Index · Artikel · Davos strives to make climate talk more than hot air

Davos strives to make climate talk more than hot air

2013-01-25 8
   
Advertisement
résuméDAVOS, Switzerland Climate change is back on the global agenda, with debate in the corridors at Davos given fresh impetus by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both highlighting it as top priority this week. Yet busine
Advertisement

Davos strives to make climate talk more than hot air


DAVOS, Switzerland Climate change is back on the global agenda, with debate in the corridors at Davos given fresh impetus by U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both highlighting it as top priority this week.

Yet business leaders are still struggling to find the economic incentives to change current practices.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has not held back in its own assessment of the dangers, with former Mexican president Felipe Calderon warning of "a climate crisis with potentially devastating impacts on the global economy".

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, summed it up for any Davos doubters: "Unless we take action on climate change, future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled."

There is a disconnect, however, between increasing evidence of extreme weather - from Superstorm Sandy in the United States in October to record heat in Australia this month - and the limited response from politicians and businesses.

In some cases the clash is stark, as highlighted on Friday when Greenpeace activists shut down a Shell gas station near the WEF meeting in protest at oil drilling in the Arctic that is made easier by a warmer world.

Many companies tout the opportunities presented by a shift to a low-carbon economy, yet the reality is that the continuing economic crisis has discouraged businesses and governments from developing a truly long-term view.

The rapid growth in shale gas - a greener alternative to coal when it is burned, although not when it leaks into the atmosphere - has also made renewables comparatively less attractive, adding to the challenge.

LACK OF URGENCY

The result is that while global investment in renewables is rising, the world still needs to spend $700 billion each year to curb its addiction to fossil fuels, according to a study issued by the WEF this week.

"There is a clear lack of urgency in the climate debate," said Greenpeace Executive Director Kumi Naidoo. "Big business is holding us back."

Business, in turn, complains that the failure of governments to provide a clear regulatory framework limits its ability to plan for the future.

After past failures, governments aim to work out a new U.N. plan to address climate change in 2015 but it will only enter into force from 2020.

"Climate change is a long-term issue and it is not clear how it is going to play out or what the returns are going to be," said PricewaterhouseCoopers International Chairman Dennis Nally.

"So CEOs have to measure how this investment stacks up vis a vis other opportunities that can generate clearer returns."

In practice, only a quarter of CEOs surveyed by PwC said they planned to raise investment in climate risks as cash is rationed and allocated to projects with the most obvious near-term commercial returns.

That doesn't mean CEOs are not worried, according Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, who said virtually every corporation was affected to some degree.

"There was mostly silence on climate change for the last two years at Davos," Krupp said. "But that has changed. The U.S. drought, especially, has grabbed people's attention here in Davos because that has had a real effect on prices."

Also chiming with business leaders is Obama's argument that the United States cannot afford economically to fall behind in a global clean energy race dominated by countries like China, South Korea and Germany.

"The U.S. has to be among the leaders in this global discussion, so it is a positive development," Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical, said of Obama's inauguration speech, in which he made climate change a priority for his second term.

RECORD LOW CARBON PRICES

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon came to Davos with a similar message, saying he was very encouraged by Obama's speech, while warning that climate change was approaching "much, much faster than one would expect".

For investors, however, the climate issue remains hard to assess, as shown when the price of European permits to emit carbon fell this week to a new low below 3 euros a tonne, providing minimal incentive for industry to change behavior.

Analysts estimate prices need to be between 20 and 50 euros to make utilities switch to lower-carbon generation.

The question is, when might that carbon risk turn and start to undermine the value of companies heavily reliant on fossil fuels?

The International Energy Agency warned last month that the world will burn around 1.2 billion more tonnes of coal per year by 2017 than it does today - equal to the current coal consumption of Russia and the United States combined.

And an analysis by Ecofys for Greenpeace, presented at Davos, found that just 14 carbon-intensive projects worldwide are set to increase global CO2 emissions by 20 percent, or 6 gigatonnes. They range from coal expansion in Asia to the tar sands of Canada.

When completed, these projects promise to lock in "catastrophic" global warming, according to Greenpeace.

(Editing by David Holmes)

TOP

  • Day/
  • Week/
  • Original/
  • Recommand

Updated

  • Ortho Tri-Cyclen - tut amoxicillan die Wirksamkeit verringern?

    Ich hatte von amoxicillan begann eine ältere Medikament, und ich wusste nicht, dass es die Wirksamkeit gesenkt (die Schrift an der Flasche mit Ausnahme des amoxicillan Teil verblasste & i hatte nicht mehr die phamplet), bis meine Mutter, die ein rn m
  • Wie viele Tage albuterol bleiben gut nach dem experation Tag in der Box?

    Albuterolsulfat 0,83% 30x3ml Einheitsdosis Fläschchen ----schneiden---- In Antwort auf die Marvell bei 2009-12-07 02.12 Es ist nicht möglich zu sagen, wie lange wird es für das Haltbarkeitsdatum überschritten gut sein. Hersteller keine Garantie für d
  • Severe allergic reaction to meat may not be rare

    Severe allergic reaction to meat may not be rare
    WASHINGTON Eating meat may be a much more common trigger for anaphylaxis -- a severe and potentially deadly allergic reaction -- than previously thought, U.S. researchers said on Sunday. A study of 60 patients who had unexplained severe allergic reac
  • Ich habe für 7 Monate Sertralin jetzt genommen, weiß nicht, was ich ohne sie getan von?

    fühlte sich wie das Leben mir vorüberging, nur knapp sein Ziel zu knüpfen wollen, in den Urlaub fahren, zu Kneipe gehen, gehen Sie mit meiner Tochter einkaufen, argumentiert mit meinem Partner etc etc ich würde es RECOMED, ​​ich habe mein Leben zurüc
  • Wie Journalisten Got the Cheese Lobbying Geschichte Wrong

    Wie Journalisten Got the Cheese Lobbying Geschichte Wrong
    SimonDoggett / flickr Am 7. November lief die New York Times eine Titelgeschichte von Michael Moss ausgesetzt , was ein weiteres Beispiel sinister bürokratischer Heuchelei in der verdorbenen Welt der Lebensmittelvorschriften zu sein scheint. Das USDA
  • Nortriptylin - Ich habe einen Monat lang unter notriotyline jetzt war ich immer 5 bis 6 Migräne ein?

    ... Woche. Ich bin schmerzfrei haben keine Migräne, da ein wenig Kopfschmerzen hatte hier und da, aber nicht schmerzhaft überhaupt. Die einzige große Sache, die ich mit diesem Medikament haben, ist die Gewichtszunahme und wie ich so müde aus einfach.
  • Tenet siedelt Hurrikan Katrina Patienten Sammelklage (Morning lesen)

    Tenet siedelt Hurrikan Katrina Patienten Sammelklage (Morning lesen)
    Aktuelle medizinische Nachrichten und einzigartigen Business - Nachrichten für alle , die über die Healthcare - Industrie kümmert. Beitrag Katrina Krankenhaus Siedlung: Tenet Healthcare ( NYSE: THC ) hat eine erreichte Siedlung in einer Sammelklage v
  • Safer Krippen für Babys Ab heute

    Safer Krippen für Babys Ab heute
    Credit: CPSC Heute ist der Tag, dass die Verbraucher eine neue Generation von sicheren Krippen zum Verkauf an den lokalen und nationalen Einzelhandelsgeschäften sehen. Safer Krippen wird eine sicherere Schlaf für Babys im ganzen Land bedeuten. Am 15.
  • Aetna to buy Coventry in Medicare, Medicaid expansion

    Aetna to buy Coventry in Medicare, Medicaid expansion
    CHICAGO Health insurer Aetna Inc said on Monday that it would buy rival Coventry Health Care Inc for $5.6 billion to increase its share of the fast-growing, U.S. government-backed Medicare and Medicaid programs. The purchase, which will add more than
  • Feiertags-Party-Themed Spiele für Kinder

    Feiertags-Party-Themed Spiele für Kinder
    Winterurlaub Partei Themen planen selbst praktisch, aber wenn Sie sich für Urlaub Party-Spiele und Aktivitäten suchen, diese Ideen zu sehen. Sie sind leicht zu arbeiten mit Ihrem Stil, Ihren Raum, Ihre Partei Thema, und die Anzahl und Alter der Gäste