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Monday, May 5, 2014

Strategic CSR - IPCC

The article in the url below digs a little deeper into the recent IPCC climate change report and the details it uncovers are not encouraging:
“The [IPCC] describes itself as ‘policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral’. Its latest report, the third in six months, ignores that fine distinction. Pressure from governments forced it to strip out of its deliberations a table showing the link between greenhouse gases and national income, presumably because this made clear that middle-income countries such as China are the biggest contributors to new emissions. It also got rid of references to historical contributions, which show that rich countries bear a disproportionate responsibility.”
This is discouraging, not so much in terms of the overall findings in relation to climate change, but in terms of what it says about the governments that are supposed to negotiate a new climate change agreement (with associated commitments to lower emissions) next year in Paris:
“The new report is intended to measure how far governments have met their promises, formalised in 2010, to keep the global rise in mean surface temperatures compared with pre-industrial times to less than 2°C. It says they are miles from achieving that goal and are falling further behind.”
Why is this important? Primarily because the only way progress can be made in combatting the effects of climate change is with the coordinated cooperation of governments worldwide:
“The IPCC still thinks it might be possible to hit the emissions target by tripling, to 80%, the share of low-carbon energy sources, such as solar, wind and nuclear power, used in electricity generation. It reckons this would require investment in such energy to go up by $147 billion a year until 2030.”
In the same fashion that the IPCC gave-in to political pressure not to label those countries that have caused the most environmental damage, The Economist accuses the committee of holding back in terms of the financial consequences of addressing climate change seriously:
“These numbers look preposterous. Germany and Spain have gone further than most in using public subsidies to boost the share of renewable energy (though to nothing like 80%) and their bills have been enormous: 0.6% of GDP a year in Germany and 0.8% in Spain. The costs of emission-reduction measures have routinely proved much higher than expected.”
As a result:
“Of the IPCC’s three recent reports, the first two (on the natural science and on adapting to global warming) were valuable. This one isn’t.”
Take care
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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Another week, another report
April 19, 2014
The Economist
Late Edition – Final