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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

April 16, 2020 Twin Catastrophes — COVID-19 & Climate Change — Highlight Need for Sustainability Focus

Source: Karma Impact

COVID-19 recovery requires a mindset akin to fighting climate change — shifting away from short-term results to focusing on sustainability and long-term resilience, McKinsey reports.

April 13, 2020 Polluted cities see clean air and water amid coronavirus shutdown

Source: Mercury News

With many cities shutdown, one of the positive side effects of the shelter-in-place orders around the world has been the reports of cleaner air and water.

April 10, 2020 Will COVID-19 lead to sustainable change?

Source: Investors-corner.bnpparibas

Will the world go back to ‘status quo’ when we exit this dislocation? Probably not. We believe the learnings from the ‘go-remote’ experiment are here to stay. The implications for the future of energy, real estate, work,...

April 8, 2020 Market Insight: What Does the Sustainability & Climate Change Profession Look Like During, and After, COVID-19?

Source: CSRWire

Communication and transparency are important right now. It is useful to share perspectives and information. Brevity is also important as there is a lot for us all to do, so here is a short update of Acre's observations.

April 8, 2020 Pollutionwatch: lockdown is boosting air quality but we can do more

Source: The Guardian

Reduced traffic due to coronavirus has cut pollution but there are other ways to help within the home

April 8, 2020 What's the carbon footprint of all our electronics?

Source: TreeHugger

One of the problems with trying to live a low-carbon lifestyle is actually figuring out what the carbon footprint of all the different things we do actually is.

April 2, 2020 Corporate sustainability officers are business’s latest climate-change weapon.

Source: Marie Claire

In fact, as a recent report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate tells us, aggressive climate action could deliver $26 trillion or more in economic benefits through 2030.

April 1, 2020 Barclays sets net zero carbon target for 2050 after investor pressure

Source: The Guardian

British bank Barclays has bowed to investor pressure over its climate track record and announced plans to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050. The bank has pledged to align all of its financing activities with the...

April 1, 2020 Yes, Electric Cars Are Cleaner, Even When The Power Comes From Coal

Source: Forbes

A new study by the universities of Exeter and Cambridge in the UK and Nijmegen in the Netherlands has concluded that electric cars lead to lower carbon emissions overall, even if electricity generation still relies on fossil fuels

April 1, 2020 Bill Gates: How the coronavirus pandemic can help the world solve climate change

Source: CNBC

Though the economic and social shutdowns due to COVID-19 in countries across the globe has meant a temporary reprieve from some of the most obvious environmental effects in places from China to Venice, Italy, the world’s nearly...

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