24 November 2009

Insurance risk, fiduciary responsibility, future generations, controversial emails, and other company, industry and government information

Top Stories

Insurance giant warns climate 'tipping points' in sight.reliability high.
"The world is dangerously close to climatic "tipping points" that could result in catastrophic environmental, social and economic consequences, according to a major new study commissioned by the WWF and global insurance giant Allianz. The report from the UK's Tyndall Centre warns that, unless carbon emissions peak within the next few years, it is increasingly likely that irreversible environmental changes will occur that could have a huge impact on the global economy." From Business Green. Access report here.

Quebec sets 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets.reliability high.
"The Canadian province of Quebec said on Monday it aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, the same target as that set by the European Union. 'It is a very ambitious target for the government, given that 48 percent of Quebec's total energy currently comes from renewable energy sources,' Quebec Premier Jean Charest said in a statement." The "province is a member of the Western Climate Initiative, a group of four Canadian provinces and seven western U.S. states, which is working on implementing a carbon cap and trade system in North America by 2012." See Reuters.

Climate science statement.reliability high.
A one-page statement emphasizing that climate change is a real problem. "A statement from the Met Office, Natural Environment Research Council and the Royal Society." "As three of the UK’s leading scientific organisations, involving most of the UK scientists working on climate change, we cannot emphasise enough the body of scientific evidence that underpins the call for action now, and we reinforce our commitment to ensuring that world leaders continue to have access to the best possible science." "Climate scientists from the UK and across the world are in overwhelming agreement about the evidence of climate change, driven by the human input of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere." "The scientific evidence which underpins calls for action at Copenhagen is very strong. Without co-ordinated international action on greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts on climate and civilisation could be severe." See Met Office site.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

PG&E to Smart Charge 219,000 Electric Cars.reliability medium.
"Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) . . . is planning to service between 219,000 and 845,000 battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids by 2020, under three different planning scenarios". From Clean Fleet Report.

Timberland Reinforces Commitment to Minimize Its Carbon Footprint by Converting to LED Lighting.reliability high.
"In an effort to reduce its energy demand and contribution to global warming The Timberland Company announced today that state of the art LED lighting will be replacing less efficient incandescent spotlights in 70% of its North American stores by the end of 2009. By reducing the electricity used on a daily basis for lighting in its stores, Timberland expects to shrink the carbon footprint of its US stores by an additional 11%." See Business Wire.

SC Johnson Discloses Ingredients in All Consumer Cleaning Products.reliability high.
Responding to concerns that cleaning products don't have to disclose all their ingredients, "SC Johnson has added all of its home cleaning and air care products to a website that lists the products' ingredients and explains the purpose of the ingredients." "originally planned to add the rest of its products over the next three years, but recently finished adding all of its 129 air care products and 76 home cleaners." See GreenBiz. More here.

Government and Regulation

Conservatives pledge to stop UK fossil-fuel subsidies.reliability high.
"The government has provided almost three-quarters of a billion pounds in subsidies to fossil-fuel burning power stations over the past 13 years, according to figures highlighted today by the Conservatives. Shadow secretary of state for international development, Andrew Mitchell, today promised to stop the subsidies, which are delivered through the Export Credit Guarantee Department (ECGD), arguing that the scale of support for carbon-intensive industries was 'scandalous'." From Business Green.

Major Investors Call for SEC to Require Disclosure of Companies' Climate Risks and Opportunities.reliability high.
A supplemental petition has been submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission by a coalition of 20 institutional investors, asking it to provide interpretive guidance outlining climate-related 'material risks' - such as new regulations, physical impacts, new economic and business opportunities and other climate-related trends - that companies should be disclosing to investors. "The 20 signatories to the petition include leading U.S. and Canadian institutional investors managing more than $1 trillion in assets" From Ceres.

Climate change: What price will future generations pay?reliability medium.
Opinion piece by Lord David Puttnam, an ambassador for Unicef UK. "What price will children have to pay for the three or four carbon-happy generations that have lived before them?" "There is no doubt that my generation has uniquely contributed to this increasing chaos, and the burden my grandchildren and those of others will have to carry because of it. What is less clear, however, is what price today's decision makers will place on the well-being of future generations when carving out their response to climate change." See BBC News. [See our blog post on the subject.]

East Anglian Email Scandal

Climate change email hacking to be looked into by University of East Anglia.reliability high.
Purloined emails of climate scientists have caused embarrassment, and have led to a field day on denier blogs and the like. Article discusses impact and issues. "Selected and unverified extracts from the emails have been used by climate change deniers to claim that the scientists colluded to manipulate climate data, causing a storm on deniers' blogs. The charge is rejected as 'despicable' by those involved and as groundless by leading scientific bodies." From The Guardian.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]