Friday, February 17, 2006

News Review (2 of 6):Carbon Policy Arena (Al Gore, US Energy Companies, Shareholder Activism)

The fossil fuel lobby are scared.

Never before has the planet looked finite, never before has the 'real world' impinged so injustly on the elegance of our economic system!



The Science is increasingly clear, unless we cut emissions
dramatically, we will be damaging our health, our planet, the geo-political balance, and-god forbid-our global economy!

A recent article from the oil drum, explores the scale of our carbon based economy, the whole edifice is under threat.

Pressure for action is coming from all angles; former heads of the EPA, evangelists, state leaders, community groups, mayors, unions...Businesses. (continued...)Indeed even businesses are waking up to the threats climate change will have on the bottom line, and the risk that inaction by the federal government now will cost them more in the medium term.

A group of power companies have signaled they are expecting to operate in a carbon constrained environment, within a few years, timing is there only doubt. An example of where this may matter is in the construction of new coal fired power plants, which during construction can be made compatible for carbon capture and storage for only a small additional investment whereas if this capability is not designed in then retro-fitting is extremely costly.

Very few businesses would be badly effected by the move to a low carbon economy if good legistaltion is in place, costs can be passed on to the consumer (environmental protection has a price) but this isn't a problem, companies compete, an equitable solution is what is required. A coalition of companies have teamed up with the Pew Centre for Global Climate Change and endorsed a framework for future US action.

"The report calls for a combination of technology and policy and urges
action in six key areas: (1) science and technology, (2) market-based
programs, (3) sectoral emissions, (4) energy production and use, (5) adaptation,
and (6) international engagement."
Increasingly shareholders are worried about the carbon liabilities companies have, if a company is carbon intensive and hasn't looked into energy efficiency and renewables then surely it will be poorly placed should a market be created in the US with a price on emissions?

These worries have only been exacerbated by the likes of Al Gore and who have started politicising the issue. Al gore has made a series of speeches about climate change, and written a book about the subject. His speeches are going to film soon.


postscript; Climate Change, BusinessA, NewsA

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1 Comments:

At 2:30 AM, Blogger lordreden said...

very informative article. but i think that economic markets will ultimately adjust (faster than humans of course)from fossil fuel based to more carbon-neutral base if and when sustainability and viability are assured. keep up the good work!

 

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