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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 13, 2015 The Secrets in Greenland’s Ice Sheets

Source: NY Times

The ice sheets covering Greenland and large areas of Antarctica are now losing more ice every year than they gain from snowfall. The loss is evident in the rushing meltwater rivers, blue gashes that crisscross the ice surface in...

November 12, 2015 Apocalyptic China scenes ahead of climate talks

Source: USA Today

Thick, toxic smog blanketed the country’s northeast over the weekend, reaching levels more than 50 times what the WHO considers safe. In Shenyang, a city of more than 8 million people, pollution readings were “the highest ever,”...

November 12, 2015 New Study Says Sea Levels May Not Rise as Quickly as Predicted

Source: Morning Ticker

A number of studies done in the last year are predicting that sea levels will rise as much as 10 feet due in part to the rapid melting of the massive West Antarctic Ice Sheet, but a new study says the computer models overlooked...

November 12, 2015 Many States Trying to Combat Climate Change, Others Resist Reforms

Governing - "Look, this is already happening," said Rachel Cleetus, who oversees climate policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy organization. "Despite the legal challenges, the states themselves are moving...

November 12, 2015 UK becomes only G7 country to increase fossil fuel subsidies

Source: The Guardian

The UK is alone among G7 nations in dramatically increasing its fossil fuel subsidies, despite an earlier pledge to phase them out, a new report has found.

November 11, 2015 El Niño, one of three strongest recorded, brings high drought risk for Australia

Source: TheGuardian

The El Niño in the Pacific is now one of the three strongest ever recorded. The Bureau of Meteorology said sea surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, a key driver of the climatic phenomenon, were 2.4C...

November 11, 2015 Ambitious climate change agreement in sight – Fabius

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An ambitious agreement on limiting global warming is within reach, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday after a meeting of ministers ahead of the U.N. climate summit in Paris in December.

November 10, 2015 Why universities and industry should collaborate on climate change

The Christian Science Monitor - Many organizations and institutions see the merit of collaborating with industry to tackle climate change, such as Ceres, the national NGO mobilizing business leaders to build a thriving,...

November 10, 2015 Earth To Paris Countdown: 30 Days Until Summit Convenes Experts, Advocates, Influencers and CEOs to Discuss Climate Action During COP21

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Now only one month away, Earth to Paris, a coalition of partners helping to drive awareness about the connection between people and planet and the need for strong climate action, is gearing up to host “Earth To Paris—Le Hub” a...

November 10, 2015 Did ExxonMobil commit securities fraud by denying climate change?

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New York state's attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, and US Rep. Ted Lieu (D) of California are both looking into whether the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company intentionally misled the public and company...

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