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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

May 28, 2019 South Africa's Carbon Tax Set To Go Into Effect Next Week

Source: NPR

A carbon tax in South Africa will go into effect on June 1. President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the measure into law on Sunday, making South Africa one of about 40 countries worldwide to adopt a carbon-pricing program.

May 23, 2019 Revealed: 1.6m Americans live near the most polluting incinerators in the US

Source: The Guardian

Lower-income and minority communities are exposed to majority of the pollution coming from waste-burning plants, report finds

May 22, 2019 Climate change: Global sea level rise could be bigger than expected

Source: BBC

This new study, based on expert opinions, projects that the real level may be around double that figure. This could lead to the displacement of hundreds of millions of people, the authors say.

May 21, 2019 Whole Foods eliminating plastic straws from US stores in July. Expect new chicken, too.

Source: USA Today

Whole Foods Market is eliminating disposable plastic straws from its stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom in July, the company announced Monday.

May 20, 2019 Why the Guardian is changing the language it uses about the environment

Source: The Guardian

The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world. Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and...

May 20, 2019 How Chase And The Big Banks Undermine Climate Action

Source: International Business Times

But the fact is that any progress on this front is close to impossible if billions continue to be poured into coal, oil and gas projects. And that’s exactly what big banks continue to do.

May 15, 2019 The relationship between corporations and climate change

Source: World Finance

This sentiment was echoed last year by a Ceres initiative, known as the Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy, or BICEP, when over 1,000 companies signed on to a “coordinated effort to combat climate...

May 13, 2019 Another Montana and Wyoming coal operator declares bankruptcy

Source: KBZK TV

GILLETTE, Wyo.- One of the last big coal companies operating in Montana and Wyoming declared bankruptcy Friday. Cloud Peak Energy, which operates three coal mines in the Powder River Basin, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday...

May 13, 2019 CO2 in the atmosphere just exceeded 415 parts per million for the first time in human history

Source: Tech Crunch

For the first time in human history — not recorded history, but since humans have existed on Earth — carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 415 parts per million, reaching 415.26 parts per million, according to sensors at...

May 10, 2019 First-Ever Record of 400 Years of El Ninos Shows They Really Are Getting More Brutal

Source: Science Alert

A new category of El Niño has become far more prevalent in the last few decades than at any time in the past four centuries. Over the same period, traditional El Niño events have become more intense.

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