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Category Archives: Climate Change

Report – large US and global companies ready for a price on carbon

“A new report released today by CDP, an environmental organization that gathers information on behalf of investors, provides powerful evidence that:

  • There is a global corporate consensus that carbon will be priced;
  • Businesses are preparing for a robust, internationally-linked carbon market; and
  • These companies would welcome regulatory certainty, nationally and internationally, with respect to climate change policy and carbon pricing.

Based on data gathered by CDP from corporations in response to its annual request for information on the business implications of climate change, the report finds that large public companies are already advanced in their use of carbon pricing and are ahead of their governments in planning for climate change risks, costs and opportunities. Highlights:

  • Despite no national regulatory price on carbon 29 major public companies in the US, including Dow Chemical Company, Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil are beginning to or are continuing to incorporate an internal carbon price into their business decisions. The prices disclosed, ranging from $6-$80 a tonne, are also used as a tool to drive investments in GHG emissions reductions;
  • Major companies, such as Alstom and Bayer and Canadian Tire Corporation are keeping close watch on emerging Chinese emissions trading systems that will soon be pricing carbon on a mandatory basis;
  • 638 companies disclose that regulations related to carbon pricing (cap and trade & carbon taxes) present an opportunity for their businesses;
  • Many major US companies are participating in the EU ETS and are thus already operationalizing a carbon price on a mandatory basis.
  • 212 companies disclose they are directly engaging with policymakers on carbon pricing legislation (cap and trade & carbon taxes) and state that their corporate position is in support of these measures; and
  • Many companies use carbon pricing to guide their internal and external capital deployment to maximize return on investment.”

NOAA, UNC-Wilmington study finds warming Atlantic ocean temps could increase expansion of invasive native species

News release: “Warming water temperatures due to climate change could expand the range of many native species of tropical fish, including the invasive and poisonous lionfish, according to a study of 40 species along rocky and artificial reefs off North Carolina by researchers from NOAA and the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. The findings, reported forContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Infrastructure Protection, EPA Regs and Electricity

CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTION: DHS Action Needed to Enhance Integration and Coordination of Vulnerability Assessment Efforts, GAO-14-507: Published: Sep 15, 2014. Publicly Released: Sep 15, 2014: “DHS is not positioned to manage an integrated and coordinated government-wide approach for assessments as called for in the NIPP because it does not have sufficient information about the assessment tools andContinue Reading

Rocky Mountain Forests at Risk – Report

Union of Concerned Scientists - Confronting climate-driven impacts from insects, wildfires, heat, and drought: “Tens of millions of trees have died in the Rocky Mountains over the past 15 years, victims of a triple assault of tree-killing insects, wildfires, and stress from heat and drought. Global warming is the driving force behind these impacts, bringing hotter andContinue Reading

Smog in India Damaged Enough Crops to Feed 94 Million, Study Says

Yale e360 digest: “Ground-level ozone, the main component of smog, damaged 6.7 million tons of Indian crops worth an estimated $1.3 billion in a single year, according to a new study published in Geophysical Research Letters. That’s enough wheat, rice and other staple crops to feed 94 million people — roughly one-third of the country’s impoverished population. Arising from aContinue Reading

Draft of UN’s New Report on Global Warming Delivers Bleak Assessment

Justin Gillis, New York Times: “Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentageContinue Reading

ProPublica, Satellites and The Shrinking Louisiana Coast

“At the heart of the story is the fact that the Louisiana coastline loses land at a rate equivalent to a football field each hour. That comes to 16 square miles per year. The land south of New Orleans has always been low-lying, but since the Army Corps of Engineers built levees along the Mississippi after the huge 1927Continue Reading

NOAA lists 20 coral species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act

News release: “NOAA announced [August 27, 2014 that] it will afford Endangered Species Act protections to 20 coral species. All 20 species will be listed as threatened, none as endangered. Fifteen of the newly listed species occur in the Indo-Pacific and five in the Caribbean. “Coral reefs are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystemsContinue Reading

Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future

CRS - Climate Change and Existing Law: A Survey of Legal Issues Past, Present, and Future. Robert Meltz, Legislative Attorney. August 20, 2014. “This report surveys existing law for legal issues that have arisen, or may arise in the future, on account of climate change and government responses thereto.The reader interested in proposals for new laws to deal withContinue Reading

Completing the Bridge to Nowhere: Prioritizing Oil and Gas Emissions Regulations in Western States

Minor, Joel, Completing the Bridge to Nowhere: Prioritizing Oil and Gas Emissions Regulations in Western States (June 9, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2485890 “America’s energy portfolio is rapidly changing. The hydraulic fracturing boom has spurred domestic oil and gas production, reducing natural gas prices. Natural gas is championed as a “bridge fuel” away fromContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Federal Real Property, Regulatory Impact Analysis

FEDERAL REAL PROPERTY: GSA Should Better Target Its Use of Swap-Construct Exchanges, GAO-14-586. Published: Jul 24, 2014. Publicly Released: Aug 25, 2014: “The swap-construct approach can help GSA address the challenges of disposing of unneeded property and modernizing or replacing federal buildings, but various factors could affect future use of the approach. For example, swap-construct can require developersContinue Reading

NOAA analysis reveals significant land cover changes in U.S. coastal regions

“A new NOAA nationwide analysis shows that between 1996 and 2011, 64,975 square miles in coastal regions — can area larger than the state of Wisconsin — experienced changes in land cover, including a decline in wetlands and forest cover with development a major contributing factor. Overall, 8.2 percent of the nation’s ocean and Great LakesContinue Reading