Thursday, 20 May 2010 11:56 Written by Maia Davis
In January 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to provide public companies with interpretive guidance on existing SEC disclosure requirements as they relate to climate change. Risks associated with climate change may trigger disclosure requirements for:
- Impact of legislation and regulation
- Impact of international accords
- Indirect consequences of regulation or business trends
- Physical impacts of climate change
Tuesday, 18 May 2010 08:50 Written by Ivan Chan
Congratulations to our partner JetBlue! The airline is highlighted for "True Green - Creative Conservation" in today's special Globe 100 section of The Boston Globe. JetBlue enables travelers to reduce their carbon footprint by offsetting the emissions of their flight in support of three carbon reduction projects, including wind power, landfill methane capture, and the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge Reforestation Project in Louisiana. JetBlue also offsets the business travel of its own crewmembers. “We can’t ask our customers to do something that we’re not doing,’’ said Gina Rauscher, manager of corporate social responsibility. Icema Gibbs, JetBlue's director of corporate social responsibility, noted, “We have seen a lot of pickup from our customers. People are continually saying that this is great.’’ Check out the article in today's Globe here! If you're flying JetBlue, please visit: www.carbonfund.org/jetblue to reduce your travel footprint.
Monday, 17 May 2010 20:13 Written by Ivan Chan
What can you do to beat the traffic, get a workout and revel with other commuters? Try biking to work on Friday, National Bike-to-Work Day. The annual event occurs the third Friday of May, and if you haven't tried it, biking to work can be fun. Here in the DC area, for instance, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and Commuter Connections of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments have organized the region’s activities. One of the many "pit stops" in the region will be in downtown Silver Spring, near Carbonfund.org, at the Discovery Communications headquarters plaza. The pit stops will enable bicyclists to meet up, enjoy a bite to eat, have something to drink, and get a chance to win prizes or a free T-shirt. Pit stops will open and close at different times, so please check out the website. Wherever you are in the country, you are likely to find an event to celebrate bike-to-work day. If there isn't one near you, consider getting together with some friends, family members or colleagues to organize a bike-to-work day in your community or area! Biking is a great (and healthy!) way to reduce your carbon footprint from commuting or just getting around. If you're not a bicyclist or don't want to participate, remember that you can reduce your footprint by offsetting in support of Carbonfund.org's carbon reduction projects. Happy cycling! Please share this posting with others. Thanks!
Goetz Printing Company is one of the Washington area's leading full-service commercial printers, offering both digital and offset printing services. In the company’s own words, it is “ideally positioned to offer you a comprehensive range of options that can meet all of your printing needs.” Through its dedication to reducing its environmental impact, Goetz Printing puts in practice corporate social responsibility and empowers its customers to make environmentally sound choices as well. Not only has Goetz Printing been certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), but Goetz has also received Chain of Custody Certification by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Through the latter certification program, Goetz is able to track the amount of certified, uncertified, and recycled content in the forest products it buys, uses, and sells to customers. Goetz Printing additionally participates in Carbonfund.org’s CarbonFree® Partner program to reduce and offset its business carbon footprint.
The US EPA requires 31 industries to track and report their emissions beginning in 2010 through the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule finalized on October 30, 2009. EPA recently announced that they are expanding the scope of their GHG mandatory reporting rule to include more of the oil and natural gas sector, large fluorinated gas emitting sources and carbon sequestration. These sources would be required to track their emissions beginning in 2011. Public comment is currently open on this proposed rule expansion. The mandatory reporting is separate from EPA regulations announced yesterday on reducing carbon emissions. The regulations announced yesterday could be enforced in the event Congress does not pass a climate bill.
Following months of negotiation, Senators Kerry and Lieberman on Wednesday announced their compromise climate and energy bill, the American Power Act. It's significantly different from the Waxman-Markey House bill passed last year and faces the challenge of securing 60 votes needed for passing in the Senate. Key differences from the House bill include: -carbon reductions from separate sectors of the economy, particularly utilities and energy-intensive industries, rather than a national cap -increased incentives for conventional energy sources as well as renewable sources The Kerry-Lieberman bill does, however, use the 2020 and 2050 reduction goals of the House bill: 17% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2020. This is followed by 83% emissions reductions below 2005 levels by 2050, plus accelerated mitigation of some, more potent greenhouse gases than CO2. Following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the bill's language on offshore oil drilling has been toned down to an extent. States will have the authority to opt out of drilling within 75 miles of their shores and veto drilling off shores of a neighboring state. Moreover, the Department of the Interior will need to assess which states would be affected by a spill should one occur, and those states would be able to block drilling through their state legislatures. While not dubbed a cap-and-trade bill, it does have numerous characteristics of a cap-and-trade, including recognition and use of emissions permits and carbon offsets to help achieve reductions more cost-effectively. "This is a bill for energy independence after a devastating oil spill, a bill to hold polluters accountable, a bill for billions of dollars to create the next generation of jobs and a bill to end America's addiction to foreign oil," Kerry said at a press conference. He described stakes for the legislation as "sky high." The Associated Press noted that Lieberman predicts the bill would pass, citing what he called a growing and unprecedented coalition of business, national security, faith and environmental leaders who are "energized" to work for it. To see a section-by-section summary of the bill, click here. You can also view the bill text here.
Wednesday, 12 May 2010 10:27 Written by Michelle Lam
Yes, you read that correctly. Entire masses of land are disappearing. More specifically, climate change experts have recently revealed that Nigerian islands in the Niger Delta region have been lost, and that global warming is to blame. Climate change is real, and the effects are being felt as we speak. The warning signs were first noticed twenty years ago, when two professors at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research cautioned that the nation was losing coastal lands at an alarming rate. Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati asserted that the combination of weathering from the ocean and rising sea levels would completely erode the islands. Now, Ibe’s and Akpati’s fears have been realized, and there remains concern that even more islands could be lost. Much of the discussion and literature of climate change have tended to zoom in on one specific effect or solution. Additionally, research and science often cite the impact that climate change will have five, ten, or even twenty years down the road. For most people, it is hard to put that into perspective. The effects of global warming are not a “one and done” deal; humans are directly contributing to global warming, which in turn is causing a rise in overall temperatures across the world and rising sea levels. Now, experts including Victor Fodeke, head of the Federal Ministry of Environment’s Special Climate Change Unit in Nigeria confirm that rising seas and erosion are to blame for the loss of islands. Nigerians who were once living or working on the islands have since relocated. Such a move has taken a negative toll on the displaced. Global warming is setting off a chain reaction that adversely affects our ecosystem and beyond.