CLIMATE CHANGE ROUND UP FOR THE WEEK ENDING: May 11, 2019

It’s time to call climate change what it is – an emergency – and act accordingly

(Corporate Knights Inc. ) Some good news for a change: Hundreds of municipalities around the globe and now Ireland Scotland, Wales and the U.K. are stepping up to declare climate emergencies. And some are making the declaration mean something.

As water levels continued to climb along the Ottawa River in late April, the nation’s capital became one of the latest Canadian towns to declare a climate emergency. It’s not a moment too soon. After 30 years of work by the largest scientific collaboration in human history, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the climate crisis that humanity faces is now beyond question. A generation after they were first predicted, the impacts are now increasingly visible in Canada and around the world. Fires, floods, droughts, storms, wind and extreme heat are becoming increasingly severe.

In Ontario alone, insured losses from extreme weather events exceeded $1.3 billion in 2018. Uninsured financial losses by individuals, companies and institutions are often estimated to be one to three times as large as reported insured losses. On top of that, the Insurance Bureau of Canada reports that governments incur about $3 in damage to infrastructure and other public services for every $1 of those insured losses. And all these figures only cover losses measured directly in money, omitting significant health and environmental damage.

In the face of this crisis, as well as the collapse of biodiversity, it is beyond tragic that so many “senior” levels of government are doing so little – or worse, in some cases undoing a decade or more of hard work. With a federal election looming, the future of federal climate action is also uncertain.

In these dispiriting circumstances, municipal leadership is of great importance. As the owners and operators of most of Canada’s infrastructure, municipalities are at the front line of much climate damage. In many ways, they have more to lose from climate inaction than other levels of government. For one, they bear increasing social welfare needs as climate change disproportionately affects the poorest and most vulnerable. Municipalities are also much more vulnerable to liability lawsuits than senior levels of government, and municipal representatives are more visible and accountable to their constituents.

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Trump’s Climate Denial Is Acutely Dangerous But Also Grossly Inefficient

(FORBES) If you needed further proof that Donald Trump is a global policy arsonist, just look at his administration’s grotesque stance on the Earth’s rapidly-changing climate and all its present and future dangers.

Witness, too, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s macabre speech to Arctic nations this week, which portrayed the devastating melting of polar ice caps as a trade opportunity.

One of Trump’s first moves in office was to withdraw from the painstakingly negotiated Paris Climate Accord, a major blow to U.S. global leadership on environmental issues. Trump himself has often referred to climate change as a “Chinese hoax.”

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Stalling on Climate Change Action May Cost Investors Over $1 Trillion

(Bloomberg) — Delays in tackling climate change could cost companies about $1.2 trillion worldwide during the next 15 years, according to the United Nations.

That’s the preliminary analysis of a UN Environment Finance Initiative project that brought together 20 global fund managers to measure the impact of climate change on 30,000 of the largest listed companies. The group has created a guide for investors to assess how their holdings would respond to different levels of global warming and policy making.

“Investors have a central role to play in moving the world to a low-carbon future,” said Maurice Tulloch, chief executive officer of Aviva Plc, one of the participants in the project. “This collaboration shows how we can all take better decisions, for our customers and for the environment.”

Extreme weather events, including floods, tropical cyclones, and extreme hot and cold days are already hitting business operations. Should governments install tougher policy in the push for cleaner technology, emission-intensive companies will increasingly struggle to compete.

As well as Aviva, the investor group included companies such as Manulife Asset Management, M&G Prudential Ltd. and DNB Asset Management AS. The work was guided by advisory and modeling firms Carbon Delta AG and Vivid Economics Ltd.

Investors are playing an increased role to protect financial stability against climate change. The research work will enable them to better understand climate-related risks and opportunities, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, a part of the Financial Stability Board global regulator, the UN said. The task force is chaired by Michael Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg LP.

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