Major U.S. Companies Embrace Progressive Climate Action

Posted by Wonk Room Fri, 21 Nov 2008 23:48:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

BICEPOn Wednesday, five major U.S. corporations launched a new business coalition with the investors’ activist group Ceres to call for immediate, muscular, and progressive action to fight global warming. The founding members of Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) are Levi Strauss & Co., Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems and The Timberland Company. As right-wing business organizations like the Chamber of Commerce pretend that limits on pollution will destroy the economy, the members of BICEP recognize that the true threat is failing to halt catastrophic climate change.

The eight principles embraced by BICEP for national action on global warming reflect recommendations from the Center for American Progress, Green For All, 1Sky, and other progressive organizations, including a moratorium on new coal plants, no subsidies for pollution permits, aggressive efficiency standards, and green-job creation in low-income communities.

In addition, BICEP calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, in line with scientific recommendations—and more than double the target set by President-elect Barack Obama.

As Mindy Lubber, president of Ceres said in a press call, tackling global warming is integral to future economic strength:
Rather than ignore risk, address the risk and turn it into an opportunity. We need to send the right and honest market signal. Carbon pollution has a cost.

The full list of recommendations:

  • Set greenhouse gas reduction targets to at least 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
  • Establish an economy-wide GHG cap-and-trade system that auctions 100 percent of carbon pollution allowances, promotes energy efficiency and accelerates clean energy technologies.
  • Establish aggressive energy efficiency policies to achieve at least a doubling of our historic rate of energy efficiency improvement.
  • Encourage transportation for a clean energy economy by promoting fuel-efficient vehicles, plug-in electric hybrids, low-carbon fuels, and transit-oriented development.
  • Increase investment in energy efficiency, renewables and carbon capture and storage technologies while eliminating subsidies for fossil-fuel industries.
  • Stimulate job growth through investment in climate-based solutions, especially “green-collar” jobs in low-income communities and others vulnerable to climate change’s economic impact.
  • Adopt a national renewable portfolio standard requiring 20 percent of electricity to be generated from renewable energy sources by 2020, and 30 percent by 2030.
  • Limit construction of new coal-fired power plants to those that capture and store carbon emissions, create incentives for carbon capture technology on new and existing plants, and phase out existing coal-based power plants that do not capture and store carbon by 2030.

USCAP Offshoot Announces Support For Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 02 Jun 2008 20:24:00 GMT

A coalition of corporations, labor, religious and environmental organizations has announced its support of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) manager’s mark of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Several are members of the United States Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), which called for mandatory climate legislation in January 2007, but more recently has been wrapped in internal conflict.

The letter begins:
The undersigned companies and organizations urge you to vote in favor of the Climate Security Act, S. 3036 (formerly S. 2191), which is expected to be considered by the full Senate beginning June 2. This is a very important vote on a bipartisan plan to address climate change. Prompt action on climate change is essential to protect America’s economy, security, quality of life and natural environment.

USCAP signatories are Alcoa, Environmental Defense Action Fund, Exelon Corporation, FPL Group, General Electric, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, NRG Energy, Inc, and PG&E Corporation. Non-USCAP signatories are Calpine Corporation, Interfaith Power and Light Campaign, International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Izaak Walton League of America, National Grid, National Parks Conservation Association, Pew Environment Group, Public Service Enterprise Group, Trout Unlimited, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting (UA).

Full text is below:

Alcoa * Calpine Corporation * Environmental Defense Action Fund * Exelon Corporation * FPL Group * General Electric * Interfaith Power and Light Campaign * International Brotherhood of Boilermakers * Izaak Walton League of America * National Grid * National Parks Conservation Association * National Wildlife Federation * Natural Resources Defense Council * NRG Energy, Inc. * Pew Environment Group * PG&E Corporation * Public Service Enterprise Group * Trout Unlimited * UAM

Dear Senator:

The undersigned companies and organizations urge you to vote in favor of the Climate Security Act, S. 3036 (formerly S. 2191), which is expected to be considered by the full Senate beginning June 2. This is a very important vote on a bipartisan plan to address climate change. Prompt action on climate change is essential to protect America’s economy, security, quality of life and natural environment.

The Climate Security Act, as revised in the manager’s substitute amendment released last week, sets forth a sound overall framework for reducing America’s emissions of greenhouse gases. Most notably, it establishes an emissions cap that steadily reduces greenhouse gas emissions from current levels at a rate of about 1.8% annually. The bill creates a flexible cap-and-trade system to achieve these reductions at lower cost by tapping the power of free markets. It includes an unprecedented national investment in zero- and low-carbon technologies, and includes important policies to advance energy efficiency and alternative energy sources. The bill provides assistance to small energy consumers, including low-income families, to ease the transition to a low-carbon economy. And the bill protects American industry to ease the transition to a cleaner future.

We all support the framework and approach contained in the Climate Security Act. However, we also recognize that there is continued work to be done to refine the details of the legislation through the amendment process in the Senate and as a bill is taken up in the House. Some of the undersigned groups have already communicated with you on amendments and will continue to do so and others may do so later.

However, we think it is notable and a testament to the work of the bill’s sponsors and contributors that such a diverse group of interests are united on the following essential issue: A “yes” vote for the Climate Security Act represents historic leadership to advance bipartisan solutions to climate change; a “no” vote will slow progress and maintain the status quo, which only increases the risks of unavoidable consequences and potentially greater economic costs that could result from the need for even steeper reductions in the future. Sincerely,

Lee Califf Director, Government Affairs

Alcoa Yvonne A. McIntyre Vice President, Federal Legislative Affairs Calpine Corporation

Elizabeth Thompson Legislative Director Environmental Defense Action Fund

Betsy Moler Executive VP, Government and Enviro Affairs and Public Policy Exelon Corporation

Chris Bennett Executive Vice President FPL Group

Ann R. Klee Vice President Corporate Environmental Programs General Electric

The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham Founder and President The Regeneration Project Interfaith Power and Light Campaign

Newton B. Jones International President The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers, and Helpers

Scott Kovarovics Conservation Director Izaak Walton League of America

Thomas B. King Executive Director of Electricity Distribution and Generation National Grid

Mark Wenzler Director, Clean Air and Climate Programs National Parks Conservation Association

Jeremy Symons Executive Director, Global Warming Program National Wildlife Federation

David Hawkins Director of Climate Programs Natural Resources Defense Council

Steven Corneli Vice President Market and Climate Policy NRG Energy, Inc.

Phyllis Cuttino Director, US Global Warming Campaign Pew Environment Group

Melissa Lavinson Director, Federal Environmental Affairs and Corporate Responsibility PG&E Corporation

Eric Svenson VP of Environment, Health and Safety Public Service Enterprise Group

Steve Moyer Vice President for Government Affairs Trout Unlimited

William P. Hite General President United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada

New Study Highlighting the National and 50-State Economic Impacts of the Lieberman-Warner Climate Change Bill

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 12 Mar 2008 14:00:00 GMT

A media conference call to discuss the findings of a study jointly commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF) that quantifies the potential national and state economic impacts of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, S. 2191, the America’s Climate Security Act of 2007.

Conducted by Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the independent study examines the implications of the legislation with respect to future energy costs, economic growth, employment, production, household income and the impact on low income earners. The study includes a comprehensive national economic assessment, as well as separate and specific overviews of the impact the legislation would have on all 50 U.S. states.

The results of the study will be outlined during a brief presentation which will be followed by a question and answer session. The full SAIC national and 50 state-specific studies will be posted online at 9:30 am ET, Thursday, March 13, in advance and can be found at either www.accf.org or www.nam.org/climatechangereport.

The call is for credentialed media only.

  • The Honorable John Engler, President, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Dr. Margo Thorning, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, American Council for Capital Formation

Dial-In Number: 1-800-857-9772

Passcode: 4174983

Contact: For additional information or to request an interview, please contact Erica Fitzsimmons

202-347-7445 – efitzsimmons@theheraldgroup.com

About NAM

The National Association of Manufacturers is the nation’s largest industrial trade association, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the NAM has 11 additional offices across the country.

About ACCF

The American Council for Capital Formation (www.accf.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the advocacy of tax and environmental policies that encourage saving and investment. The ACCF was founded in 1973 and is supported by the voluntary contributions of corporations, associations, foundations, and individuals.

ExxonMobil Stands to Profit Handsomely in International Carbon Markets

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 20 Feb 2008 00:38:00 GMT

ExxonMobil, the world’s largest company by both revenue and market capitalization, has a place on the world stage comparable to a major nation-state (only 23 nations in 2006 had a GDP greater than Exxon’s revenues of $347 billion, which rose 7% in 2007). Only 31 nations exceeded its annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 [UN MDG indicators, ExxonMobil CDP response]. If end-use emissions of ExxonMobil’s products are included, its carbon footprint of 1 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent is exceeded only by five nations.

David Sassoon at Solve Climate asked Mario Lopez-Alcala, a senior analyst with Innovest Strategic Value Advisors, to estimate how the Kyoto Protocol impacts the company. Lopez-Alcala made some counter-intuitive discoveries.
Turns out that under Kyoto, Exxon is responsible for abating only 9 million out of the 138 million tons of its carbon footprint—about 6.9% of its absolute exposure. Mario arrived at this figure by compiling a weighted average of the emissions targets affecting all Exxon operations around the world. His estimate for what it costs Exxon to abate those emissions, assuming it had to purchase carbon credits? About $1 billion a year. (He calculated net present value for the 2008-2012 Kyoto compliance period and applied a standard oil industry discount rate to arrive at the figure, based on an expected price of $28 per ton of carbon. He also had to add in to the calculation, abatement costs for reducing emissions to a baseline year.)

$1 billion annually is not a terribly large liability for a $400 billion company.

Furthermore:
There’s also another aspect to Exxon’s carbon footprint: the 129 million tons of emissions that it is not required to reduce. It is an enormous carbon asset in a world in which carbon has a price, and it presents a tangible opportunity for enhancing profitability – even beyond $40.6 billion. By reducing those emissions – most simply through reduced flaring, co-generation, heat recuperation, and carbon capture and sequestration – Exxon could reap profits from selling carbon credits it generates. Mario reports that BP is the leader in the sector in taking advantage of these opportunities, which are tangible and positive already.

Sassoon concludes that from an investor (as well as moral) standpoint, ExxonMobil’s storied resistance to the science of climate change is a poor corporate position.

McKinsey: Energy Efficiency Investment Offers Massive Returns

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 15 Feb 2008 16:03:00 GMT

At yesterday’s Investor Summit on Climate Risk, McKinsey’s economic research arm, the McKinsey Global Institute, released the report The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity (lead authors Jaana Remes and Diana Farrell).

The report finds that global investments on the order of $170 billion annually through 2020 ($38 billion in the US) in energy efficiency (what they call “energy productivity”) would deliver annual returns at a rate of 17 percent. Furthermore, these investments would reduce energy demand at half the cost of building out infrastructure to meet that demand. (For a sense of scale, $170 billion is 1.6 percent of global fixed-capital investment today.)

MGI finds some key energy-market failures that block the needed capital outlays:
Fuel subsidies that directly discourage productive energy use; a lack of information available to consumers about the kind of energy productivity choices that are available to them; and agency issues in high-turnover commercial businesses.
The report’s top-line recommendations for repairing these failures:
  • Set energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment
  • Finance energy efficiency upgrades in new buildings and remodels (see Architecture 2030)
  • Raise corporate standards for energy efficiency
  • Invest in energy intermediaries (such as energy service companies aka ESCOs)

For more, read the full report.

Investor Summit on Climate Risk

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 14 Feb 2008 15:53:00 GMT

The 2008 Investor Summit on Climate Risk will bring together more than 450 institutional investors, Wall Street leaders and CEOs from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future.

Purpose

The purpose of the Summit is to provide a high-level forum for state treasurers, leading institutional investors, and financial services firms from around the world to consider the scale and urgency of climate change risks, as well as the economic opportunities of a global transition to a clean energy future.

Objectives

Based on a vision of hope and opportunity, the Summit will focus on how investors can advance solutions to climate change, with a particular emphasis on the benefits of energy efficiency. The Summit aims to help investors:
  • Examine recent scientific findings on climate risk and technological solutions
  • Assess potential capital flows into energy efficiency and clean technologies
  • Learn how treasurers, institutional investors and financial services firms worldwide are factoring climate risk into their policies and strategies
  • Consider prudent steps investors can take to address climate risk and opportunities

Background

The 2008 Summit builds on the groundbreaking success of the first two UN Investor Summits on November 21, 2003, and May 10, 2005. Hundreds of institutional investors and asset managers from around the world, representing trillions of dollars in assets, attended the previous Summits. The information they shared raised profound concerns about investor exposure to climate risk, the future security of investment assets, and the fiduciary duty to take prudent steps to address climate risk on behalf of shareholders and beneficiaries. Information on previous Summits can be found at the Investor Network on Climate Risk website.

Climate Risk – and Opportunity

Climate change poses regulatory, legal, physical and competitive risks for companies. In the two years since the 2005 Summit there has been a growing recognition that climate change presents serious risks, not only for businesses and investments, but also for the global economy. Left unattended, risks from climate change will worsen over time, harming company assets and global investment portfolios. Leading economists, investors, and business leaders have stated recently that the costs of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are both affordable and significantly lower than the costs of inaction. Where there are risks, there are also opportunities, and the business opportunities posed by addressing climate change are significant. With the proper government policies and market conditions, low-carbon technologies that are available today could be more broadly deployed, and significant reductions in emissions could be achieved over the next few decades—all while creating vast new economic opportunities and new jobs.

Agenda

7:30 am – Registration and Coffee (enter at UN Visitors Entrance, 1st Avenue @ 46th Street)

9:00 am – Welcoming Remarks (Trusteeship Council Chamber, 2nd Floor)
  • Amir A. Dossal, Executive Director, United Nations Fund for International Partnerships
  • Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
  • Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation
9:15 am – Climate Change: Scientific Findings, Technological Solutions
  • John P. Holdren, Professor, Harvard University & Director, Woods Hole Research Center – presentation and discussion
10:00 am – The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity
  • Diana Farrell, Director, McKinsey Global Institute – presentation 10:20 am – Discussion
  • Mindy S. Lubber, President, Ceres & Director, Investor Network on Climate Risk (moderator)
10:45 am – Panel and Discussion: Unleashing the Business Potential for Clean Energy
  • Timothy E. Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation (moderator)
  • Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • Peter A. Darbee, Chairman, CEO, & President, PG&E Corporation
  • Vinod Khosla, Founding CEO, Sun Microsystems & Founder, Khosla Ventures
12:00 pm – Panel and Discussion: Factoring Climate Change into Institutional Investment Strategies
  • John Chiang, Controller, State of California (moderator)
  • Donald MacDonald, Trustee Director, BT Pension Scheme
  • Denise L. Nappier, Treasurer, State of Connecticut
  • Russell Read, Chief Investment Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS)
  • Alex Sink, Chief Financial Officer, State of Florida

1:00 pm – Luncheon (Delegates Dining Room, 4th Floor; closed to press)

  • Luncheon Welcome: Richard H. Murray, Managing Director & Chief Claims Strategist, Swiss Re
  • UN Welcome: Dr. Srgjan Kerim, President, 62nd session of the United Nations General Assembly
  • Introduction: Jeff Skoll, Founder & Chairman, Skoll Foundation & Participant Productions
  • Featured Speaker: Al Gore, 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner; Former Vice President of the United States; Chairman, Generation Investment Management

Investment Banks Set Coal Plant Carbon Guidelines

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 06 Feb 2008 20:18:00 GMT

On Monday Citi Group, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase announced the establishment of an “enhanced diligence” framework for judging proposed financings of certain new fossil fuel generation.

The framework, according to the joint press release, sets principles for energy efficiency (including “regulatory and legislative changes that increase efficiency in electricity consumption”), renewable energy and low-carbon distributed energy technologies, and assessing the “financial, regulatory and certain environmental liability risks” of CO2-emitting fossil fuel power generation. The group intends to “encourage regulatory and legislative changes that facilitate carbon capture and storage (CCS) to further reduce CO2 emissions from the electric sector.”

The group, which as the Rainforest Action Network’s Understory blog notes does not include major investor Bank of America, consulted the power companies American Electric Power, CMS Energy, DTE Energy, NRG Energy, PSEG, Sempra and Southern Company and the environmental organizations Environmental Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Climate Change: Science and Solutions

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 16 Jan 2008 13:00:00 GMT

The National Council for Science and the Environment invites you to participate in the 8th National Conference on Science, Policy, and the Environment to develop and advance science-based solutions to climate change.

Join us in the dialogue with leading scientists, policy makers, industry leaders, educators, and other solutions-oriented innovators to develop comprehensive strategies for protecting people and the planet against the threat of climate change.

The three-day conference will be held January 16-18, 2008, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. An interactive agenda features skill-building workshops, targeted breakout sessions, plenary sessions, and symposia to provide participants with an expansive understanding of climate change solutions—and how we can achieve them.

Agenda

Wednesday January 16, 2008

8:00 am Registration

9:30 am – 12:00 pm Pre-conference Skill-building Workshops (registration required)

~ 20 Workshops led by partners grouped under the following themes:
  • Campus-based/ University Inititiatives
  • Government and Policy Solutions
  • Community Initiatives
  • Climate Change Education: Formal and Informal
  • Monitoring and Assessment Tools
  • Communicating Climate Change

12:00 pm Showcase of Solutions– Exhibition and Scientific Poster presentations open

1:00 pm Keynote Address: Climate Change: Science to Solutions – What do we know? How do we act in time and in appropriate scale?

2:00 pm Plenary Presentation: Summarizing Global Change Science and the Likely Implications of Global Climate Change.

Moderator and IPCC Overview: Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND)
  • The Atmosphere and the Cryosphere- Michael MacCracken, Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs, The Climate Institute
  • Biodiversity and Ecological Impacts – Tom Lovejoy, President, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
  • Human (Health and Well Being) Impacts- Sarah James, Alaskan Gwitch’in Steering Committee and Goldman Environmental prize-winner
  • National Security Impacts- Sherri Goodman, General Counsel, The CNA Corporation

3:30 pm Plenary Presentation: Tackling Global Change: Key Social and Ecological Issues for Mitigation and Adaptation

Moderator: Arden Bement, Director, National Science Foundation

  • Forest Management Response to Climate Change – Abigail Kimbell, Chief, US Forest Service
  • Oceans – Carbon Sink or Sinking Ecosystems – Margaret Leinen, Chief Scientific Officer, Climos
  • Ecosystem and Health Challenges – Mary C. Pearl, President, Wildlife Trust
  • People- The Solution- Thomas Dietz, Director of the Environmental Science and Policy Program, Michigan State University

4:30 pm Plenary Roundtable: Tackling Global Change: Key Energy and Technology Issues for Stabilization

Moderator: Mark Myers , Director, US Geological Survey
  • Global Energy and Technology Strategy- Jae Edmonds, Laboratory Fellow and Chief Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Healthy Solutions for a Low Carbon Economy- Paul Epstein, Associate Director, Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School
  • Role of Technology in Mitigating Global Climate Change- Frank Princiotta, Director, Air Pollution Prevention and Control Division, US EPA ORD
  • A Post Bali Framework for Climate Technology Innovation- Lewis Milford, President, Clean Energy Group
  • Commentary on Energy and Technological Challenges- David Rodgers, Deputy Assistant Secretary, United States Department of Energy

5:30 – 6:30 pm Reception: Showcase of Solutions– Exhibition and Scientific Poster presentations

6:30 – 8:00 pm Perspectives of the Next Generation of Climate Change Leaders

Moderator: Philippe Cousteau, Co-Founder, EarthEcho

Opening remarks by Douglas Cohen, US Partnership, National Youth Initiatives and Session Co-Organizer

  • The Envirolution: Alex Gamboa, Timothy Polmateer, Antuan Cannon
  • Scott Beall, DoRight Enterprises
  • Jessy Tolkan, Energy Action Coalition

Thursday, January 17, 2008

8:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 am Keynote Address: Climate Change: Science to Solutions – The Case for Business Leadership

James E. Rogers, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Duke Energy Corporation

10:00 am Plenary Roundtable: Solutions: Engaging Communities Large and Small

Moderator: Peter Senge, Founding Chairperson, Society for Organizational Learning
  • Energizing the Faithful – Rev. Richard Cizek, Vice-President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Engaging the Campuses – Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University
  • Engaging the Populace – Bill McKibben, Author, Scholar-in-residence in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College
  • Bringing Together Jobs, Justice, Environment and Community- Jerome Ringo, President, Apollo Alliance

11:00 am Plenary Roundtable: Solutions: Science and Policy on a Global Scale

Moderator and Opening Remarks: Global Leadership for Climate Action – Report from Bali – Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, The UN Foundation and Former CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility
  • Post-Kyoto International Agreements – Amb. Richard Benedick, President, National Council for Science and the Environment
  • IPCC: Future Role beyond the 4th Assessment- Stephen Schneider, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University
  • Global Energy Assessment- Bob Corell, Global Change Director, The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics, and the Environment
  • European or Chinese perspective TBD

1:30 – 5:00 pm Breakout Sessions: Developing a Blueprint for the Low Carbon Economy (concurrent)

~40 Sessions grouped under the following themes:
  • Strategies for Stabilization, Minimization, Mitigation and Adaptation
    • Stabilization/Mitigation
      • End-use Technologies
      • Economics and Policy
      • Population and Consumption
    • Adaptation
  • Guiding and Fostering Multi-disciplinary Research
  • Expanding Understanding: Information, Education and Communication
    • Communicating Science to Decisionmakers and the Public
    • Managing Global Change Science Information
    • Integrating Global Change into Education at All Levels and Across the Curriculum

5:30 pm Lifetime Achievement Award

6:00 pm 8th John H. Chafee Memorial Lecture on Science and the Environment

“Meeting the Climate-Change Challenge” given by

John P. Holdren, President and Director, The Woods Hole Research Center

7:00 pm Reception

Friday, January 18, 2008

8:00 am Continental Breakfast

8:45 am American Perspective on Climate Change – Jon Krosnick, Professor of Communication, Political Science, and Psychology, Stanford University

9:00 am Plenary Roundtable

Developing Political Solutions to Climate Change (discussion with political leaders from Administration, Congress, state, local and other national governments)

Moderator: Ray Suarez , Senior Correspondent, The News Hour

10:30 am Symposia – Concurrent

  • Beyond Kyoto – Elements of a 20202 International Agreement– Moderator: Mohamed El-Ashry, Senior Fellow, The UN Foundation and Former CEO and Chair, Global Environment Facility; Dilip Ahuja, National Institute of Advanced Studies; Scott Barrett, Professor and Director, International Policy Program, Johns Hopkins University
  • Climate Change and International Development – Moderator: Mohan Munasinghe, Vice Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Chairman, Munasinghe Institute for Development (MIND); Thomas Schelling, University of Maryland; Adrian Vazquez, Commission for Environmental Cooperation; Ralph Cicerone, President, National Academy of Sciences
  • Role of Philanthropic Foundations: Promoting Strategic Initiatives on Climate Change – Moderator: Sharon Alpert, Program Officer of the Environmental Program, Surdna Foundation ; Andrew Bowman, Director of the Climate Change Initiative, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Kathleen Welch, Deputy Director of the Environmental Program, the Pew Charitable Trusts; Eric Heitz, President, the Energy Foundation; Elizabeth Chadri, Program Officer for Conservation and Sustainable Development, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Business and Finance: Opportunities and Challenges from Climate Change – Moderator: Jeffrey Leonard , CEO, Global Environment Fund; Bruce Schlein, Vice President Environmental Affairs, Citi; Mindy Lubber, President, CERES; Bruce Mundiel, Swiss Re; Mark Tercek, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs’ Center for Environmental Markets
  • Forging Alliances Between Business and Society – US Climate Action Partnership; Tim Mealey, Senior Partner, Meridian Institute; DuPont; Exelon Corporation; Environmental Defense; The Nature Conservancy; Pew Center on Global Climate Change; Shell
  • Legislative Agenda for Addressing the Carbon Problem –L. Jeremy Richardson, 2007-2008 AAAS Roger Revelle Fellow in Global Stewardship; Margaret Turnbull , Space Telescope Science Institute; Ken Colburn, Center for Climate Strategies; Lexi Shultz, Representative for Climate Policy, the Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Engaging State and Local Government: Developing and Implementing Climate Action Plans- Dan Kammen, University of California- Berkeley
  • Climate Scientists and Decisionmakers: the Communication Interface – Moderator:Rebecca J. Romsdahl, Department of Earth Systems Science and Policy, University of North Dakota;Stacy Rosenberg, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics & Environmental Studies, SUNY Potsdam; Deborah Cowman, Assistant Research Scientist, Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy, Texas A&M University; Chris Pyke, Constructive Technologies Group, Inc.; Kit Batten, Director of Environmental Policy, Center for American Progress; David Bookbinder, Senior Attorney, Sierra Club; Roger Pulwarty, National Drought Information System, NOAA, Boulder, CO
  • Communicating Climate Science to the Public Through the Media – Moderator: Deborah Potter, NewsLab; David Malakoff, Editor/Correspondent, NPR Science Desk; Stephen Schneider, Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University; Joe Witte, Meteorologist, WJLA-TV; Doyle Rice, USA Today Weather Editor; Sara Espinoza, National Environmental Education Foundation
  • Science for Carbon Management – Eric Sundquist, Research Geologist, US Geological Society

12:30 pm Buffet Lunch (with youth mentoring tables)

2:00 pm Presidential Candidates Forum: What Will the Next President do to Manage Climate Change?

Each Candidate is invited to attend or send a representative. Opening statements and moderated discussion.

Moderator: Vijay Vaitheeswaran , Global Correspondent, The Economist, using information from the Presidential Climate Action Plan led by former Senator Gary Hart and from other sources

Climate Change Investing 9

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 27 Dec 2007 20:09:00 GMT

Ceres is the dominant organization in climate-related investment, with the mission of “integrating sustainability into capital markets for the health of the planet and its people.” Their Investor Network on Climate Risk represents corporations and institutions controlling $4 trillion in assets calling for corporate climate disclosure, emissions-reduction legislation, renewable energy investment, and related actions.

J. P. Morgan is one of the few investment majors with a dedicated climate change research division.

Calvert, one of the main players in the “socially responsible” investment space, has Calvert Global Alternative Energy Fund (CGAEX).

Guinness Atkinson has the Guinness Atkinson Alternative Energy Fund (GAAEX).

PowerShares offers various index funds, including Global Clean Energy Portfolio (PBD) (WilderHill New Energy Global Innovation Index (NEX)), Global Water Portfolio (PIO) (Palisades Global Water Index (PIIWI)), Cleantech Portfolio (Cleantech Index (CTIUS)), Water Resources Portfolio (Palisades Water Index (ZWI)), WilderHill Clean Energy Portfolio (WilderHill Clean Energy Index (ECO)), and the WilderHill Progressive Energy Portfolio (WilderHill Progressive Energy Index (WHPRO)).

Winslow Management specializes in “green” investment, offering Green Growth (WGGFX) and the new Green Solutions mid-cap (WGSLX).

Green Century Funds offers the Green Century Balanced Fund (GCBLX) and Equity Fund (GCEQX).

Forward Management has the Sierra Club Stock Fund (SCFSX).

Innovest recently released the report Carbon Beta and Equity Performance based on their work on the Carbon Disclosure Project.

CSRWire has a newsfeed of environment-related corporate press releases.

Green Chip Stocks is a green penny-stock tip sheet.

Climate disclosure, focusing on measuring financial risks and opportunities

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 31 Oct 2007 18:30:00 GMT

Committee page

Witnesses
  • Dr. Gary Yohe, Professor of Economics, Wesleyan University
  • Mr. Jeffery Smith, Partner in Charge of Environmental Practice, Cravath, Swaine, and Moore
  • Ms. Mindy Lubber, President, Ceres
  • Mr. Russell Read, Chief Investment Officer, California Public Employees’ Retirement System

Financial Week:

Senate Banking Committee takes up corporate disclosure of financial risk from climate change By Nicholas Rummell October 31, 2007

Several leading Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee say they want to push for greater disclosure from companies about the financial risk they face from climate change.

The move by Democrats is largely the by-product of a petition sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission last month. That petition requested that the SEC require companies to spell out material losses from climate change, such as the impact of new fuel regulations on automakers.

According to the petitioners, who include regulators in 11 states as well as institutional investors and advocacy groups, companies are currently required to delineate such risks under accounting rules, but they often fail to meet those requirements because of poor regulatory guidance. Business groups often argue that such information is confidential.

A Banking Committee hearing on the topic late last month was sparsely attended, by only Democratic members, but it shows congressional interest in the financial risks argument. Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) said he thinks the federal government should act to “chart a new course” for stopping climate change and improving financial returns for companies, which he called “two ends of a problem.”

A bill being marked up in another Senate committee reportedly would require new SEC regulations to require public companies to inform shareholders about financial disclosure of and economic impact of global warming on the company. The bill, sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), places caps on carbon emissions.

Current climate change disclosures are inconsistent, which makes it difficult for investors to compare one company’s disclosure with others, said Russell Read, chief investment officer at the $259 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System. Mr. Read said the SEC currently can require greater disclosure, but that it probably needs “prodding” by Congress to do so.

Some feel additional disclosure would lead to more inconsistent filings. Gary Yohe, an economics professor at Wesleyan University, said that, depending on whether a company evaluates risk to customers or the entire social cost of carbon use, “you get a wide range of numbers.”

Such guidance should focus only on companies that would be significantly impacted by climate change. “It would be a mistake for everyone to say something,” said Jeffrey Smith, lead partner in the environmental practice at law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore. Flooding the market with insignificant disclosure would hurt investors, he said, noting that companies should be “poised” to address useful information in filings. “Fake numbers are bad.”

Mindy Lubber, president of environmental advocacy group Ceres, testified that insurers face quantifiable financial risks from prolonged droughts and wildfires, energy companies face climate-change litigation and other companies face risk from greenhouse gas regulations. She cited recent investment bank research reports as evidence that Wall Street is starting to pay attention to the costs attributed to climate change.

Ms. Lubber said the petitioners don’t want “an onerous new disclosure regime,” but rather to tighten up current accounting standards on physical risks that can be evaluated, such as litigation or losses due to hurricanes. Petitioners in recent years have repeatedly asked the SEC to issue guidance, but the SEC has ignored such requests, she said.

The clamor for financial disclosure related to climate change has also made for strange bedfellows. Steven Milloy and Thomas Borelli, climate change skeptics and mutual fund managing partners, filed a petition for rule-making with the SEC earlier this month. They want companies to have to disclose the business risks of laws and regulations that address global warming.

The two activists, critical of the global warming movement and attempts at regulation, found that of 21 corporate members of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, only five disclosed that global warming regulation is a business risk. USCAP is a group of 33 companies and environmental groups that calls for significant reductions in greenhouse gases. “USCAP members,” Messrs. Milloy and Borelli wrote in their petition, “are keeping shareholders in the dark.”

Case in point, the two say, is the impact on General Electric’s labor force of the proposed shift to compact fluorescent light bulbs from incandescent bulbs. GE manufactures the environmentally friendly compact bulbs in China, which has caused friction with the company’s U.S. employees. The petition also targets PepsiCo, Du Pont and Caterpillar—also members of USCAP—for not disclosing financial risks adequately, as well as Wal-Mart, which is not a member.

“Global warming regulation represents a serious risk to publicly owned corporations, yet this threat to corporate earnings and shareholder value is not being disclosed to shareholders,” the petition stated.

According to Ms. Lubber and supporters, companies actually could reap benefits by addressing climate change. One analysis cited by Ms. Lubber found that U.S. electric power companies that have not prepared for the future cost of carbon regulations could see losses in earnings of up to 17%. Conversely, the same analysis found that companies with less polluting fuel mixes could see earnings increase by as much as 15%, she said.

The SEC has not issued a response on either petition and is not required to do so, though staffers may review them.

Environmental proxy proposals seeking more data on financial risk from global warming have come into vogue (see “Green Proxies to Be Red Hot This Season,” FW, Oct. 29). Last year, environmental activist shareholders filed a record-breaking number of green proposals; even more are planned for the 2008 season.