Thursday, January 26, 2006

Business Action on Climate Change; Prudent not Green!

I try to cover as wide a range as options for climate change mitigation as possible in this blog, I also try to talk about the consequence for the many different stakeholders, undoubtedly I lean towards the environmental issues as this is where my sympathies lie. However I have just found a few good articles and reports about climate change in relation to business consequences.

This article in the journal Science talks about the subject of attribution of damages to environmental causes, particularly present and future climate change.

This article in Forbes describes the difficulties of insuring under a climate of change, insurance could become a major overhead for many businesses as there is less certainty in a more unstable climate system. As I have mentioned previously climate doesn't gently shift, rapid fluctuating transitions-painful transitions- are more likely (for more on this look for the work of Richard Alley of PennState University).

The escalating impacts encouraged Swiss Re and the U.N. Development Program to
co-sponsor the Climate Change Futures project at Harvard Medical School
aimed at raising awareness regarding the health, ecological and economic
dimensions of climate change. Leading insurers, economists, bankers,
rating agencies, asset managers and coal-based utilities were among the panelists expressing concern about rising risks
at the launch of the
report in New York at the American Museum of Natural History on Nov. 1. The
prospects of increasing climate instability are daunting, and panelists
expressed their concerns as to how to insure the future.

(BusinessWeek article + More...)In a totally remarkable article BusinessWeek report on what some of the world top corporations are doing in terms of climate change mitigation, both for saving associated with energy conservation and in terms of using low carbon technologies so they are ready when the regulatory environment changes. It is widely expected that post-Bush there will be a nationwide carbon tax in the USA as there is already in Europe, and such schemes are likely to link up globally in the medium term.

In another recent report on the dangers of Climate Change to business by CERES it is warned that:

"Catastrophic weather-related insurance losses in the U.S. are rising
significantly faster than premiums, population, or economic growth, and many
smaller events are not even included in official totals"

Ther report finds that these increased insurance exposures are likely to be met not only by consumers but also by the government.


"Climate stresses will also place more political and financial burden on
reluctant federal and local governments as they assume broader exposures and
are pressured to serve as insurers of last resort. The most recent example
is renewed calls in the wake of Hurricane Katrina for the federal government
to establish a national catastrophic insurance fund, which is essentially
a reinsurance backstop to safeguard private insurers and their customers."
All these articles/reports and more are linked to from the earth institute of Columbia university.

Postscript: Climate Change, BusinessA

Climate Change Action

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1 Comments:

At 4:44 AM, Blogger Green Reality Adventure School said...

I would just like to say that it makes me proud to see that these types of issues are not being left out of the Blogger comunity.

Thanks guys,

Spread the word

greenreality.blogspot.com

 

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