climate change

Climate change perspectives: Landmark case glacier lake (flood) threatened town vs carbon emitter RWE, Exxon-led carbon tax proposal gains more support

4 Dec 2017: Landmark case glacier lake (flood) threatened town vs carbon emitter RWE 

A German court has ruled that it will hear a Peruvian farmer’s case against energy giant RWE over climate change damage in the Andes, a decision labelled by campaigners as a “historic breakthrough”.... He wants RWE to pay €17,000 ($20,000) towards flood defences for his community in Peru’s northern Ancash region. The 37-year-old also wants the German company to reimburse him for the €6,384 he himself has spent on protective measures. Lliuya bases his claims on a 2013 climate study which found that RWE was responsible for around 0.5% of global emissions “since the beginning of industrialisation”.

22 Jun 2017: Unilever, Pepsico, Conservation International, The Nature Conservancy join Exxon and other oil majors to support carbon tax proposal

Editor's note: 
  • I have been keeping my eye on carbon tax policy support and note it is rising and now includes more big global corporates (Unilever, Pepsico etc.) and two NGOs (CI and TNC), joining the oil majors. I read the US GOP proposal with much interest and note it is akin to a value added tax system, and this seems to apply to the buyers and not the producers; and will require some sort of social security / tax break (just think of your VAT/GST having a personal relief in your tax bill). This is a neatly crafted device that also had a proposal to exempt big manufacturers from climate liability; However, with regard to the $40  price tag, I'd note a recent study by an oil major economist who said it would take $100 for OECD and $50 for non OECD to actually make an impact on climate change.
  • This may surprise sustainability people I spoke to in Southeast Asia who mention NGOs dead against carbon tax/trading. On the sidelines of the Peat Congress I attended last year, I did hear NGOs saying this has to come (and not CI, TNC). I also heard pro-carbon tax strongly from policy influencers in Singapore in 2016, and no surprise Singapore has a policy now, So let's see how carbon tax policy evolves in the region.

Exxon, BP and Shell back carbon tax proposal to curb emissions by Oliver Milman 20 June 2017 - Oil giants among numerous firms to support conservative group’s plan. But Greenpeace says: ‘A PR exercise is no cure for decades of deception’ ... The fossil fuel companies announced their backing for the plan alongside other major firms including Unilever, PepsiCo, General Motors and Johnson & Johnson. In a full-page newspaper ad on Tuesday, the companies called for a “consensus climate solution that bridges partisan divides, strengthens our economy and protects our shared environment”. Exxon and the others were listed as founding members of the plan, alongside the green groups Conservation International and the Nature Conservancy. "

Full page in Wall Street Journal


12 Feb 2017: Looking at reactions to Republic Insiders $40 carbon tax proposal

Editor's note: This is quite a policy idea.Starts at $40 with a significant social security payout (reads like how GST is implemented), a border tax adjustment, eliminate regulations to cut emissions, help the US meet the Paris climate obligations, and oil and gas gets immunity. 

Prominent Republicans Pitch Carbon-Tax Plan to Top Trump Aides by Jennifer A Dlouhy  and Margaret Talev February 8, 2017 -  "This is not a climate proposal; it’s a tax proposal," said Thomas Pyle, head of the free-market advocacy group American Energy Alliance. "There’s no need to trade Obama’s climate regulations for a carbon tax. Donald Trump has already promised to undo them."

James Baker's carbon tax pitch to White House -- Former Secretary of State James Baker speaks to CNN's John King in his first television interview since President Donald Trump took office.Source: CNN

Republican Insiders Push for a Carbon Tax at White House Meeting by SEAN MORAN 8 Feb 2017 -- Beltway Republicans, including former Treasury Secretary James Baker, lobby National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to enact a carbon tax at the White House today. Ivanka Trump, her husband Jared Kushner, and Trump’s Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are also expected to attend....At $40 per ton of carbon, the plan would raise $300 billion in revenue, and add 36 cents per gallon to gas prices. James Baker has said that they would reallocate the funds in the form of rebates, a family of four would receive $2,000 a year......@thehill Your story about me & the carbon tax is absolutely incorrect—it is just the opposite. I will not support or endorse a carbon tax! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 13, 2016....

Senior Republican statesmen propose replacing Obama’s climate policies with a carbon tax By Chris Mooney and Juliet Eilperin February 8 -- Despite the group’s impeccable Republican credentials — Baker, Paulson and Schultz served as treasury secretaries and Feldstein and Mankiw served as CEA chairs under GOP presidents — the proposal faces long odds. Many congressional Republicans are adamantly against a tax increase of any kind, and President Trump repeatedly emphasized that he is far more interested in promoting the extraction of fossil fuels in the United States than curbing the nation’s carbon emissions.... A proposed carbon tax also failed recently in a ballot initiative in Washington state, in part because it divided the left — with some liberals wanting to use any revenue to invest in clean energy and other social causes rather than to return it to the public.

A group of prominent Republicans just launched a longshot bid for a carbon tax By Hannah Hess, E&E News Feb. 8, 2017 -- The four-pillar proposal calls for a revenue-neutral carbon tax starting at $40 per ton.... Dubbed the "Republican climate jailbreak strategy," the plan calls for taxes to be collected at the source — on oil at the refinery, for instance — then built into the prices for products made from that material. Revenue would be returned to taxpayers, amounting to about $2,000 annually for a family of four. "Two-thirds of American households will receive more in carbon dividends than they will pay directly in carbon taxes," said Martin Feldstein, who served as chairman of President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers....

9 Feb 2017: US Republican group calls for $40 carbon tax and border adjustments, US military adjusts for climate change, China glaciers retreat, NOAA data question

Editor's note: I have for a while now observed rising support for a carbon tax. So the question is, what products would be among the US carbon-taxed domestic goods, and what imports may be affected. $40 falls short of BP's estimates of $100 for OECD and $50 for non-OECD that is needed to have some impact on climate change. How will this cascade to policy elsewhere? China is starting domestic carbon trading soon - what is China's view on imports (if US goes for this, how will it adjust its policy)? I was chatting to two highly-regarded US-based atmospheric scientists about it this morning. Thanks to Monique for pointing out the issues of China glacier retreat and the point of no return.

‘A Conservative Climate Solution’: Republican Group Calls for Carbon Tax By JOHN SCHWARTZFEB. 7, 2017 -- The Baker proposal would substitute the carbon tax for the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, a complex set of rules to regulate emissions which President Trump has pledged to repeal and which is tied up in court challenges, as well as other climate regulations. At an initial price of $40 per ton of carbon dioxide produced, the tax would raise an estimated $200 billion to $300 billion a year, with the rate scheduled to rise over time....  The tax would be collected where the fossil fuels enter the economy, such as the mine, well or port; the money raised would be returned to consumers in what the group calls a “carbon dividend” amounting to an estimated $2,000 a year for the average family of four.... The plan would also incorporate what are known as “border adjustments” to increase the costs for products from other countries that do not have a similar system in place, an idea intended to address the problem of other “free-rider” nations gaining a price advantage over carbon-taxed domestic goods. The proposal would also insulate fossil fuel companies against possible lawsuits over the damage their products have caused to the environment....It is also unclear how the plan will be received by the Trump administration. Stephen K. Bannon, the senior counselor to the president, has shown little interest in appeasing establishment Republicans. Breitbart News, which Mr. Bannon led before joining the Trump White House staff, has been outspoken in denying the science of climate change.... Whatever the fate of the plan, it is a notable moment because it puts influential members of the Republican establishment on the record as favoring action on climate change — a position that is publicly held by few Republicans at the national level, though many quietly say they would like to throw off the orthodoxy in the party that opposes action.... A survey taken just after the 2016 election by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that 66 percent of registered voters supported a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies, with the money used to reduce personal taxes. The party breakdown for that support was 81 percent of Democrats, 60 percent of independents and 49 percent of Republicans. Even among Trump voters, 48 percent support taxing fossil fuel companies, according to the Yale program.... “It’s really important that we Republicans have a seat at the table when people start talking about climate change,” Mr. Baker said. He said that, like many Republicans, he was skeptical that human activity was the main cause of warming, but that the stakes were too high for inaction. “I don’t accept the idea that it’s all man made,” he said, “but I do accept that the risks are sufficiently great that we need to have an insurance policy.”... As for the likelihood of success of his plan, “I have no idea what the prospects are.”...

A Conservative Case for Climate Action By MARTIN S. FELDSTEIN, TED HALSTEAD and N. GREGORY MANKIWFEB. 8, 2017 -- By contrast, an ideal climate policy would reduce carbon emissions, limit regulatory intrusion, promote economic growth, help working-class Americans and prove durable when the political winds change. We have laid out such a plan in a paper to be released Wednesday by the Climate Leadership Council....Our co-authors include James A. Baker III, Treasury secretary for President Ronald Reagan and secretary of state for President George H. W. Bush; Henry M. Paulson Jr., Treasury secretary for President George W. Bush; George P. Shultz, Treasury secretary for President Richard Nixon and secretary of state for Mr. Reagan; Thomas Stephenson, a partner at Sequoia Capital, a venture-capital firm; and Rob Walton, who recently completed 23 years as chairman of Walmart....Our own analysis finds that a carbon dividends program starting at $40 per ton would achieve nearly twice the emissions reductions of all Obama-era climate regulations combined. Provided all four elements are put in force in unison, this plan could meet America’s commitment under the Paris climate agreement, all by itself. Democrats and environmentalists may bemoan the accompanying regulatory rollback. But they should pause to consider the environmental value proposition....

President Trump, Military Split on Climate Change February 02, 2017 -- For nine decades, the Sewells Point tide gauge or its ancestors have been recording the sea level off Pier 6 at Naval Station Norfolk. The story it tells is clear. Between naturally sinking land and global warming driven sea level rise, the water is a half-meter higher than it was at the beginning of the last century.... That's creating problems at the world's largest naval base.In rough weather, damaging surf slams against electrical, water and steam lines under the piers where the Navy docks its Atlantic fleet. High waves can keep sailors from getting to the ships. Even getting on base is getting harder as "nuisance flooding" becomes a regular problem, cutting off roads around the city of Norfolk....The commander-in-chief, President Donald Trump, has called global warming a hoax, although he now says there is "some connectivity" between human activity and climate change. The Pentagon, on the other hand, takes the risks of climate change seriously.... "The military has seen climate change as a problem since 2003, if not earlier," says retired Army Gen. Gerry Galloway, now with the Center for Climate and Security. National security threats from climate change are included in eight defense and intelligence documents published before President Obama took office, according to the center. "Climate change acts as a threat multiplier for instability in some of the most volatile regions of the world," a group of high-ranking former military officials wrote in a landmark 2007 report.... At Naval Station Norfolk, they already are adapting to the realities they see coming. Newer piers are built higher, with the utility lines under a protected concrete deck.

China says important glacier is melting due to climate change  Jun 8, 2016 -- A glacier that is one of the largest at the source of China's Yangtze River is fast retreating because of climate change, state media said. The Jianggudiru Glacier on Geladaindong Mountain in a remote part of the western province of Qinghai has shrunk 34 meters (38 yards) over the past six years, Pu Jianchen, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the Xinhua news agency. The glacier started to shrink slowly in the 1970s, then expanded between 1989 and 1994 before retreating more quickly from 1995, Pu said, Xinhua reported late on Tuesday. Yang Xin, president of the Green River Environmental Protection Association, told Xinhua the glacier retreated two meters a year in the 1980s and 1990s but about six meters a year over the past several years.

Chinese Glacier’s Retreat Signals Trouble for Asian Water Supply By EDWARD WONG DECEMBER 8, 2015 -- China, which remains the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gas, pledged last year to begin lowering carbon dioxide emissions around 2030, and in Paris this month, President Xi Jinping reiterated his resolve to help slow climate change. There are no vocal climate change deniers among top Chinese officials..... “China is more prone to the adverse effects of climate change because China is vast, has diverse types of ecology and has relatively fragile natural conditions,” Du Xiangwan, chairman of the National Expert Committee on Climate Change, wrote in the report’s introduction.... anishing glaciers raise urgent concerns beyond Tibet and China. By one estimate, the 46,000 glaciers of the Third Pole region help sustain 1.5 billion people in 10 countries — its waters flowing to places as distant as the tropical Mekong Delta of Vietnam, the hills of eastern Myanmar and the southern plains of Bangladesh. Scattered across nearly two million square miles, these glaciers are receding at an ever-quickening pace, producing a rise in levels of rivers and lakes in the short term and threatening Asia’s water supply in the long run.....

World's carbon dioxide concentration teetering on the point of no return - Future in which global concentration of CO2 is permanently above 400 parts per million looms Carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant 11 May 2016

Climate change escalating so fast it is 'beyond point of no return' - New study rewrites two decades of research and author says we are 'beyond point of no return'

And here's something from the denial camp

Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data By David Rose for The Mail on Sunday 4 February 2017 -- The Mail on Sunday can reveal a landmark paper exaggerated global warming. It was rushed through and timed to influence the Paris agreement on climate change. America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration broke its own rules. The report claimed the pause in global warming never existed, but it was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data...

26 Jan 2017: Trump advisors, Musk & Tillerson are pro-carbon tax, but it is an unpopular idea in the US

Editor's note: GHG/carbon policy pressure is likely to become tougher over time in voluntary standards, E.g., RSPO has expanded count of GHG emissions and it is porbable that emissions from fire will come to be included too. Climate change concerns are expected to ratchet up policy pressure and oil majors like BP reckon that the carbon price has to be set at $100 for OECD and $50 for non-OECD to have any real impact on climate change. However, a climate-sceptical Trump Administration may implement shifts in climate policy with the expected head of the EPA reflecting this. However, it is interesting that business-media is writing of Trump Advisors, Elon Mask and Rex Tillerson are apparently in support of a carbon tax. However, the Rockefeller Foundation vs Exxon story below notes that Tillerson reviewed climate change from 2006, he continued to fund climate sceptics while voicing on carbon tax (a still unpopular idea).

Musk’s Surprise Rapport With Trump Means 40% Rally for Tesla by Dana Hull January 26, 2017, Plants cast Tesla as ‘poster child’ for Made in USA: analyst. Shares rise as Model 3 progresses, concerns of 2016 subside. -- Musk serves on the president’s economic advisory board and regularly meets with either Trump or his top aides. He was one of a dozen chief executive officers who met with Trump at the White House on Monday to talk manufacturing, taxes and trade. “Elon Musk has an important line of communication to Donald Trump,” Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas wrote in a note last week as he raised his price target to $305 from $242. “This strategic relationship between Tesla leadership and the new administration is an important development.”.... Musk, 45, and Trump, 70, may seem an odd pair. Before the election, the South Africa-born entrepreneur said on CNBC that Trump “doesn’t seem to have the sort of character that reflects well” on the U.S. and urged people to revolt and fight the “propaganda” of the fossil fuel industry. Trump has chosen former Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of state and Scott Pruitt, an ally of the oil and gas industry, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency....

Elon Musk Floated the Idea of a Carbon Tax to Trump, an Official Says by Kevin Cirilli January 27, 2017 -- Issue raised at White House meeting this week on manufacturing. Idea has been backed by secretary of state nominee Tillerson. -- Musk, also CEO of SpaceX, has publicly supported Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson. While chief executive at Exxon, Tillerson acknowledged the climate is changing and described a carbon tax as the most efficient means of embedding the cost of carbon in economic decisions from oil companies to consumers.  Exxon Mobil has lobbied on Capitol Hill for a revenue-neutral carbon tax to take the place of an array of environmental regulations that raise the cost of fossil fuels. A carbon tax could be imposed on oil, gas and coal companies, or on gasoline or homeowners’ power bills. To make it revenue-neutral and to avoid an undue burden on the poor, money raised by carbon taxes could be returned to taxpayers, possibly through periodic dividends....Although a carbon tax has long been favored by some economists as the most straightforward way to put a cost on carbon dioxide, it is eschewed by many of the conservative advocates guiding Trump’s energy and environment policy...

The Cost of Carbon - Putting a Price on Pollution By Mathew Carr | Updated Nov 9, 2016 -- When factories belch smoke, everybody pays. Shouldn’t polluters feel the sting? That’s the big idea behind carbon pricing. Putting a price tag on each ton of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere reflects its cost to the environment and fires up the search for the cheapest ways to fight climate change. Many policymakers accept that it’s the way to go, but they can’t agree on the best way to do it. Europe, parts of the U.S. and China use markets where companies buy and sell permits to pollute. So far, it’s not clear if that’s working better than a simple carbon tax....About 15 have a tax, ranging from $3 a metric ton in Mexico to $150 a metric ton in Sweden. China, the world’s biggest emitter, has seven pilot trading programs that aren’t yet cutting pollution levels but aim to build up the infrastructure needed to start a national system by 2017. U.S. President Barack Obama tried and failed to start a national cap-and-trade system during his first term. Since the idea of a national carbon tax is unpopular in the U.S., he’s turned to direct regulation of power plants instead. Pollution levels have fallen in many of the areas covered by carbon trading, though much of the drop is attributed to the global recession and the lower price of natural gas, which is cleaner than coal or oil....

24 Jan 2017: Rockeller Family Fund vs Exxon, CLUA grants list focus on biofuels and bionergy

Editor's note: I am finally getting down to reading, The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon by David Kaiser and Le Wasserman, The New York Review of Books, 8 and 22 Dec 2016. Recall that there have been news headlines on Exxon being investigated and sued about apparently hiding knowledge about climate change. Not sure if this matters in the Trump era, but some news links are at the bottom of this posting. Interesting to look at Climate and Land Use Alliance (CLUA) grants list. As noted earlier, it covers only a few US foundations and does not include the Rockeller Family Fund and does not seem to have much in the list on the core oil & gas industry.

  • The Rockefeller Family Fund vs. Exxon by David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman DECEMBER 8, 2016

  • The Rockefeller Family Fund Takes on ExxonMobil by David Kaiser and Lee Wasserman DECEMBER 22, 2016

CLUA grants list focus on biofuels and bioenergy

CLUA's reports grants on biofuels and bioenergy, with a few grants on oil reduction (immediately below) and clean energy (see examples below, mostly in the biofuels and bioenergy).

Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to examine oil use in California, Oregon, and Washington and identify strategies needed to meet a 50‐percent oil reduction target by 2030 AMOUNT: $50,000.00 DURATION: 3 months / Start date: June 2015

Fuel (mostly to do with biofuels), a few examples:

  • ActionAid USA – Ford Grant PURPOSE: to identify, develop, and promote policies that mitigate the impact of biofuels production on food security, land use, and climate change AMOUNT: $250,000.00 DURATION: 12 months / Start date: July 2015
  • ActionAid USA – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to reduce the negative climate, food security, and land‐use impacts of biofuels, with a focus on U.S. and international policy AMOUNT: $800,000.00 DURATION: 23 months / Start date: November 2015
  • ActionAid USA – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to reduce the negative climate, food security, and land use impacts of biofuels, with particular attention to the expanding use of ethanol AMOUNT: $400,000.00 DURATION: 12 months / Start date: October 2014

Energy (mostly biomass / bio energy), a few examples:
  • Carnegie Institution of Washington – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to develop a community‐based assessment of the prospects for biomass energy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) to meet global climate mitigation goals AMOUNT: $200,000.00 DURATION: 12 months / Start date: July 2016
  • Climate Policy Initiative – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to encourage informed policy choices in Indonesia by building an empirical platform for future, in depth, qualitative and quantitative analysis concerning biofuels and related renewable energy policies AMOUNT: $50,000.00 DURATION: 2 months / Start date: September 2015
  • Dogwood Alliance – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to limit the expansion of a whole‐tree biomass‐power industry in the American South in favor of low‐carbon energy alternatives AMOUNT: $500,000.00 DURATION: 23 months / Start date: November 2015
  • Fern Foundation – Packard Grant PURPOSE: to ensure the European Union has bioenergy policies based on sustainable supply and that encourage reductions in industrial emissions and sustainable land and forest management AMOUNT: $460,000.00 DURATION: 24 months / Start date: April 2016

Exxon headlines on alleged climate change cover-up
  • Class-Action Lawsuit Adds to ExxonMobil's Climate Change Woes - Investors allege Exxon should have adjusted its accounting of oil reserves based on what it knows about climate change and coming climate action. by David Hasemyer NOV 21, 2016
  • Exxon Adds New York to Suit in Bid to Stop Climate Change Probe by Tom Korosec November 12, 2016
  • Exxon Mobil Sued Over Climate Change Cover-Up - The lawsuit alleges the oil giant’s terminal near Boston continues to pollute rivers and communities.  09/29/2016 
  • Can ExxonMobil Be Found Liable for Misleading the Public on Climate Change? - Scientists at the biggest U.S. oil company understood as early as anyone that fossil fuel emissions were heating up the earth’s atmosphere. by Paul Barrett  and Matthew Philips September 7, 2016

 Excerpts from the Rockefeller Family Fund vs Exxon, Part 1 and Part 2

Our criticism carries a certain historical irony. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil, and ExxonMobil is Standard Oil’s largest direct descendant. In a sense we were turning against the company where most of the Rockefeller family’s wealth was created. (Other members of the Rockefeller family have been trying to get ExxonMobil to change its behavior for over a decade.) Approached by some reporters for comment, an ExxonMobil spokesman replied, “It’s not surprising that they’re divesting from the company since they’re already funding a conspiracy against us.” What we had funded was an investigative journalism project. With help from other public charities and foundations, including the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), we paid for a team of independent reporters from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism to try to determine what Exxon and other US oil companies had really known about climate science, and when. Such an investigation seemed promising because Exxon, in particular, has been a leader of the movement to deny the facts of climate change. Often working indirectly through front groups, it sponsored many of the scientists and think tanks that have sought to obfuscate the scientific consensus about the changing climate, and it participated in those efforts through its paid advertisements and the statements of its executives.

It seemed to us, however, that for business reasons, a company as sophisticated and successful as Exxon would have needed to know the difference between its own propaganda and scientific reality. If it turned out that Exxon and other oil companies had recognized the validity of climate science even while they were funding the climate denial movement, that would, we thought, help the public understand how artificially manufactured and disingenuous the “debate” over climate change has always been. In turn, we hoped this understanding would build support for strong policies addressing the crisis of global warming.....

We didn’t expect ExxonMobil to admit that it had been at fault. It is one of the largest companies in the world—indeed, if its revenues are compared to the gross domestic products of nations, it has one of the world’s larger economies, bigger than Austria’s, for example, or Thailand’s —and it has a reputation for unusual determination in promoting its selfinterest. One way or another, we expected it to fight back—most likely, we thought, by proxy, through its surrogates in the rightwing press and in Congress.

Sure enough, various bloggers have been calling for “the Rockefellers” to be prosecuted by the government for “conspiracy” against Exxon under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. (Such lines of attack are being tested and refined, and we expect they will soon be repeated in journals with broader readership.) And in May, Texas Republican Lamar Smith, the chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, sent a letter to the RFF and seven other NGOs (including the RBF,, Greenpeace, and the Union of Concerned Scientists), as well as all seventeen AGs who said they might investigate ExxonMobil. He accused us of engaging in “a coordinated effort to deprive companies, nonprofit organizations, and scientists of their First Amendment rights and ability to fund and conduct scientific research free from intimidation and threats of prosecution,” and demanded that we turn over to him all private correspondence between any of the recipients of his letter relating to any po ential climate change investigation. When we all refused, twice, to surrender any such correspondence, Smith subpoenaed Schneiderman, Healey, and all eight NGOs for the same documents

Large oil companies must possess considerable scientific expertise. In that respect as in others, Exxon has always been an industry leader: the company today says it employs about 16,000 scientists and engineers. And the basic mechanism of climate change is relatively straightforward, long established science. In the 1850s, John Tyndall discovered that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a “greenhouse gas,”....So it is no surprise that by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Exxon scientists largely understood climate change—not only its basic mechanism but many of its implications, including its potential implications for the oil business—and had explained it to the company’s leaders. 

Senior Exxon scientist Henry Shaw warned management that according to the predictions of the National Academy of Sciences, global warming, not any lack of supply, would force humankind to stop burning fossil fuels....

In 1982, an Exxon environmental affairs manager named Marvin Glaser wrote a thirty nine page primer on climate change that he distributed widely among management....Glaser warned, “all biological systems are likely to be affected” and “there are some potentially catastrophic events that must be considered,” including an expected “dramatic impact on soil moisture, and in turn, on agriculture,” and, eventually, the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet, which would flood “much of the US East Coast, including the State of Florida and Washington D.C.” He believed that “potentially serious climate problems are not likely to occur until the late 21st century,” but added, “once the effects are measurable, they might not be reversible.”

Cohen’s “clear scientific consensus” notwithstanding, such lingering questions meant that scientists still disagreed about precisely how much the climate would change, and how quickly. The computerized models they were building to forecast those effects were also considered much more reliable in predicting average global changes than specific regional ones (except near the poles, where almost everyone agreed that warming would be particularly severe). None of these legitimate uncertainties in climate science, however, implied any doubt about its main conclusions: that the changing climate would soon have dramatic impacts on the earth, and that it was primarily caused by humans burning fossil fuels. 

So, with its extraordinary resources, Exxon became a corporate leader in climate science. It equipped its largest supertanker as a research vessel, measuring CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and at different depths of the ocean all along the ship’s route. It also became expert in computerized climate modeling, not only to evaluate the predictions of others but to help improve such models. Ultimately, one of its scientists published nearly fifty peerreviewed papers about various technical aspects of climate change. 

The company’s early findings may not have been quite what management was looking for, however..... Cohen believed that “our ethical responsibility is to permit the publication of our research in the scientific literature; indeed to do otherwise would be a breach of Exxon’s public position and ethical credo on honesty and integrity.” 

Then, however, in 1988, the United States was struck by the costliest drought in its history.... Suddenly the notion of global warming was everywhere—Time named “Endangered Earth” its “Planet of the Year.” And Exxon’s public position changed dramatically.

In August 1988, an Exxon public affairs manager drafted a memo called “The Greenhouse Effect.” He acknowledged that “the principal greenhouse gases are byproducts of fossil fuel combustion.” However, he wrote, the “Exxon Position” would now be to “emphasize the uncertainty in scientific conclusions regarding the potential enhanced greenhouse effect.” 

What did that mean? In 1989 Duane LeVine, Exxon’s manager of science and strategy development, told the company’s board of directors that the scientific consensus was now that global temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius by the middle of the twenty-first century, with “enormous potential global impacts.” But, he added, “arguments that we can’t tolerate delay and must act now can lead to irreversible and costly Draconian steps.” So Exxon would “extend the science,” convincing policymakers and the public that climate change was still insufficiently understood and that more research needed to be done before significant action could be warranted. Meanwhile, it would emphasize the cost of reducing carbon emissions. 

The tobacco industry found and funded scientists who, “cherrypicking data and focusing on unexplained or anomalous details,” would argue that the causal link between smoking and cancer had not been proven.... But the industry also funded a network of “freemarket,” antiregulatory think tanks to repeat and amplify the claims of its scientists. (It tried to hide the fact that it was paying these scientists and think tanks, often routing its payments through front groups like law firms or rightwing foundations.)

Then the industry manufactured an artificial “‘debate,’ convincing the mass media that responsible journalists had an obligation to present ‘both sides’ of it.” The industry didn’t need to win this debate, its leaders realized; only to keep it going. “Doubt is our product,” explained a tobacco executive’s 1969 memo....

As we know, this campaign ultimately failed, but it succeeded for an astonishingly long time. The tobacco industry didn’t begin losing court cases until the 1990s, some four decades after realizing that its product killed its customers. In the meantime, it made enormous profits.

When Exxon began to “emphasize the uncertainty” of climate science, the scientists who espoused its positions were often veterans of those earlier denial campaigns. Among them were Fred Seitz, Fred Singer, Robert Jastrow, and Bill Nierenberg. They had all been reputable, prominent physicists during the cold war, but they eventually became, essentially, professional deniers of science, arguing on one issue after another that findings harmful to industry were “unproven,” “junk science.” Oreskes and Conway believe that their motivation was less mercenary than ideological, although they were often paid by the organizations they directed or worked with, which in turn were supported by the industries they defended. They were all fervent anti-Communists and ardent freemarket purists. 

Then the fake debate they created was broadcast further and given an additional veneer of credibility by journalists, some of whom were persuaded by spurious arguments about the need for “balanced” reporting, even on issues the scientific community considered settled, and some of whom, it turned out, were simply in Exxon’s pay.  

Exxon didn’t always rely on the writings of such scientists. For decades it published frequent “advertorials” on the editorial page of The New York Times, questioning the reality of climate change or its human cause, or arguing that predictions about global warming were too unreliable to justify efforts to prevent it.

In 1998 Exxon participated in a $6 million public relations campaign by the American Petroleum Institute (a trade association which Exxon heavily influenced and supported) to prevent the United States from ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Still, ExxonMobil (as it became in 1999) continued to spend extraordinary sums on lobbying, directly and through trade associations: $240 million since 1998....And in 2001, soon after President George W. Bush was inaugurated, the company’s chief lobbyist sent a memo to the White House making several requests. He asked the new administration to get rid of the scientist who chaired the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body that is the world’s leading authority on the subject. He also asked that a number of other scientists and officials be fired from their jobs in the White House and the State Department, to be replaced by known climate skeptics....ExxonMobil got its wishes... 

In 1980, for example, Exxon paid $400 million for the rights to the Natuna natural gas field in the South China Sea. But company scientists soon realized that the field contained unusually high concentrations of carbon dioxide, and concluded in 1984 that extracting its gas would make it “the world’s largest point source emitter of CO2 [, which] raises concern for the possible incremental impact of Natuna on the CO2 greenhouse problem.” The company left Natuna undeveloped. Exxon’s John Woodward, who wrote an internal report on the field in 1981, told InsideClimate News, “They were being farsighted. They weren’t sure when CO2 controls would be required and how it would affect the economics of the project.”

...any major development with a life span of say 30–40 years will need to assess the impacts of potential global warming. This is particularly true of Arctic and offshore projects in Canada, where warming will clearly affect sea ice, icebergs, permafrost and sea levels.... Croasdale based these projections on the same climate models that Exxon’s leaders spent the next fifteen years publicly disparaging. But following his warnings that rising seas would threaten buildings on the coast, bigger waves would threaten offshore drilling platforms, and thawing permafrost would threaten pipelines, Exxon began reinforcing its Arctic infrastructure.

 “‘So don’t believe for a minute that ExxonMobil doesn’t think climate change is real,’ said a former manager…. ‘They were using climate change as a source of insight into exploration.’”

Soon after Rex Tillerson replaced Lee Raymond as CEO at the start of 2006, he created a secret task force to reconsider the company’s approach to climate change... In January 2009—twelve days before President Obama’s inauguration would situate the company in much less welcoming political territory—Tillerson announced that ExxonMobil had become concerned enough about climate change to support a carbon tax.

The climate measure then under active discussion in Washington, however, was a cap-and-trade bill. There was almost no political support for a carbon tax at the time, and Tillerson’s announcement may have been meant to divert support from the reform that seemed most plausible.12 Indeed, since then, although ExxonMobil continues to claim that it supports a carbon tax, it has given much more money to members of Congress who oppose such a tax than to those who endorse one.13 As of last year it was still funding organizations that deny global warming or fight policies proposed to address it.

The Securities and Exchange Commission requires companies to disclose known business risks to their investors, and Exxon’s leaders have been acutely conscious of the changing climate’s danger to the oil business for almost forty years. The company didn’t start telling its shareholders about that danger until 2007,16 however, and in our opinion has never disclosed its full scope.... In 2014 it stated, “We are confident that none of our hydrocarbon reserves are now or will become ‘stranded.’”21 Because it is a matter of the highest urgency that humanity find a way to adopt the IPCC’s global carbon budget, however, it seems to us that ExxonMobil has been much too sanguine about its business prospects.

(A 1980 American Petroleum Institute meeting in which Exxon participated concluded that at a “3% per annum growth rate of CO2, a 2.5° C rise [in average global temperature] brings world economic growth to a halt in about 2025.”)47 Conflict over dwindling resources will increase around the world; so, dramatically, will human migration and political instability. 

As a group of retired American generals and admirals who studied the national security implications of climate change concluded in 2007: Economic and environmental conditions in already fragile areas will further erode as food production declines, diseases increase, clean water becomes increasingly scarce, and large populations move in search of resources. Weakened and failing governments, with an already thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism, and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies.... It is true that scientists still disagree about precisely how severe the effects of climate change will be, and when. But, the generals and admirals wrote, “As military leaders, we know we cannot wait for certainty. Failing to act because a warning isn’t precise enough is unacceptable.”

Just as the tobacco industry gained decades of huge profits by obfuscating the dangers of smoking, the oil industry secured decades of profits—in Exxon’s case, some of the largest profits of any corporation in history—by helping to create a fake controversy over climate science that deceived and victimized many policymakers, as well as much of the public. The bogus science it paid for through front groups, which was then repeated and validated by industry-funded, right-wing think tanks and a too-easily cowed press, worked just as well for ExxonMobil as it had for R.J. Reynolds. A 2004 study by Naomi Oreskes in Science examined 928 peer-reviewed papers on climate science and found that not a single one disputed global warming’s existence or its human cause.50 But according to a recent Yale University study, only 11 percent of Americans understand that there is a scientific consensus on these points.

Climate politics and finance: Funds and forests - DFID on Green Climate Fund, Credit Suise Invt Bank view

10 July 2016: Financiers, funds and forests - DFID on Green Climate Fund, Credit Suise Invt Bank view 

CIFOR’s Peter Holmgren on investing in landscapes - First installment in a series of interviews from the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum - The Investment Case 16 Jun 2016

2016 Global Landscapes Forum: Connecting funds to farms and forests (Part 2) - Attendees of this year's Global Landscapes Forum in London discuss concrete solutions to boost private sector investment in landscapes- from greening supply chains to leveraging fintech and GPS software. LEONA LIU 13 Jun 2016

Balancing Transparency and Non-State Actors in the Climate Negotiations by STEPHEN LEONARD  14 Jun 2016

DFID’s Andrea Ledward on the Green Climate Fund - Third installment in a series of interviews from the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum - The Investment Case CENTER FOR INTERNATIONAL FORESTRY RESEARCH  23 Jun 2016

A Q&A with Mark Burrows, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Global Investment Banking at Credit Suisse - Well, as I’ve said several times, the future is sustainable development, and is landscapes. And frankly, that’s going to be a 5 to 7 trillion-dollar investment space within 10 to 15 years. Every bank, every institutional investor, is now turning its attention to this space.

Watch: Highlights video from the 2016 Global Landscapes Forum- The Investment Case - Private sector investment in landscapes is no passing fad- it’s here to stay. That was the driving consensus among the 300+ participants at this year's Forum.  LEONA LIU 10 Jun 2016

Civil society organisations: Let’s brainstorm sustainibility in Indonesia by Maria Andreasdottir • June 5, 2016 -- The Norwegian Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) organises seminars to gather civil society organisations in prioritised rainforest countries.... On the occasion of the conference in Jakarta, CIFOR and The Norwegian Embassy in Jakarta made a video about Indonesia’s work on reducing deforestation and the civil society’s crucial role in promoting this. (You can watch the video on

10 reasons to be optimistic for forests 5 June 2016 / Commentary by Rhett A Butler  The post is a commentary. The views expressed are those of the author alone.

Land tenure and livelihoods: What’s the connection? New study finds that securing land rights doesn't always guarantee better livelihoods for communities in Peru, Indonesia and Uganda.  by Barbara Fraser  16 May 2016

Analysis - Glaring gap: Countries are overlooking how the private sector can help meet national climate goals - As the Bonn Conference gets underway this week (May 16-26), here's a review of seven Asian countries’ plans to finance climate mitigation through land use.  Steven Lawry  17 May 2016

Measuring national REDD+ performance for the promise of results-based finance 18 May 2016, Bonn, Germany

Who is really bearing the cost of REDD+? The answer may surprise you - A forthcoming study brings a reality check on who is footing the bill for REDD+  MICHELLE KOVACEVIC  11 May 2016

What will it take to make sustainable palm oil the norm? New study examines the factors driving commitments to responsible production of a controversial global commodity.  JACK HEWSON  10 May 2016

Paris Agreement signed. Now what? - Here’s what to consider as the global climate agreement set in motion at the COP21 in Paris moves towards implementation. by STEPHEN LEONARD  23 Apr 2016

22 December 2015: The Economist - The Paris agreement will not stabilise the climate; but the efforts it makes possible could still achieve a lot

Climate change - Hopelessness and determination. The Paris agreement will not stabilise the climate; but the efforts it makes possible could still achieve a lot
...For someone to propose means that fall so far short of their purported ends might seem like cynicism or stupidity. Sure enough, some of the keenest devotees to action on climate change have accused the Paris negotiators of both. In fact, the deal really did demonstrate collective intelligence.... The nations of the world know that they cannot suddenly force each other to stop emitting greenhouse gases, because fossil fuels are fundamental to the way that economies work. But many countries also want to reduce the risks posed by climate change and know that they need to find ways to work together. The Paris agreement offers a range of mechanisms to make this happen (see page 94)....Countries now have a framework to ensure that each is doing what it said it would; they have pledged more money to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change; they have a task force for looking at the issues raised by those who cannot adapt and need to find new places to live; and they have the basis for new carbon-pricing deals. They have also agreed that big developing countries, which were largely spared by earlier deals, should consider making a greater contribution.

14 December 2015: COP21 deal and key links; headlines of "end of fossil fuel era" but naysayers call it "fraud" and undermined. The US political system is not on board?

COP21: Paris climate deal is 'best chance to save planet' 13 December 2015

Paris climate deal: nearly 200 nations sign in end of fossil fuel era - Two decades of talks have come to this: an ambitious agreement to hold states to emissions targets – but already low-lying countries are worried

Obama's fragile climate legacy - More than his other achievements, the international climate agreement relies on the good will of Congress and the next president to keep it in place.  By Sarah Wheaton 12/13/15.... "The President is making promises he can’t keep, writing checks he can’t cash, and stepping over the middle class to take credit for an ‘agreement’ that is subject to being shredded in 13 months," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.... Key parts of the Paris pact are nonbinding, the only way Obama could avoid seeking approval of the deal in Congress, something he knew would be impossible. He learned that lesson in his first term, when cap-and-trade legislation failed on Capitol Hill, prompting the Environmental Protection Agency to develop its own set of greenhouse gas rules. Those regulations are now at the mercy of the courts, which will decide over the coming years whether the president overstepped his authority as president....
It’s a reminder that even as consensus grows among scientists and world leaders about climate change and what must be done to limit its consequences, the U.S. political system is not on board. Read more:

James Hansen, father of climate change awareness, calls Paris talks 'a fraud' - The former Nasa scientist criticizes the talks, intended to reach a new global deal on cutting carbon emissions beyond 2020, as ‘no action, just promises’ 12 Dec 2015

Grand promises of Paris climate deal undermined by squalid retrenchments by George Monbiot

12 December 2015: US Presidential candidate viewpoints, Leaders’ Statement on action for forests at COP21, but financing is not there says Nigeria economist

Climate Change According to U.S. Presidential Candidates   12/4/2015 Where do U.S. presidential candidates stand on climate change and how to address it? A cheat sheet of the frontrunners' positions and plans

CIFOR DG’s Column - Climate isn’t everything … so welcome to the Global Landscapes Forum - Many solutions for a sustainable future are tied to landscapes and must meet local needs, while building on global talks....Landscapes, therefore, are places where many of our solutions for a more sustainable future must happen... The recent fire and haze crisis in Indonesia demonstrates why we need to take a broader landscape approach and a longer-term perspective. The mainstream media tend to characterize the fires as primarily issues of greenhouse gas emissions and nature conservation. While these are indeed critical, the fires really go way beyond. Health, poverty, food, rights, land tenure, law and order, and economic growth are all issues that come into play. Framing the haze crisis mainly around climate concerns is simply not accurate, especially for those closest to the scene that depend on these landscapes...

CIFOR welcomes Leaders’ Statement on action for forests at COP21 2 Dec 2015

Landscapes for sustainability: Potential, yes. Finance, not so much. New areas of investment are needed to bring the private sector on board, speakers say at Global Landscapes Forum.  by Thomas Hubert @tom_hubert 6 Dec 2015; ....speakers at the 2015 Global Landscapes Forum in Paris warned today, achieving such sustainable land-use management will require massive amounts of investment. And those amounts are not yet there, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigerian economist and former Minister of Finance, pointed out in the opening session of the event. The Forum, organized by CIFOR and a consortium of partners, brought together more than 3000 people to explore the role of land use in reaching climate and development goals. Okonjo-Iweala welcomed the fact that most African countries had included land-use interventions in their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) as part of ongoing climate negotiations, especially given FAO estimates that one-third of agricultural landscapes are degraded—mostly in developing countries.... She then went on to quote a new paper by the New Climate Economy Project showing that $250 billion is needed each year to fund landscape conservation and restoration, activities she described as “essential to achieving a vital triple win for development and climate: increasing rural productivity, resilience and mitigation simultaneously”.

3 December 2015: By the numbers - India report says OECD exaggerates aid, Oxfam says it is myth that citizens in rapidly developing countires are most to blame - look at the world's richest 10%; Indonesia and Malaysia pledges

By the numbers

Paris climate talks: Indian officials accuse OECD of exaggerating climate aid by John Vidal 2 December 2015; ... Officials suggested that the true amount figure mobilised by rich countries may only be $2.2bn, not $57bn. “This is far from the $100bn a year goal,” the Indian paper said, which included a disclaimer that “the views and analysis contained in this discussion paper do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of India”.

World's richest 10% produce half of global carbon emissions, says Oxfam by AFP  2 December 2015 - an average person among the richest 1% of people emits 175 times more carbon than his or her counterpart among the bottom 1%, Oxfam said. .... Oxfam said its analysis “helps dispel the myth that citizens in rapidly developing countries are somehow most to blame for climate change.” ...

Indonesia and Malaysia pledges

April Group Invests US$100 Million for Peat Restoration 2 Desember 2015, Aside from doubling the land restoration up to 150,000 hectares, the company operating in Riau will invest money at around US$100 million to around Rp1.36 trillion for the restoration program within 10 years. The investment value is the largest that a private company has invested in the single eco-restoration in Indonesia. Investment of April covers the studies, restorations and coverage, along with management and partnership.

Malaysia pledges 45% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030, 2 December 2015; ... Six years ago in Copenhagen it set a target of cutting emissions by as much as 40% by 2020 compared with 2005 levels. The government said it had achieved a 33% reduction as of end-2013...

1 December 2015: High politics, projects & campaigns, corporate news links

High politics of the Paris talks

Two Big Fights in Paris Climate Talks   11/30/2015 6:00AM       President Obama faces two major battles as delegates meet in Paris this week to tackle climate change -- one with developing nations, and the other with Republicans in Congress. WSJ's Jerry Seib explains.

Paris climate summit: world leaders told to iron out differences before talks end - France steps up diplomatic efforts to get consensus on a global deal six days before official talks conclude by Fiona Harvey and Kim Willsher in Paris 28 November 2015

Christiana Figueres: the woman tasked with saving the world from global warming - The UN climate chief is confident that the Paris summit can make history and produce a landmark deal to limit future carbon emissions – but any success depends on her pivotal role, UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres: ‘We are going to get an agreement [in Paris], because there is enough political will.’ by Fiona Harvey 27 November 2015

Fewer than 50% of CEOs say Paris deal would make them act on climate change - New poll reveals most business leaders are failing to get to grips with long-term implications of global warming by Oliver Balch 4 September 2015

Paris climate talks: powerful business lobbies seek to undermine deal - Tackling climate change means drastically transforming our economies. Our political leaders, not business, are best placed to do that by Pascoe Sabido is a campaigner and researcher with Corporate Europe Observatory 27 November 2015; ...A recent report from the NGO Corporate Europe Observatory reveals that what’s on offer at COP21 is nothing short of a climate catastrophe, a guaranteed recipe to cook the planet. But rather than sending the dish back, political leaders have asked for seconds, bringing the very companies responsible for the problem ever closer into the UN fold.....  The problem, however, is that is has also succeeded in creating several platforms to ensure business-friendly proposals are at the heart of climate policy-making, rather than vice versa. New markets, experimental technologies, all endorsed so polluters don’t have to change their business models. The UN’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres – who before taking up her post was principal climate change advisor to Latin America’s leading energy utility, Endesa – has even told the world to “stop demonising oil and gas companies”.... If enough people get behind it, Paris could mark a watershed moment: the beginning of the end for the cosy affair between politicians and polluters...

Projects and campaigns

Prince Charles in plan to help investors take polluting firms to court - Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative will lay out risks to financial returns amid increasing government curbs on emissions by Daniel Boffey Policy editor 27 November 2015; Prince Charles is taking part in a project to expose major polluting corporations based in Commonwealth nations to big-money legal action if they fail to accurately disclose their impact on climate change or reform their ways...

Bill Gates to launch clean energy project on sidelines of Paris climate talks - Microsoft co-founder will announce multi-billion-dollar Initiative Cleantech on opening day of two-week climate summit alongside Barack Obama - Gates will join Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, US president Barack Obama and French president François Hollande to announce Initiative Cleantech. Photograph: Jean-Pierre Clatot/AFP/Getty Images  Reuters in Washington 27 November 2015; ...Gates has pledged $2bn of his personal wealth over the next five years to “bend the curve” on climate change, he said this summer.In a blogpost in July, Gates said more breakthrough technologies are needed to combat climate change and that current technologies can only reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a “beyond astronomical” cost. He said accelerating government funding for clean energy research and development is crucial to attracting private investment to the field..

World Bank Group unveils $16 Billion Africa Climate Business Plan to Tackle Urgent Climate Challenges  November 24, 2015; One third of funds expected to come from Bank’s fund for the poorest countries

Corporate news

Unilever to stop using coal for energy within five years  - Consumer goods giant pledges to go ‘carbon positive’ by 2030, generating 100% of its energy needs from renewables with more to spare - Paul Polman, chairman of Unilever, will be attending Paris climate talks with other business leaders. by Fiona Harvey, environment correspondent 27 November 2015  Unilever, the consumer goods giant, has pledged to eliminate coal from its energy usage within five years, and derive all of its energy worldwide solely from renewable sources by 2030. The company will become “carbon positive” by 2030...

TTIP talks: EU alleged to have given ExxonMobil access to confidential strategies - Documents and emails obtained by the Guardian reveal ‘collusion’ between Brussels and industry over the fossil fuel push in free trade negotiations by Arthur Neslen Brussels 26 November 2015; .... The US has banned fossil fuel exports for 40 years but the policy was relaxed towards Mexico in August. Previous leaks of TTIP documents have revealed the EU is pressing for a guarantee in the trade deal that the US will allow free export of oil and gas to Europe, alarming environmentalists who fear imports would impact on the EU’s climate change plans.
It would cost $100bn to build the infrastructure necessary to export the US fossil fuels, according to industry estimates, also released in the freedom of information trawl.

Two-faced Exxon: the misinformation campaign against its own scientists - 100% global warming consensus in Exxon scientists’ research contrasted its $31m campaign to cast doubt on that consensus by Dana Nuccitelli 25 November 2015; ...Investigative journalism by Inside Climate News (ICN) into Exxon’s internal documents revealed that the company was at the forefront of climate research, warning of the dangers posed by human-caused global warming from the late-1970s to the late-1980s. As Harvard climate historian Naomi Oreskes noted...

Sustainability news links - Nespresso sustainability, BBC complaint, Greenpeace losses

University of Michigan MBA students win competition to inject sustainability into coffee production - video; "The 2014 Nespresso Sustainability MBA challenge, which aims to find new ways to inject sustainability and shared value into the coffee industry, saw 70 MBA schools worldwide take part. Students from Yale School of Management were one of two runners-up, recognised for their strategy to combine the goals for carbon reduction of both Nespresso and coffee producing country Costa Rica."

Common sense prevails as BBC upholds Today programme climate complaint. BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit concludes interview with Lord Lawson and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins on climate change and floods broke guidelines on due accuracy;; " Lawson made inaccurate and misleading statements about the science of climate change as he had done so in previous appearances on its programmes.
Furthermore, he was no doubt invited to participate in the interview on Today because he rejects the scientific evidence and chairs a campaign group for climate change ‘sceptics’, the Global Warming Policy Foundation...."

Greenpeace losses: leaked documents reveal extent of financial disarray; Emails and meeting notes show group’s finance department has a long history of problems in its handling of the £58m budget,
The Guardian, Monday 23 June 2014 10.09 BST; "The handling of Greenpeace International’s £58m budget has been in disarray for years, with its financial team beset by personnel problems and a lack of rigorous processes, leading to errors, substandard work and a souring of relationships between its Amsterdam headquarters and offices around the world, documents leaked to the Guardian show.
Coming after it emerged that a staffer had lost £3m on the foreign exchange market by betting mistakenly on a weak euro, the documents show that the group’s financial department has faced a series of problems, and that its board is troubled by the lack of controls and lapses that allowed one person to lose so much money.... Greenpeace, which prides itself on being largely funded by relatively small individual donations, apologised to supporters for the loss, claiming that the “serious error of judgment” was the result of a single staff member “acting beyond the limits of their authority and without following proper procedures”. But the documents show that internally the group is worried about the organisational failings that allowed it to happen....The leaked material seems to show disquiet over a continuing major restructuring, aimed at moving staff from Greenpeace International’s base in Amsterdam to national offices across the world to fulfil Naidoo’s goal of better tackling environmental problems in the global south. “This [2014] will be a testing year for all of us,” the strategy document warns....Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor, which seeks to make NGOs more transparent and accountable, said he saw parallels with the financial problems Amnesty International had experienced in recent years. “The extent of it [the financial problems] was not something I expected [at Greenpeace]. But it’s part of the fact that NGOs keep things very much within the organisation; there’s no culture of accountability. They call on governments to be accountable but they lack this in so many ways, so in that sense it’s not a surprise.”...

To target Greenpeace's flying director is to miss the point, It's easy to set green against green, but the charity's problems run wider and deeper than one person's travel plans, The Guardian, Wednesday 25 June 2014;