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Business and Climate Change
Alex Steffen, 5 Jul 05

As the G8 meeting begins tomorrow, much of the attention will focus on either the diplomatic maneuvers in the suites or the protests in the streets. But there's another, equally interesting story that's been largely overlooked in the last weeks -- the strong support international business groups have shown for action on climate change, action beyond the Kyoto Protocol.

Consider: A recent poll of large businesses found 80% were already addressing climate change as a business issue. British business leaders have been unequivocal on the subject while major US companies have been pushing for carbon taxes. The Carbon Disclosure Project has now rounded up 143 leading institutional investors to demand climate-impact disclosures from the planet’s biggest 500 companies. European business was generally firmly in favor of the recent adoption of emissions markets; while the reinsurance industry has made its feelings abundantly clear -- the world is at risk of becoming uninsurable.

Which is not to say that business is wholly united in trying to stave off the worst of global warming -- it isn't. But many powerful and highly respected business leaders are now openly describing climate change as a threat to humanity, and action to prevent it as a business opportunity. That is a gigantic step forward, one likely to be far more meaningful than anything which emerges from the G8 summit itself.

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The technology for zero-emmission houses is there today already! Yes, it is more expensive than building a standard house - those who have the money to afford it should get started using this technology on a brider basis to make it cheaper for all.

Posted by: Ferdinand Spannan on 8 Jul 05

Ferdinand, zero-emission houses have been here for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Straw bales and stucco are excellent insulation. Some local Unity College professors built themselves a home for about $20,000 this way, I believe.

Why is it that we develop technology for the rich? Why are the dense apartments for the affluent, and not the poor who are more likely to use the transit systems we already have?

Posted by: Ben Schiendelman on 9 Jul 05



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