“Climate change is like the Internet — it is never going away”

“Climate change is like the Internet — it is never going away.”
— Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project

Climate of Change Confronts Wall Street
By Stephen Leahy

Sep 24 (IPS) – Stockholders, investors and financial analysts are now demanding to know how climate change will affect companies’ bottom line, and a new report reveals large corporations’ risks and opportunities.

At the behest of institutional investors managing over 41 trillion dollars, several hundred large corporations voluntarily revealed how they are responding to this new reality in a report released Monday at a major event on New York’s Wall Street, where former U.S. President Bill Clinton will also speak.

“Climate change will change the way we do everything,” said Paul Dickinson, CEO of the Carbon Disclosure Project, an independent not-for-profit organisation.

“Nothing will go back to the way things were,” Dickinson told IPS.

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Skin Cancer Rising Despite New Ozone Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions

Ozone Deal to Cut Down CO2 Emissions

By Stephen Leahy

MONTREAL, Sep 23’07 (IPS) – More than 190 nations agreed this week to combat global warming and accelerate the healing of the ozone layer, although critics say more could have been accomplished.

The sun shone bright and warm here on Friday, the final day of the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. Outside, caravans of pre-school children in strollers or holding hands as they walked sported hats and long-sleeved shirts to protect their delicate skin.

It can be easy to forget that the sun was not always so dangerous, and that modern society is responsible for putting chemicals into the atmosphere that continue to destroy the ozone layer that protects all life from harmful levels of solar ultraviolet radiation.

[UPDATE: Sept 2009 — Ozone Treaty May Hold Key to Halting Climate Change;

— Ozone Hole 2009 – Bigger than North America – 24 million sq km]]

And we forget that things could have been far worse without international action in the form of the Montreal Protocol, which opened for signature 20 years ago this week.

Sadly, that action came late and was not vigorous enough for millions of people who have or will get skin cancer. Continue reading

CANADA: Losing Control of Water Through NAFTA and SPP

By Stephen Leahy

“The SPP (Security and Prosperity Partnership ) is like putting the monkeys in charge of the peanuts.”

[UPDATED Feb 12’08]

TORONTO, Sep 22 2007 (Tierramérica) – Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada lost control over its energy resources. Now, with “NAFTA-plus”, it could also lose control over its freshwater resources, say experts.Canada’s water is on the trade negotiating table despite widespread public opposition and assurances by Canadian political leaders, said Adèle Hurley, director of the University of Toronto’s Programme on Water Issues at the Munk Centre for International Studies.A new report released Sep. 11 by the programme reveals that water transfers from Canada to the United States are emerging as an issue under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP). The SPP — sometimes called “NAFTA-plus” — is a forum set up in 2005 in Cancún, by the three partners, Canada, United States and Mexico.

Economic integration as envisioned by the powerful but little-known SPP is slowly changing the lives of Canadians, says Andrew Nikiforuk, author of the report “On the Table: Water Energy and North American Integration“.

The SPP is comprised of business leaders and government officials who work behind the scenes and are already responsible for changes to border security, easing of pesticide rules, harmonisation of pipeline regulations and plans to prepare for a potential avian flu outbreak, Nikiforuk writes.

“The SPP is run by corporate leaders; governments are irrelevant,” said Ralph Pentland, a water expert and acting chairman of the Canadian Water Issues Council.

UPDATE: The Canadian Water Issues Council has written a model law to protect Canadian waters. For more see: Protecting Canada’s Water from the US Continue reading