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Financial systems must consider extreme weather, or risk condemning millions to die

Guardian Environment News - 3 hours 25 min ago

A new Royal Society report calls for changes to global financial accounting and regulation to ensure extreme weather risk is correctly accounted for

It’s extraordinary how the financial markets that pride themselves on their data analysis and forecasting have such a blind spot when it comes to the impacts of climate change.

I was reminded of this by a new report released today from the Royal Society, which calls on our global financial systems to start considering the risks posed by extreme weather, or risk condemning millions of people to die.

Until these risks are accurately evaluated and reported, companies will have limited incentives to reduce them, and valuations and investment decisions will continue to be poorly informed.

Although some disaster risk information is already disclosed and used by investors, the data and procedures for making assessments are not standardised, which can limit their usefulness. Ultimately, without financial reform, people’s resilience will be undermined in the future.

If two otherwise identical international companies have different resilience to extreme weather risks, then one should have a proportionately lower share price or valuation to reflect this higher financial risk.

As the frequency and severity of extreme events is increasing, there is increasing exposure of assets to risk. This brings an ever larger disconnect between material risk and asset valuation. Unless financial reforms are made to correct this, we will condemn ourselves to building vulnerable cities in the coming decades at the cost of millions of lost lives and livelihoods and billions of lost dollars, often across regions and communities that can least afford these catastrophic setbacks.

The more extreme scenarios modelled represent financial disaster; the assets of pension schemes will effectively be wiped out and pensions will be reduced to negligible levels.

Currently, actuarial models are effectively discounting to zero the probability of economic growth being limited by resource constraints. If resource constraints are significant, this means that current models will persistently understate the value of liabilities.

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Categories: Environment

Frogs breeding in November due to mild weather

Guardian Environment News - 4 hours 50 min ago

Frogspawn spotted in Cornwall, months before the usual spring spawning time, is earliest sighting in almost a decade

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Categories: Environment

Strange beasts on the balustrade

Guardian Environment News - 4 hours 50 min ago
Wrest Park, Bedfordshire: Out of the fog came a jackdaw which landed on its stone head then clawed its face Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

DIY wood stove 3

The Field Lab - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 3:58pm
54,65,30,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Deforestation dropped 18% in Brazil's Amazon over past 12 months

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 3:47pm

Levels fell to second-lowest level in quarter century, Brazil’s environment minister said, in wake of adoption of controversial bill revising the Forest Code

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Categories: Environment

Shrinking Sea Ice Could Put Polar Bears In Grave Peril By 2100

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 2:53pm

A new study looks at the future of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and finds that by the end of this century, the region might be ice-free for 2 to 5 months, something that puts bears in grave peril.

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Categories: Environment

Lower Ozone Standard Would Raise The Compliance Bar For Business

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 2:53pm

Public health groups say lower levels will benefit people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory illnesses. Business groups say it's another expensive hoop to jump through.

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Categories: Environment

Japan likens anti-whaling campaign to attempt to ban kimono

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 11:29am

Tokyo’s chief negotiator at the International Whaling Commission attacks ‘eco-imperialist’ countries who want a ‘stupid’ ban on hunting

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Categories: Environment

Great white sharks: 10 myths debunked

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 9:16am

Every time you enter the ocean, anywhere on Earth with a temperate or subtropical climate, you cross into the domain of the great white shark. But almost everything the average human thinks he or she knows about these sharks – other than the fact that they are big and dangerous – is wrong. We unpick 10 of the most tenacious myths

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Categories: Environment

EU takes legal action against controversial French dam

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 9:03am

France has two months to justify ‘environmental deterioration’ involved in the Sivens dam project

The European commission has sent France a final notice to explain how it can reconcile EU environmental law with a proposed dam project that sparked riots, which claimed a protester’s life last month.

Rémi Fraisse, a 21-year-old student, died after being hit in the back by a grenade during police attempts to prevent a site occupation on 25 October.

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Categories: Environment

Ships must measure CO2 emissions under new EU law

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 8:41am

Ships will have to start monitoring emissions from 2018, in a first step towards curbing growing pollution from the sector

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Categories: Environment

EPA Proposes New Rules To Curb Ozone Levels

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 8:12am

The rules would lower the threshold for ozone from 75 parts per billion to between 65 ppb and 70 ppb. They are likely to be opposed by industry groups as well as Republicans.

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Categories: Environment

Watering down the Climate Act would be headline-chasing populism

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 6:02am

British politicians need the cross-party, long-term vision that made the Climate Act possible six years ago, if they are to stay the course on climate change

The British political landscape at the end of 2014 is fraught with uncertainty, distrust and fragmentation.

Parties are struggling to bolster support as political debates become ever more divisive. Voters see politicians as out of touch and motivated by short-term, self-serving concerns.

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Categories: Environment

Grey seals identified as killers behind mystery harbour porpoise deaths

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 4:33am

Study reveals seals along the coast of the Netherlands are switching from eating fish to eating mammal

Seals have been identified as the killers behind the mystery of dead porpoises found with distinct mutilations on Dutch beaches over the past decade.

The cause of large numbers of harbour porpoises washing up on the Netherlands coast was previously unknown and contested, but an eight year-long study concludes that grey seals have “learned a new trick” and are preying on them.

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Categories: Environment

Imports of illegal timber fall in five major countries, says report

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 3:56am

Five key timber importers, including UK, France and US, have made progress in cutting down on contraband timber, reports Mongabay

Five major timber importers have made progress in cutting contraband wood from their markets since 2010, argues a series of reports published by Chatham House.


The analysis — which covers Britain, France, Japan, the Netherlands, and the US — is based on point-of-origin data for timber imports. For example, countries and states with a high risk of illegal logging and timber laundering would hurt an importer’s rating.

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Categories: Environment

Bee parasite will flourish under global warming, study warns

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2014/11/26 - 2:08am

Gut parasite will increase in prevalence across northern Europe as temperatures rises, leading to honey bee losses

Climate change threatens the survival of the UK’s honey bee population, new academic research has claimed.

An exotic parasite which targets the insects is set to flourish in northern Europe if the Earth continues to warm, scientists at Queen’s University, Belfast found.

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Categories: Environment

Reflecting sunlight into space has terrifying consequences, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/11/25 - 10:30pm

But ‘geoengineers’ say urgent nature of climate change means research must continue into controversial technology to combat rising temperatures

Fighting global warming by reflecting sunlight back into space risks “terrifying” consequences including droughts and conflicts, according to three major new analyses of the promise and perils of geoengineering. But research into deliberately interfering with the climate system must continue in search of technology to use as a last resort in combating climate change, scientists have concluded.

Billions of people would suffer worse floods and droughts if technology was used to block warming sunlight, the research found. Technology that sucks carbon dioxide from the air was less risky, the analysis concluded, but will take many more decades to develop and take effect.

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Categories: Environment

Wayside’s everlasting archangel blooms still, even as the days draw in

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/11/25 - 10:30pm
Wenlock Edge, Shropshire: Dead-nettles ignore the messed up seasons we try to impose on them Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Obama unveils new limits on ozone pollution in victory for health groups

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2014/11/25 - 5:59pm

New guidelines will bring US up to par with health standards in other industrialised countries and are a victory for environmental groups

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Categories: Environment

DIY wood stove 2

The Field Lab - Tue, 2014/11/25 - 4:58pm
Scavenged another tank for a wrap around door.  Leg parts ready for cutting and welding.  45,58,33,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs
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