Great read on corporations adapting to climate change by World Resources Institute. You’d be surprised by how many corporations are adapting - even big oil is adapting to climate change. Blame the media’s obsession with showing “the other side” of the debate. When 97% of climate scientists agree on something (a first) there is no other side to debate.
Now, businesses are finding they’ll also need to “adapt” to more volatile conditions and help vulnerable communities become more resilient. Adaptation means recognizing and preparing for impacts like water stress, coastal flooding, community health issues, or supply chain disruptions, among other issues.
WRI discussed why businesses need to embrace mitigation AND adaptation strategies at the recent Net Impact conference, where I sat on a panel entitled: “Climate Change Adaptation: Mitigating Risk and Building Resilience.” Dr. David Evans, Director of the Center for Sustainability at Noblis, moderated the panel. Other panelists included Gabriela Burian, Director for Sustainable Agriculture Ecosystems at Monsanto, and John Schulz, Director of Sustainability Operations at AT&T.
Why Adaptation Is So Important
Each panelist pointed to reasons why adapting to climate change is becoming increasingly important to their own companies. For example:
At AT&T, potential disruptions to IT networks pose real threats to the company and its customers. Drawing lessons from disasters like Hurricane Katrina, AT&T has started locating critical equipment on the 2nd floor of a building—rather than the ground floor—to avoid future floods.
At Monsanto, the focus is on meeting the future food needs of a growing global population. Global warming means new challenges for farmers, who must adjust to changing growing seasons and water availability.
Critical Issues for Corporate Climate Leaders
AT&T and Monsanto shared stories about their own experiences with climate change adaptation, but it’s important to note that this issue will increasingly impact all companies—from small, mom-and-pop shops to global corporations. Companies like Coca-Cola are publicly acknowledging climate risks as part of their financial reporting. More leadership is needed, as businesses start to look at their own climate risks as well as impacts on their customers and local communities.
In the course of the Q&A, the Net Impact session highlighted five important topics that corporate leaders will need to keep in mind:
Managing diverse climate change impacts across global operations: Companies that operate in multiple regions may face very different climate change impacts (for example, sea level rise, increasing temperatures, drought, or floods) in different locations. Corporate strategies must be developed locally and in partnership with departments across the organization’s various locations.
Finding and creating better decision-making tools: Companies will need information to help them factor potential climate risks into future investments and strategies. Experts in the audience and on the panel pointed to WRI tools like the Aqueduct global water risk maps and the forthcoming Sustainability SWOT (sSWOT) as examples of the type of resources needed to guide forward-looking, smart business decisions.
Recognizing underlying drivers of vulnerability: A changing climate is just one of several variables that contribute to business and community vulnerability. For example, population growth and mass consumption are two of the underlying drivers that came up in discussion as places to focus when seeking to increase community resiliency.
Taking a broad view of risks and opportunities by engaging stakeholders: A narrow view of climate impacts may unintentionally increase a company’s (or its customers’ or surrounding communities’) vulnerability to climate change. Looking just at the company’s own facilities along the coastline, for example, ignores risks in the supply chain. Similarly, the potential health impacts of climate change—like an increasing threat of water-borne disease—might not seem immediately relevant to some businesses, but it may impact employees or communities in future growth markets. Proactive stakeholder engagement is essential for identifying such risks, which for some companies, may also be opportunities to provide new solutions.
Reaching out to new partners: Effective strategies for adapting to climate change may in some cases be a source of competitive advantage (for example, in developing a new product or service). However, in other cases, adaptation measures can be pre-competitive, meaning that even bitter rivals (think Coca-Cola and Pepsi) could collaborate to create better information tools or share water resource management techniques.
Corporations Must Act Quickly
The list above is a partial one. Corporate action to adapt to climate change will certainly involve many more ideas and strategies—many of which are still being developed. More action is needed, and the important take-away from the discussion at the Net Impact conference is that action must start now.
Global Warming alarmists are embarrassed and hide this fact more than most any other. In the 1970s, it was a scientific consensus almost to the level it is today that man was causing the drop in temperature observed from 1938-1970s. In this article and a TIME magazine article, climatologists, even…
12 maps of the world from 1955 until now show extreme temperature anomalies. So why are people still denying climate change?
The Canadian government is to mark the 25th anniversary of its green business advisers by closing the agency down.
John Baird, Canada’s foreign affairs minister and pointman for next month’s Rio+20 Earth summit in Brazil, said this week that the National Roundtable for the Environment and Economy (NRTEE) would have its funding cut in 2013 because of the availability of information from thinktanks, the internet and universities.
Baird told reporters that Canadian taxpayers should not have to pay for an organisation that has produced 10 reports promoting a carbon tax – “something that the people of Canada have repeatedly rejected”.
“But that’s not correct,” the Roundtable’s CEO, David McLaughlin, told the Guardian on Thursday, adding that it had never advocated a carbon tax but had looked at cap and trade for regulating Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in a 2009 report commissioned by the government. “Which was government policy at the time,” said McLaughlin.
The C$5.2 million funding for the NRTEE will cease as of 31 March next year under a wide-ranging omnibus budget bill C-38 that is currently before Canada’s House of Commons. The legislation seeks to speed up natural resources projects such as oil and gas pipelines, and repeal the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act.
How can you map the world to show global data in an immediately clear way? How can you show two datasets at once to see how they compare? Kiln, a partnership of Guardian writer Duncan Clark and developer Robin Houston has come up with this beautiful new take on the globe. Watch the animated intro or click on the topics and see the map move before your eyes. Adding shading lets you compare two datasets to see how they relate – so you can see clearly how poorest countries have the fastest growing populations but the lowest emissions
Coral Reefs: To some, they’re the prime spot for an underwater adventure. For others, they’re the best part of documentaries that take place underwater. But for the many species of fish and local communities who depend on them, they are the fabric of life … Climate change has also affected reefs. Both higher temperatures and global warming can cause coral reef to go through a process known as bleaching, wherein increased temperatures, acidity, or a number of other factors can cause the coral to turn white and die. The death of the habit means the death (or forced migration) of the species, and bleaching incidents can reverberate throughout marine ecosystems.
Global Warming: Science and the message
25 Feb 2012
A good thing:
Construction is to begin in March on Mongolia’s first wind farm, and its backers hope it will be the beginning of a renewable energy boom and to establish Mongolia as the hub of an Asian clean energy “supergrid” that supplies Russia, China, the Koreas and Japan.
Read more: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/marshalling-the-winds-of-mongolia/
Human emissions of carbon dioxide will defer the next Ice Age, say scientists.
The last Ice Age ended about 11,500 years ago, and when the next one should begin has not been entirely clear.
Researchers used data on the Earth’s orbit and other things to find the historical warm interglacial period that looks most like the current one.
In the journal Nature Geoscience, they write that the next Ice Age would begin within 1,500 years - but emissions have been so high that it will not.
“At current levels of CO2, even if emissions stopped now we’d probably have a long interglacial duration determined by whatever long-term processes could kick in and bring [atmospheric] CO2 down,” said Luke Skinner from Cambridge University.
Dr Skinner’s group - which also included scientists from University College London, the University of Florida and Norway’s Bergen University - calculates that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 would have to fall below about 240 parts per million (ppm) before the glaciation could begin.
The current level is around 390ppm, and other research groups have shown that even if emissions were shut off instantly, concentrations would remain elevated for at least 1,000 years, with enough heat stored in the oceans potentially to cause significant melting of polar ice and sea level rise.
Read more at Link