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global warming

Page history last edited by Brian D Butler 13 years, 3 months ago

page director: Brian D. Butler

contributors:   if you are interested in contributing see here


Global Warming 

see also combating global warming,   Clean-tech and environmentally conscious investing  and carbon trading


While the science is uncertain, one thing is for sure...consumers are politicians all around the globe are citing this as on of the global concerns.   People are worried that raising temperatures may cause more powerful storms, rising sea levels, and massive crop failures. Companies will be affected by both changes in legislation as well as the expected environmental results of continued climate change.


Table of contents  





Global warming and greenhouse gases


websites to track greenhouse gases



Company strategy (getting ready for new regulations & opportunities)


Large companies worldwide are discovering that the challenges imposed by climate change also hidden opportunities.  "Sustainability is the head of policy makers and will dictate how our business will be structured here to the front," says Adilson Primo, president of the Brazilian operation of Siemens, which has invested not only to improve the energy efficiency of its thermoelectric the gas, as bet in the development of technologies to capture and store carbon.  "And the benefits will come to know who enter the game."





Who Benefits from concerns about Global Warming


  • Companies like Suzlon, Suntech Power Holdings, MEMC Electronics, Plum Creek Timber, Vestas, SunPower, Sharp, Kyocera, Tyson Foods, and Bunge stand to benefit from the current mainstream belief that stopping global climate change requires stopping global temperatures from rising; most governments are intent on achieving this by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy forms like nuclear energy, biofuels, ethanol, and natural gas release fewer amounts of carbon dioxide than coal and oil. Solar power and wind energy are the cleanest forms of energy, and do not release any greenhouse gases. Most governments are pushing a transition to these forms of energy, and the increased demand for alternative energy sources could greatly benefit the above companies and industries.


Who Hurts

  • Insurers like Allstate and reinsurers such as Renaissance Reinsurance, Ace limited, Berkshire Hathaway (BRK) and XL Capital, are highly vulnerable to the damages caused by more powerful natural disasters, as they would bear the brunt of the reconstruction costs.
  • Companies like Chevron, Exxon Mobil, British Petroleum, Peabody, and Arch Coal could be greatly damaged by a restructuring of the energy market. Energy paradigm shifts mean a major shift away from the established forms of energy that are currently releasing greenhouse gases. Oil and coal would suffer the greatest damages, as shifts away from coal powered electricity production and gas powered vehicles would lead to decreased demand, prices, and profits.



see the wikipedia article on global warming




Effects on emerging markets


Latin America has as much reason, or more, to be worried about climate change. The poor are more likely to be affected by weather effects and increased food prices that scientists say are liable to result from an increase in global temperatures.


Understandably, poorer nations are reluctant to invest in expensive alternative energy technologies, but Moreno said alternative energy could actually help the region fight poverty.

One well-known example is Brazil's investment in ethanol production, which has been an economic boon. Brazil's example sends somewhat of a mixed message, though, as ethanol production has raised the price of food, making life very hard for many poor people. Next-generation biofuels may find ways of avoiding what Moreno calls the "food-fuel-wilderness" tradeoff.


Latin America has been investing in other areas of alternative energy as well. Brazil has seen a nine-fold increase in wind power production, while Mexico has recently geared-up capacity to some 500 MW, (though still a paltry amount compared to tens of thousands of total electric capacity in the country).


Hydroelectric power, generated from the energy of river flow, has already been a significant player in Latin America. The construction of dams in such areas as Costa Rica and elsewhere has brought electricity to many rural communities, as well as reduced dependence on energy imports.


Due to the high cost of building dams and turbines, the IDB has been looking at "micro-hydro," smaller dams with shorter construction times, less capital investment, and, hopefully, mitigated environmental effect.


Programs such as micro-hydro, supported by international development money, can strike a formula for fossil-fuel reduction on rural development that is a winning equation for Latin American governments.





combating global warming


The American Climate and Energy Security Act (ACESA) passed by the US House of Representatives in June 2009 would cut emissions, alter the mix and use of energy sources, and subsidize the economic transition to a low-carbon economy. Concerns about trade competitiveness of carbon-intensive industries and increases in energy costs to consumers have led to provisions in the bill that could provoke protectionism and litigation under the World Trade Organization (WTO), however. The bill has implications for state-provincial cap and trade compacts, international electricity trade, and Mexico's goal to reduce emissions 50 percent by 2050.  source: Peterson Institute Economics



Debate in America


America's quieter greens have been successfully lobbying powerful interests. Many companies have come round to the view that they would do better with a single federal system than a patchwork of state-level rules. Farmers have bought the idea that they can make money out of biofuels. Christians have been persuaded that they need to be better stewards of the earth. Defence hawks have been arguing that America needs to reduce its dependency on the Middle East. But two powerful groups have remained determinedly sceptical: energy-intensive manufacturers and organised labour, who fear the effects of higher energy costs in America and their impact on jobs.



Policy Decisions


In order to combat global warming, there seems to be to policy issues that are debated


Ideally, the world would set a global carbon price (through a tax or a cap-and-trade system) that charged industries for the damage they do to the environment and thus shifted the economy away from carbon.



1.  Carbon tax -  Supporters of a tax on emissions, an alternative to cap-and-trade advocated by many economists, are few and far between. Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, who is rumoured to be considering an independent run for president, supports one, as does John Dingell, a prominent congressman. But most politicians are certain that no policy involving the word “tax” will prosper.


On the first argument, if America establishes a carbon price, an energy-intensive industry such as aluminium would very likely choose to expand capacity elsewhere. Yet it is not clear that, in the long run, environmental regulation does much to suppress economic growth. After all, California imposes tighter rules on companies than do most other American states, but its long boom suggests that greenery and growth can coexist comfortably.




2.  Cap and trade systems  - the government sets an overall limit on emissions and then sells or gives away an equivalent number of tradeable permits to pollute. This allows the firms that find it cheapest to reduce their emissions to do so, leaving those for which cuts would be costlier to buy permits.



regional and industry specific regulations


A patchwork of local, sectoral rules risks piling on layers of regulations that distort incentives, raise costs excessively and prove hard to sweep away if and when a better system eventually emerges.


An international agreement to replace the Kyoto protocol, which runs out in 2012, does need to be reached. But negotiations will get nowhere until 2009, when this American administration will probably make way for one that takes climate change seriously.


The glacial pace of progress towards a global agreement contrasts with what is happening in Europe. After a row last year with carmakers, which had failed to meet voluntary emissions targets, the European Commission is about to force them to limit the carbon intensity of their fleets (see article). Europe is particularly hard on its car industry; but other countries are picking on road transport. China has imposed fuel-economy regulations, and America's Congress has just approved a bill tightening its own. By 2020 California will require all the petrol sold there to meet a low-carbon standard.


However, as Bali showed, politics has a habit of undermining economics. A global carbon price remains a distant hope, and the planet is getting warmer. In its absence, targeting dirty industries is a stop-gap. And the experience of cutting sulphur emissions in America in the 1990s argues that second-best solutions can give way to the best: regulations on power stations were eventually superseded by a successful cap-and-trade scheme that cleared the stuff out of America's air.


Europe's carmakers, of course, are not best pleased with the commission's plan. Although the French and Italians, with their lighter cars, are shrugging their shoulders, the Germans, with their hefty gas-guzzlers, are furious. That's understandable. Meeting these regulations is bound to be uncomfortable now. But there will be an upside: when some future Bali really does produce an historic agreement to cut global emissions, greener companies of all sorts will be better placed to compete in a low-carbon world.


source:  economist








carbon trading , and other methods of


 - is a market where countries can go to trade the rights to pollute.  Very interesting stuff. 


green business models

- here we are going to highlight some innovative companies around the globe that are doing their part to innovate green business models. 


green accounting

-  the need for ways in which to measure greenhouse gas emisions, and "greeness"  of industry.  This is a new industry that is emerging to fill the accounting needs,  which are especially relevant if we go to a "cap and trade"  system of combating global warming....




















































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