Blogs By Ceres
A listing of blogs authored by Ceres
Warren Buffett's Mixed Signals on Climate Risk and Insurance
Apr 28, 2016
- When it comes to addressing climate change impacts to Berkshire Hathaway’s insurance business, Warren Buffett paints a somewhat misleading picture that minimizes the business risks posed by a demonstrably changing climate. In doing so, Buffett begs serious questions about his company’s planning for climate impacts and undermines confidence in the insurance division’s climate resilience.
Statement on the AES Shareholder Vote
Apr 22, 2016
- Yesterday at the annual meeting of utility AES, shareholders had their first chance to vote on a resolution asking a U.S. based company to stress test its investments against the low carbon future that the Paris agreement will help bring about. The resolution received support from 42% of investors, the highest vote ever for a 2 degree stress testing resolution in the U.S.
While the SEC Ignores Climate Change Risks, Others Step Up
Apr 11, 2016
- Six years ago, the SEC took one giant step toward acknowledging climate change as a financial risk and opportunity for markets. Their formal guidance on climate risk discusses climate risks, how they are material, and how they are disclosed—but the SEC has almost nothing to enforce that guidance.
'Sustainable' means different things in politics, but it's sound thinking in business
Apr 07, 2016
- Mention the word "sustainable" to a liberal member of Congress and you immediately have credibility, common ground with many. Mention the word "sustainable" to a conservative member and you might have a disagreement on your hands or, at a minimum, whatever you say after that will go unheard. But what does "sustainable" mean?
Why Food Waste Means Water Waste
Apr 07, 2016
- From an economic, environmental and social standpoint, keeping food out of landfills is imperative. We waste 40 percent of the food we buy each year while one in seven Americans go hungry, and the global agriculture industry emits one-third of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. But there’s another aspect of the food waste problem that gets much less discussion, one that is also critically important to water-stressed California: Saving food equals saving water.
Big Oil Gearing Up to Battle Electric Vehicles
Apr 07, 2016
- Tesla recently unveiled the Model 3, a mass market, affordable electric vehicle with a starting price of $35,000 and a two hundred mile range. In just over five days, more than 276,000 people put down $1,000 to reserve their own Model 3, signaling that American appetite for electric vehicles (EVs) is on the rise. That’s good news because GHG emissions from transportation are growing faster than in any other sector in the U.S. and account for about 30 percent of the total. A major shift to electrified vehicles is necessary to give us a fighting chance to meet our climate goals.
Worms and Wine? Fetzer Vineyards First to Adopt Innovative Wastewater Treatment System to Save Water / Combat Climate Change
Apr 06, 2016
- It takes a lot of water to make a glass of California wine, anywhere from two to 15 gallons of water, according to recent studies. And as the state moves into its fifth year of drought, many California wineries are rethinking how they use water and the way they do business.
CalPERS raises bar on corporate directors’ role in tackling climate change
Apr 06, 2016
- Last month, the country’s largest pension fund, the California Public Employees Retirement System, updated its Global Governance Principles, which drive its efforts on corporate engagements, proxy voting and investment decision making. The principles now state that board members of companies that CalPERS owns should have “expertise and experience in climate change risk management strategies.” This move is hugely important.
Agriculture-Related Water Risks: Understanding the Threat
Apr 05, 2016
- Growing competition for water, climate variability, pollution from agricultural runoff, weak water management and regulation, and aging infrastructure all contribute to a water availability crisis that was recently named the top global risk in terms of impact by the World Economic Forum.
How Can We Ensure the Race for Clean Energy Doesn't Leave the World's Poorest Citizens Behind?
Apr 05, 2016
- Wind power is booming in Mexico. With more than 3,200 megawatts in operation, the country is on par with Japan. By 2018 it expects to have 10,000 MW installed as part of the government’s Climate Action Plan. Promising, right?
World's Leading Companies Agree: Clean Power Plan Is Necessary Part of U.S. National Climate Plan
Apr 04, 2016
- On Friday, the biggest players in technology and some of the largest consumer brands submitted separate friend-of-the-court briefs providing resounding support for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan, which the Supreme Court placed a hold on in February while the D.C. Circuit Court reviews the legality of the regulations.
Finally, Clean Energy Opportunities Meet the Risk-Return Requirements of Investors. Now What?
Mar 29, 2016
- The global climate agreement adopted in Paris in December is far more than just a roadmap for tackling climate change. It’s also a blueprint for rethinking how we bring energy to 1.3 billion people who live without electricity—a significant barrier to eradicating global poverty. On both of these fronts, clean energy, not fossil fuel energy, is a critical linchpin.
Is Your Mutual Fund a Climate Change Denier or Climate Champion?
Mar 15, 2016
- New proxy data showcasing how mutual fund companies voted on climate-related resolutions in 2015 reveals a major divide in their thinking on the mega issue. These common sense requests are believed by investors to be financially material to the companies receiving the resolutions and to mutual fund companies who have a fiduciary duty to vote in the best interests of their clients.
The Best Options for Groundwater Recharge
Mar 14, 2016
- The water bond passed by voters in 2014 provides funding for projects to help recharge groundwater. But some of the best and most cost-effective options may be smaller-scale projects. Ceres' Kirsten James takes a look at some promising options in both urban and agricultural areas.
Digging Into the Regulatory Process for Water Conservation
Mar 11, 2016
- By the time California homes have fully embraced these new water-efficiency fixtures, the annual savings will be on the order of 38 billion gallons of water - nearly 58,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, or enough water for almost 290,000 California homes for a year.
Time to Change Water-Pricing Schemes
Feb 29, 2016
- The way we pay for water in California has to change. Despite a wet winter this year, California still faces serious drought conditions, and the forecast for the longer term is that this is likely the new normal. Balancing a growing population’s water demand with economic and environmental needs will require a shift in business as usual.
Morocco solar shows developing country trend
Feb 22, 2016
- Morocco has set ambitious renewable energy goals and dropped all fossil fuel subsidies. It opened up the electric power sector to private companies and made long-term guarantees that the state will buy large amounts of power being generated.
Linking Investors to Renewable Energy Opportunities in Emerging Markets Is Key to COP21 Success
Feb 10, 2016
- Some of the ingredients for catalyzing clean energy investments in Asia, Africa and other emerging markets have their own unique nomenclature—“blend 2.0,” “de-risking” and “national investment catalogues.” Yet there is a more straightforward recipe: A mix of national clean energy policies with the needs of institutional investors looking for opportunities that are safe and relatively profitable.
We Need to Fight Drought With Better Data
Feb 08, 2016
- California is managing its water system like an unbalanced checkbook. There are thousands of “withdrawals” and “deposits” from stressed surface water and groundwater supplies, but no sufficient accounting system to understand the overall “balance” of water resources. Better data and new policies are helping to change this.
The One Thing We Still Need in Order to Get to a Low-Carbon Economy
Jan 26, 2016
- We need far more investment in the low-carbon economy — well over US$1 trillion every year. What will it take to get pension funds, insurance companies and other investors who manage trillions of dollars to open their wallets to this enormous clean energy opportunity?