Tag Archive for ‘Greenhouse Gas Emissions’
“Cap-and-trade,” whereby big polluters must pay to emit greenhouse gases against a capped total amount that is reduced over time—has been in effect across the European Union (EU) since 2005. Meanwhile, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Kazakhstan and South Korea have each set up their own national cap-and-trade programs to varying degrees of success, while regional versions have popped up within Japan, Canada and the U.S.
In what’s being billed as the greatest environmental initiative of his presidency, Barack Obama announced on June 25 that his administration is instituting stringent mandatory restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions by power plants, factories and other industrial sources. Most environmentalists are happy that Obama is finally committing to decisive action to reduce the nation’s carbon footprint.
A growing number of chief financial officers are increasingly involved in environmental and social initiatives that not long ago were totally divorced from their company’s income statements or balance sheets. At The Walt Disney Company, CFO Jay Rasulo says combining corporate citizenship with financial oversight “allows us to integrate our work in citizenship with the other financial strengths of the company. And if I’m successful in doing that, I believe I’ll actually create even more value for our shareholders.”
Package delivery companies like FedEx and UPS have come a long way in a relatively short time regarding sustainability,optimizing their choices of modes and otherwise streamlining energy use.
There are many ways to green up any business, large or small—and an added benefit might just be saving money. Just like individuals, businesses can measure their carbon footprints to get a sense of where they are starting from and to get some initial ideas of areas to focus on to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Given increased environmental awareness, high gas prices and a continually slumping economy, it’s no wonder that more fuel efficient cars are all the rage these days.
Given the lack of federal action to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., several East Coast states joined together in 2008 to form the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), committing to a market-based system to cap carbon pollution and lower energy bills while creating more green jobs.
The best hope to date was 2009’s American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill that called for the implementation of a “cap-and-trade” system to limit carbon dioxide emissions. That bill failed to pass, and most experts say it’s inconceivable to think the next Congress – or President Obama – would even contemplate strong climate or clean energy legislation.
China passed the U.S. as the world’s leading greenhouse gas emitter back in 2006 and today produces some 17 percent of the world’s total carbon dioxide output. Although the Chinese insist environmental trouble is part of the cost of developing a world superpower, China has started to take action.
Meatless Monday—the modern version of it, at least—was born in 2003 with the goal of reducing meat consumption by 15 percent in the U.S. and beyond. The rationale? Livestock production accounts for one-fifth of all man-made greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and is also a major factor in global forest and habitat loss, freshwater depletion, pollution and human health problems.