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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

October 6, 2014 These 10 Charts Will Show You The Danger Of Climate Change

The Business Insider - All over the world, coastal cities are in danger of being wiped out by floods. This chart, published by the îUnion of Concerned Scientistsî, focuses just on the United States, pointing out some...

October 5, 2014 Five lessons from the floods 2014

TNS - In its fifth assessment report, the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC) has strengthened its assessment that extreme rainfall will be a feature of climate change as weather patterns shift across...

October 2, 2014 Canada switches on world's first carbon capture power plant

Source: Guardian (UK)

Canada has switched on the first large-scale coal-fired power plant fitted with a technology that proponents say enables the burning of fossil fuels without tipping the world into a climate catastrophe.

October 2, 2014 'Ditch the 2C warming goal': Researchers suggest society is striving for a misleading, unattainable climate goal

Source: Phys.org

As climate instability increases across the planet, limiting global surface air temperature increase above pre-industrial levels to an average of 2° C (3.6° F) has become a popular metric for success in the public eye. Read...

October 1, 2014 Rio + 10 Series: A Brief History of the Earth Summits--From Rio to Johannesburg

Social Funds - The Rio Resolution was written by a consortium of social investors from social investment trade organizations in the UK, the U.S., Canada, and Australia, and the Europe-based International Association of Investors...

October 1, 2014 $22-trillion-strong investor funds call for climate action

Sydney Morning Herald - "Australia will be swept up in global progress on climate change policy whether it likes it or not," said Nathan Fabian, chief executive of the îInvestor Group on Climate Changeî, one of the...

October 1, 2014 Carbon Taxes Don't Kill Jobs

Source: Bloomberg View

Where they've been tried, the evidence shows, well-designed carbon taxes have succeeded in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. But that doesn't necessarily end the debate over their effects -- nor should it. The next question is...

September 30, 2014 It's Time to Abandon the Delusion of a Carbon Tax

Source: Huff Post

At the United Nations last week, President Obama urged the nations of the world to follow our lead and begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The president has moved aggressively to use the powers of the Clean Air Act to...

September 30, 2014 Money speaks louder than words in climate change fight

Source: Reuters

A growing movement of individuals and institutions selling off shares linked to fossil fuels has the power to galvanize global efforts to halt climate change, said the co-founder of a group that works with investors.

September 30, 2014 Paulson: Climate change is the biggest risk to the global economy

Green Biz - We are doing the same thing on climate change, said former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry M. Paulson Jr. At last week's 2014 îClinton Global Initiativeî, Paulson spoke on the panel "Confronting...

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