Map of the Week

Florida and the East Coast, if the Greenland ice sheet melts:

Floridaaftergreenlandicesheetmelts

This from a formidable (but actually, excitingly good) shareholder report put out by the group called CERES, for California Environmental Resource Evaluation System).

Remarkably, in contrast to the head-in-the-sand stance of the Bush administration, it documents how a shocking number of big American corporations have taken on the fact and challenge of climate change, including Chevron, DuPont, and GE, and how these corps are making big changes in their operation and their attitude.

And then there are the "laggards," like the villainous ExxonMobil, Sempra, Phelps Dodge, and ConAgra.

I’ll post and briefly discuss the report below the fold.

Here’s the summary report from March 2006–a big corporation scoreboard on climate risk–by CERES.

Here’s a link to the page where you can find the full report, which I would read and discuss and likely report out, if someone actually paid me to look at this.

Here’s a report from a business ethics group, which reports how disappointingly few mutual funds paid any attention at all to the facts in the report.

And here’s my off-the-cuff reaction: It’s remarkable how much some American corporations have changed in three years. Some examples, quoting from the report:

The first edition of this report, published in 2003, introduced the Climate Change Governance Checklist.
It scored 20 global companies on 14 governance actions that companies should take to proactively address the climate issue. A key finding of that report was that major American companies and industries were largely ignoring or discounting climate change in their governance practices and strategic planning. This is no longer the case. Corporate leaders in many industries have begun to meet the climate challenge.
Consider the following:

• In 2003, U.S.-based petroleum companies had virtually a single-minded focus on oil and gas development. In 2004, Chevron formally integrated renewable technologies into its energy portfolio, and now invests more than $100 million per year in low-carbon and carbon-free energy alternatives.

• In 2003, U.S. auto companies relied on sales of big sport utility vehicles with low gas mileage as their main source of profits. In 2004, Ford introduced the first American-built hybrid SUV,
and now plans to increase hybrid vehicle production tenfold, to 250,000 annually, by 2010.

• In 2003, few U.S. electric power companies acknowledged the risks related to climate change.
In 2004, American Electric Power announced plans to build the first commercial-scale power plant using coal gasification technology, calling it the “right investment” given foreseeable GHG regulations. Cinergy and many other companies are indicating that GHG regulations are likely and are now advocating for a national climate policy with mandatory controls.

• In 2003, American equipment manufacturers were largely silent about their plans to develop GHG-saving technologies. In 2005, General Electric launched its “ecomagination” campaign, a plan to double investments in climate-friendly technologies and reach $20 billion in annual sales by 2010.

Much more could be said–good, bad, and ugly–but the fact that huge companies like DuPont actually are on course to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses by 65% below 1990 levels should be an inspiration to us all.

2 thoughts on “Map of the Week

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