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The USA has given some of the top inventions to abate Climate Change.


Twelve countries accounted for nearly 90% of clean-tech inventions between 2000 and 2005, according to an analysis of the E.U.’s World Patent Statistical Database conducted by the economists Matthieu Glachant and Antoine Dechezleprêtre. Of those 12 countries, just three accounted for 60% of patent awards: Japan, the United States and Germany. As reported by William Pentland in the Eco-Tech section of Forbes in 2006.

When it comes to the wager about who can save Earth when the last call for saving the planet is given in 2017, U.S.A would be where I would put my money.

Not because they love Mother Earth more than any other Nation, they simply love to live life large size and for this reason alone they would help stop any event which could spoil their party.  While its true that Industrial Revolution started in Europe, it’s the Americans who taught the world how to pollute in style. A 20 tonnes of CO2e per head ! Wow.

From the automobiles, to airplanes. From telephone, to super large TV  to VoIP. From high-tech  homes which can communicate, to Skyscrapers, a simple sandwich to a fat hamburger;  the United States of America, depending on which side you’re, has fortunately or unfortunately created or popularized or exported around the world, everything with so much hype and business acumen that everyone ( let’s agree to tell the truth to ourselves) wants to live like an American.

In the bargain it has encouraged either by omission or commission a stupendous climate problem for Earth. Now, the World loves to deride USA for the high carbon life-style, yet paradoxically we all try to ape the very same and call it “our right to develop”.

In the past one month while researching for the various articles I’ve posted under “Green Business Ideas”, I became more aware of the various Clean technology field of work in which the USA has worked.   What most of us outside that Country do not know is that, there are two Americas. One the United States of America, which is run by proxy by the big oil & coal corporates. And then  the made in USA. Run by the very same people who made the brand USA.

The 2011 Cleantech Open Awards, a non-profit organization, has been rewarding entrepreneurs that espouse clean technology for six years running, reported that to date, 593 companies in the United States alone have finished the entrepreneurship programs of Cleantech Open, which in turn raised funding for an excess of $500 million.

These are astute businessmen, people whose hard work and perseverance made the Country a Super power. And some among them REALLY care about the Ecosystem.

So what is it that is stopping the USA from signing the legally binding treaty on Climate change control? About two year back I had heard Andrew Light, Senior Fellow at American Progress specializing in international climate and science policy, and a professor at George Mason University, when he was in India and a co-panelist at the Indian Business School, Powai, Mumbai. What he was trying to explain that the American people do not see fossil fuel, such as coal & oil; agent for global warming rather as pollution. And this is the reason White House can not sign a treaty so easily. I have immense respect for a person of that stature and do understand he would have a more in-depth knowledge about his Country.

During my interaction with him later, at the American Center, in the evening I had mentioned to him, that the World would always look up to a Leader. Whether we acknowledge it or not, as of now the USA is still considered the leading World economy which would find out a way out of these uncertain times.

In my opinion, it should be the various Climate experts both NGO’s and individual clean tech businessperson who should come together and clearly demonstrate the job opportunities as opposed to job loss to the public in America and thus create a conducive atmosphere to help Washington take the right policy step.

Once this happens, the BRIC or BASIC countries would be the first to benefit from the right technology transfer at a price that they can afford. Which in turn would help Clean technology to grow at a faster pace and percolate down to the underdeveloped Nations, bringing prosperity for all.

 

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Climate change – the most significant emerging risks facing the world today


Climate change

Climate change—often referred to as “global warming”—is one of the most significant emerging risks facing the world today, presenting tremendous challenges to the environment, to the world economy, and to individual businesses. It is also one of the most difficult risks to mitigate. This is a complex global issue at the intersection of science, risk, and public policy.

Ceres which directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk, a group of 78 institutional investors from the U.S., Europe, and Canada who collectively manage over $7 trillion in assets. In an annual report has noted that, despite the financial crisis, a growing number of political, financial and business leaders are calling for immediate action to drastically reduce global warming pollution. Climate change related catastrophic losses in 2008 to the economy were the third highest ever , exceeding $200 billion globally in 2008, including $40 billion in losses from Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in the U.S. alone, according to global insurer Munich Re. Climate trends are creating risks on both sides of the insurance house—underwriting and investment. But these trends also create vast opportunities, from product innovation to investment alpha, for insurers to be part of the global warming solution. For the first time, fighting climate change is seen not just as a long-term imperative but also as a short-term stimulus for a struggling economy. Property insurance companies are driving the majority of the activity (home owner, commercial, and auto)For the first time, two insurers, Zurich and Liberty Mutual, have introduced directors and officers’ coverage specifically tailored to address liability risks associated with climate change.

◆ Almost all of the climate-related innovations in liability insurance for directors and officers, political risk, professional liability, and environmental liability have appeared in the past year. Both Zurich and Liberty Mutual launched products specifically designed to cover boards of directors in the event of climate change litigation, a significant development given pending lawsuits that could allocate significant costs to major emitters of greenhouse gases.

The business risks from climate change include:
• the strong threat of increasingly volatile weather conditions,
• rising sea levels, and new health impacts;
• resulting impacts on insurance markets, business resources,
• personnel, and corporate preparedness;
• increasing legal and regulatory pressures; and
• mounting public and shareholder activism.

Therefore Climate change—and how to respond to it—is not “yet another” issue for insurers. It is, rather, bound up in the very fabric of the industry and its business environment, namely:
◆ Loss-model accuracy
Regulation
◆ Balance sheet strength, risk-based capital, and solvency
◆ Competitiveness
Emerging markets
◆ Reputation & trust
◆ Customer retention
◆Corporate governance, investor relations, and disclosure

Litigation Risks from climate change include:
With a growing perception among the public, government officials, and businesses that climate change causes damage, the likelihood increases that lawsuits may be filed against those believed to contribute to the buildup of GHGs. Companies could find themselves embroiled in courtroom battles on a number of fronts.

Reputation Risks:
Health risks: Climate change also poses a threat through potential impacts on the spread of diseases. A recent study by Harvard Medical School, for example, concluded that rising temperatures and extreme weather affect the breeding and spread of disease vectors such as mosquitoes that carry malaria and ticks that carry Lyme disease. Rising temperatures may also increase the growth of ragweed pollen and cause a rise in the incidence of asthma, according to the 2005 study. Air pollution could also worsen in some areas, with a related rise in respiratory illnesses. The economic consequences in terms of cost to company and government health plans could be significant.
Although most consumers do not currently consider climate change to be a front-burner issue, it is likely to become a mainstream consumer concern by 2010, according to Brand Value at Risk From Climate Change, a study conducted by the Carbon Trust with Lippincott Mercer, a Marsh sister company. In part, climate change will gain visibility among consumers in the coming years through the impacts of media reports on severe weather, increased regulations, political debate, and an increase in products marketed as climate-friendly. A number of companies from a range of industries are already promoting themselves as environmentally friendly and, specifically, climate change-friendly.

Regulatory Risk from Climate change:
As government agencies and world bodies put regulations in place limiting emissions, enforcement action can be expected against companies found not to be in compliance.
Such companies may then face significant costs from fines or from fighting against the regulations—or against allegations of having violated them—in court.

Risk from Shareholders:
Lawsuits from shareholders could centre on whether a company suffered financially due to a lack of planning for climate risks by directors. For example, it’s conceivable that a power company may choose to do nothing to limit emissions, and then the federal government could pass legislation requiring CO2 limits. Companies that had not prepared for the possibility could find themselves at a disadvantage to competitors that did prepare.

Competitiveness Risks:
A company that manages the above risks—physical, regulatory, shareholder, litigation, and reputation—more effectively than others in its industry may gain a competitive advantage. For example, if a manufacturing firm undertakes a comprehensive effort to reduce its energy consumption, it may significantly reduce energy costs, discover ways to streamline its processes, exceed shareholder expectations, and project a positive environmental image. Many companies are now aggressively developing new products as part of environmentally friendly strategies.

Corporate need to;
• understand and assess their exposures to natural hazards;
• analyze infrastructure damage;
• identify the need for upgrades to buildings and business practices; and
• obtain advice on risk-reduction measures.

Note: The article has been condensed from various prestigious publications & condensed for easy reading.

 

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