Tag Archive: Economy

Stock Markets Reward Sustainable Companies

Energy efficiency and sustainability improvements are increasingly seen as an indicator for overall quality of management of companies and taken into account by stock market analysts in order to assess to long-term viability of an investment.
ON-green-policy! The stock markets do not intrinsically care about the environment. If they do, it is because financial analysts recognise the tangible advantages of more efficient companies over their unsustainable competitors. This development delivers very strong and credible arguments for green investments and policies favouring the green economy. Voters and politicians should take notice.
Source: Environmental …

Good Green Policy in Times of Global Change

Recently a study comparing attitudes to green development have come to some very interesting conclusions. Basically, many North Americans perceive green development, energy efficiency measures and environmental protection regulations as a burden for the economy; in short a luxury in tough times. Europeans on the other hand recognise that the green industry is featuring above-average growth and jobs and that efficiency regulations will not only reduce foreign dependency but also save billions of Euros; a smart investment in tough times. This notable difference showed in negotiation positions in Durban. Europe was moving forward, uniting a grand coalition of climate …

Sustainable Development Indicator

How can human development be measured? GDP is limited to measuring economic activity and thus fails to take into account other essential indicators of human well being. Accounting for life expectancy and schooling besides economic performance, the Human Development Index (HDI) is already more comprehensive but still lacks one essential component: sustainability. What is the highest income, perfect education and health good for, if the worlds natural resources are depleted and the planet’s ability to sustain life is ruined? Climate change and excessive carbon emissions probably being the single most dangerous long term threats to decent human life conditions, …

Investors urge for better environmental reporting

The recent publication of EIO’s environmental tracking (ET) carbon rankings highlighted the low level of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission transparency particularly of Northern American companies. Now the corporate social responsibility (CSR) coalition, a group of financial institutions, NGOs and investors led by Aviva Investors calls for integration of corporate social responsibility (CSR) data into financial reports. Politicians should adopt international agreements requiring companies to publish so called “integrated reports”, which substantially improve the level of level of CSR disclosure.
ON green policy. It is interesting to note that voluntary measures have obviously failed to sufficiently incite companies to properly disclosing …

US Military – Fighting Oil Consumption

Clear words from a surprising actor: Completely unsuspicious of being a leftwing, tree-hugging dreamer, the US military conceives the US reliance on fossil fuels as a threat to national security. Emerging crisis of any sort are very likely to drive up prices and the resulting financial and social problems should be a top concern of any responsible security politician. The dependence on foreign oil needs thus urgently be reduced. Until here most political observers will probably agree but then it comes: According to the study, switching to more domestic or Canadian oil production will not alleviate the problem since …

Carbon Tax – Australia’s Bright Move

Motivated by the green party on whose vote she relies in the parliament, Australia’s prime minister Julia Gillard tackles Australia’s position as the global top per capita greenhouse gas polluter. A carbon tax of 24US$ per tonne will be levied on the countries 500 top polluters. Half of the raised money will be redistributed to the population in order to compensate rising energy prizes, an additional 40% will be spent helping companies to adjust to modern energy and carbon saving and measures. Consequently the government also aims at reducing Australian carbon emission by 80% by 2050 joining other countries …

How to Finance Climate Change Mitigation and the Energy Transition

Developed countries have pledged US$ 30bn until 2012 and US$ 100bn until 2020 for mitigating climate change. In all likelihood and considering the dire state of many public finances, a promise involved politicians don’t expect to keep. Therefore, the question arises where the money could come from. A surprising yet intriguing suggestion is put forward in a report by the World Bank. Cutting US$ 40-66bn of annual fossil fuel subsidies in OECD states and investing them into financing climate change mitigation measures would not only cover the better part of the pledged money but also foster economic efficiency and of …

China – Coal Power Stations Reduce Output

China’s generally very effective development machine faces new challenges. With inflation and particularly coal prices on the rise and heavily relying on export oriented low cost and energy intensive industries, China’s bureaucracy scrambles to keep electricity costs down. One might consider this to be an easy task. After all, utilities are state controlled and basically have to follow orders. However, this time it’s different. Confronted with dramatically rising expenses on coal, rapidly increasing demand and artificially low and inflexible prices, power utilities struggle to be profitable. Many of them actually produce at a net loss. The financial situation is …

Investors – Punishing CO2-intensive companies

The ”Carbon Disclosure Project” collects and publishes data concerning climate relevant behaviour of corporations. While this alone is not noteworthy, it gets interesting because more than 400 investors of multinational companies are relying on this database in order to make investment and cooperation decisions. 56% of interviewed firms declare to take the climate-consciousness of suppliers into account and to favour those providing proof of sustainable energy management. Similarly the US stock exchange supervision announces to require quoted companies to provide a climate impact assessment of their activities.
Only a few weeks after the disappointing climate-summit in Copenhagen the economy – …

Coal – China’s Addiction and What we Should do About it

It is now generally acknowledged that coal-fired power plants emits huge amounts of the greenhouse gas CO2 and menace the world climate more than any other sources of energy. As a consequence, developed countries are trying to switch to other more sustainable power sources. Unfortunately the saved coal is still being mined and then shipped to China where it is burnt in mostly very polluting power plants in order to satisfy China’s exploding energy demand. China – once a coal exporter – has become the biggest coal importer. It now consumes about halve of the yearly worldwide coal production …