Sunday, March 04, 2007

There is still time

The most comprehensive review ever carried out in the United Kingdom on the economics of climate change was published in the latter half of 2006. The Stern Review, which reported to Britain's Prime Minister and Chancellor, was commissioned by the Chancellor in July last year. It was carried out by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the Government Economic Service and former World Bank Chief Economist.

Sir Nicholas said recently:

“The conclusion of the Review is essentially optimistic. There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally. Governments, businesses and individuals all need to work together to respond to the challenge. Strong, deliberate policy choices by governments are essential to motivate change. But the task is urgent. Delaying action, even by a decade or two, will take us into dangerous territory. We must not let this window of opportunity close.”


Herein below is part three (final reproduced portion) of the article written by Kevin Eddy (assistant Editor of the Chartered Secretary ICSA magazine January 2007-- Apocalypse now-ish (Part Three)

Theory into practice - So, what does all this mean in practice? Tony Hoskins, chief executive of the consultancy firm The Virtuous Circle - which specialises in advising companies on corporate social responsibility issues - thinks that many organisations will need to think of it as a culture change process to achieve the desired results. The Stern Review will have a significant effect on companies' approach to corporate social responsibility because the actions needed to achieve change will affect all areas of business. Companies will need to consider plans over and above energy offsets and energy efficiency improvements if the scenarious potrayed in the Stern Review are to be avoided. It will give certain arguments a different emphasis - the current discussions about supply chains, for example, as we've seen with the shipping of langoustines to Asia for them to be cleaned and returned to the United Kingdom. Companies will need to consider the carbon emissions related to having such long supply chains and decide whether or not a more local sourcing policy may be more appropriate. On a wider scale, over time firms will have to look at the products and services they provide to see how they can improve their environmental emissions impact.
The starting point for employers regarding their carbon emissions involves encouraging employees to change the way they have traditionally done things. That means looking beyond the obvious requirement to turn off the lights when the office is empty, to other aspects of their behavior such as whether they drive into work. Regulation wise, some form of carbon taxing is inevitable. Hopefully, whatever is introduced will be simple for business. Green taxes will be easier to implement, while emissions trading would be quite onerous.
The second obvious effect for companies, though, comes from the increased amount of information that listed companies will have to produce in their business review under the new companies act. To date, few companies have started to report on emissions as a part of their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), unless they are big energy users like glass manufacturers. But when the government starts a form of carbon taxing, more companies will feature emission performance as one of their KPIs.
Some companies are acting already - banks like HSBC and investment companies like Man Group have issued clear policies stating how they intend to address the climate change agenda. Organisations like the Carbon Trust are providing support to companies to identify ways in which they can effect change in a cost effective way. Ultimately, the one action that every business should take is to understand what its carbon impact is and then consider in what ways this can be improved upon. If this process improves their performance, then better corporate social responsibility across the board will be a welcome by-product.
An effective response to climate change will not be the responsibility of one or two nations alone. Agreements like the Kyoto Protocol and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change should act as a foundation for further cooperation, with the aim of creating an international approach based on multi-lateral frameworks and coordinated action.
It's a tall order, especially as their has already been criticism that, since climate change is a phenomenon largely caused by the industrialisation of the West, it is an issue that the West should sort out. Even so, developing countries are already taking action to ensure their economic growth is not accompanied by a corresponding growth in emissions. China, for example, has introduced domestic targets to reduce energy used per unit of GDP by 20% by 2010; and, India has its own Integrated Energy Policy, intended to expand access to cleaner energy and increase energy efficiency. It's a promising move and if the rest of the world can follow suit, the ambitious aims of the Review may well be within reach. Even so, it's likely to be a long hard road ahead for us all.

20 comments:

Jada's Gigi said...

Hell Enid, so nice to hear from you again..hope all is well in chilly Belize! :)

Ian Lidster said...

Not to disparage what you suggest, but the situation in Asia is monumentally worse than anything produced by the West. China's reduction of 20% doesn't even scratch the surface there.
Thanks you for the jokes you sent me, by the way. They were priceless.
Cheers,
Ian

HeiressChild said...

hi enid,

interesting article and very real. hope things are going well with you and your family. i presume the people didn't strike since joanne has been online. i haven't seen you online at work lately, so figured it's a busy time for you. have a peaceful, relaxing weekend.

Michael Manning said...

Enid: This is a very good post about a passion of mine: The Environment! lol for caring!!!!!!

HeiressChild said...

enid, i keep forgetting to tell you how good you look for 250 yrs old.

dragonflyfilly said...

yep, i agree with Ian -- China is one of the worst offenders and has been for some time now. BUT, we as consumers contribute to this also -- just look at all the Dollar Stores, and when you buy something, guess what, most of the time it is manufactured in China. So, all of us, stop consuming, stop buying all those $items that, in the long run, are going to cost us our quality of life.

good post Enid.

luv and Light,
pj

Belizegial said...

Hey Everyone,

I am glad to report that I am still alive with my internet connection. AND, yes the weather has improved greatly within the last week or so. Temps. are balmy and beautiful today, just in time for the upcoming Easter holidays.

Ian and PJ, you are most definitely correct in your opinion re China. We need to do something in our individual communities to stop the madness of mass consumerism. Learning to be happy with less materialistic possessions is the way ahead if we are to make a turnaround in the over heating of our earth.

Sylvia, thanks for reminder to fix my profile. I do agree 250 years old is a bit much LOL

Michael, my passionate friend, thanks for caring!

Happy Baron Bliss Day from the tropics,

Enid

Meow said...

Hi Enid,
Hope you are keeping well.
Going by your temperature doo-dah in your side bar, it is a lovely 25C where you are ... mmm, that's nice ... although it is nearly 10pm at night ... hope it cools down somewhat for sleeping !!
Have a great week.
Take care, Meow

HeiressChild said...

hi enid, i was thinking about you the past few days. glad to see you on my blog tonite. thank you for your insightful comments. wish i was there enjoying some of your beautiful, warm weather. have a great week.

FreeThinker said...

I like to think I'm helping prevent global warming by not owning/using a car! (easy when you live in San Francisco!)

HeiressChild said...

i'm just here listening to your good music.

Sienna said...

..and G'day from Australia

Thankyou for dropping in, you have an amazing and beautiful barrier reef too, what a wonderful looking country Belize looks...

I am ashamed to say our Australian Government has not as yet signed the Kyoto Protocol, they are under a lot of lobbying and pressure from their constituents to do so..

I hope your daughter likes the animals, we love them very much.

Have a great week Enid, and peace.

Pam

Pennys from Heaven said...

Hello Enid! Interesting post. In my Principals of Managment class we are studying the Global Ecomony.....interesting subjects........and how it all impacts us.

Hope things are well in your part of the world. Rainy here....Rain Rain Rain.

I am not fallen off the globe...just trying to keep up with a busy schedule...and stay grounded at the same time! :)

More later
Peg

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