessons to be learned from UK

SBS - Last week, the Government announced the first auctions would not be before April. Updated modelling from îReputexî revealed Direct Action would get Australia nowhere near our 2020 target without billions of...

February 19, 2015 Citi Makes $100 Billion Climate-Change Pledge

Source: American Banker

Citigroup will commit $100 billion to help reduce the effects of climate change over the next 10 years as part of a new sustainability initiative.

February 19, 2015 Costs of inaction mounting

StarPhoenix - Why this spectacular failure' According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, îenvironmentalî factors are responsible for 90 per cent of disease. Increased medical spending does little...

February 19, 2015 Miami is already sinking under rising sea levels

Grist - In 2014, the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî released its fifth Assessment Report, predicting that oceans would rise more than three feet by 2100. Those projections make for some alarming visions...

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