15 January 2010

Sea level rise will affect your business. And other company, industry and government news

Top Stories

Get ready for seven-foot sea level rise as climate change melts ice sheets.reliability medium.
Although the 2007 report of the IPCC decided not to include the effects of ice sheet melting on sea level rise predictions (models just weren't thought to be robust enough to provide useful forecasts), more recent work has clarified that a rise at least a couple of meters is likely in this century. This article discusses the likely impacts. For example, "The Mississippi Delta is unique because it lies within a country with the financial resources to fight land loss. Nevertheless, we believe multibillion-dollar engineering and restoration efforts designed to preserve communities on the Mississippi Delta are doomed to failure, given the magnitude of relative sea level rise expected. . . . Miami tops the list of most endangered cities in the world, as measured by the value of property that would be threatened by a three-foot rise. This would flood all of Miami Beach and leave downtown Miami sitting as an island of water, disconnected from the rest of Florida. Other threatened U.S. cities include New York/Newark, New Orleans, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Tampa-St Petersburg, and San Francisco. Osaka/Kobe, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Nagoya are among the most threatened major cities outside of North America." See The Guardian from Yale Environment 360. [Consensus is building around a 2- to 3-meter rise this century. This will affect every business, not just those in exposed coastal locations. Does your business rely on ports or transportation on the coast? Where do your raw materials come from? Are your suppliers in exposed regions? Your customers? Where will the hundreds of billions of money come from for mitigation efforts (hint: either higher taxes or diversion of tax revenues from other needs)? Who will serve the markets driven by these impacts?]

British coastal cities threatened by rising sea 'must transform themselves'.reliability high.
"The Institution of Civil Engineers and the Royal Institute of British Architects yesterday warned the future of cities including London, Bristol and Liverpool was at risk from seas which the Environment Agency predict could rise by as much as 1.9m by 2095 in the event of a dramatic melting of the Greenland ice sheet. The report, 'Facing up to Rising Sea Levels. Retreat? Defence? Attack?', suggests swaths of Hull and Portsmouth's city centres could be allowed to flood over the next 100 years and large parts of the populations moved out." From The Guardian. Access report here.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

MWV produces Swiss Army Knife packs as brand ditches clamshell.reliability high.
"Swiss Army Knife manufacturer Victorinox is replacing plastic clamshell packs with MeadWestvaco's paperboard-based Natralock packaging. . . . Paperboard-based Natralock is made from paperboard in a PET bubble that MWV said uses 60% less plastic than petroleum-based PVC clamshells." From PackagingNews.

Polartec opts for fully recycled yarns.reliability high.
"Unifi Inc. has struck a partnership with outdoor apparel specialist Polartec to introduce a range of fabrics made with Repreve 100. The two companies have a long-standing history of collaboration and this latest agreement will see the manufacture of fabrics made with the Unifi yarn made from 100% post-consumer waste. As part of the joint marketing program, the deal also includes the addition to clothing of a new hangtag outlining the origin of the materials used." Recycled material makes up 30% of Polartec's production. See Ecotextile News.

Government and Regulation

Japan to propose detailed marine fuel levy plan.reliability high.
"Japan, one of the world's top shipping operators, will submit details of its proposal for an international levy on marine fuel ahead of a meeting of the U.N.'s shipping agency in March, a government official said on Friday. Under the proposal, which was first touted last year as an alternative to an idea supported by some European countries to introduce an emissions trading system in the sector, money raised would be used to help cut carbon dioxide emissions relating to shipping in developing countries." More on the proposal, and on marine shipping emissions. From Reuters. [See the images in this post. CO2 footprints of marine shipping are clearly evident.]

California toughens up biofuel standards.reliability high.
"The Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) said the new Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) will reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels used in California by an average of 10 per cent by the year 2020, by forcing bioethanol producers to measure the emissions that result from the production, transportation, and land use changes associated with biofuels." The requirement that the emissions impacts of land use changes associated with biofuel production be taken into account will make it hard for ethanol produced in the U.S. to be used. Imported cane ethanol can meet the standard. See BusinessGreen.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]