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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 26, 2014 How Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world.

Source: Slate

Australians like to think of themselves as green. Their island country boasts some 3 million square miles of breathtaking landscape. They were an early global leader in solar power. They’ve had environmental regulations on the...

September 26, 2014 Capitalism Is Saving the Climate, You Hippies

Source: Daily Beast

One of the possible solutions to global warming and climate change is a rapid scaling up of technologies that allow humans to go about their business while emitting less carbon dioxide, or no CO2 at all. And increasingly, Wall...

September 25, 2014 These Actions Have Done The Most To Curb Carbon Emissions

Source: io9

As our leaders gather in New York for a UN meeting on climate change, it's fair to ask which measures to date have contributed the most to slow global warming. Because no one has really thought to ask this question, The Economist...

September 25, 2014 How carbon budgets can change climate negotiations

Phys.org - The Summit will build on both the recent report by the îIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeî (IPCC) and a new report on the economics of it all from a commission headed by former Mexican President...

September 25, 2014 Power firms: Watch your carbon, or watch your investors flee

Eco-business - Speaking to Eco-Business in a recent interview in Singapore, Joubert, who is also senior advisor and special envoy of energy and climate change at the World îBusiness Council for Sustainable...

September 25, 2014 Switch to Natural Gas Won't Reduce Carbon Emissions Much, Study Finds

Source: National Geographic

Switching from coal to natural gas for power generation won't do much to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and might even raise them slightly, in part because it will discourage the use of carbon-free renewable energy,...

September 25, 2014 We Don’t Have to Ditch Capitalism to Fight Climate Change

Source: Harvard Business Review

The risk of climate change is real, immediate, and very serious. If the vast majority of the doctors I consulted told me that consuming copious amounts of butter significantly increased my risk of a heart attack, I would take out...

September 25, 2014 'Water war' in Brazil as Rio's supply threatened

Daily Telegraph - A severe drought affecting Brazilâs biggest city has led to a âwater warâ that could cause the water supply to collapse in parts of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Authorities in...

September 24, 2014 Climate Change Will Be Solved in Cities--Or Not at All

Source: Scientific America

In the 1980s, the Chinese city of Shenzhen had some 300,000 mostly impoverished inhabitants. Today that city, the first to experience China's reforms and economic opening, has more than 15 million residents and also hosts another...

September 24, 2014 Drought Worsens China's Long-Term Water Crisis

Source: ABC News

The corn has grown to only half its normal height on Yan Shuqin's ranch in the hills of Inner Mongolia this year, as a swath of northern China suffers its worst drought in 60 years.

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