Monthly Archives: March 2008

Field Report from the UN Investor Summit on Climate Risk

CWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue attended the conference, hosted by investor-environmentalist coalition Ceres and its Investor Network on Climate Risk. Rheannon speaks with British Telecom Pension Scheme Trustee Donald MacDonald about the impact of war on climate change and what institutional investors can do to address it.

Alisa Gravitz
Alisa Gravitz
Baue speaks with Co-op America CEO Alisa Gravitz about its multi-tiered approach to address climate change through member company actions, investor advocacy, and consumer activism. And Ian Gray of Ceres speaks with McKinsey Global Institute Director Diana Farrell about its new report on energy efficiency. We also excerpt highlights from the presentations by Harvard Professor and Woods Hole Research Center Director John Holdren outlining the current science on climate change and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney placing climate change in the social context.

Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk

McKinsey Global Institute report: The Case for Investing in Energy Productivity

John Holdren presentation: Global Climatic Disruption

John Sweeney speech

CWR Headlines: Over a quarter of Fidelity fund shareholders support genocide-free resolution.

Investors Against Genocide

Investors Against Genocide webpage on Fidelity resolution vote

19 March 2008, Associated Press: “Fidelity Holders Defeat Investment Limit”

19 March 2008, Reuters: “Fidelity funds reject genocide-linked proposal”

Greg Palast Links Spitzer Bust with Bernanke Bailout of Banks Behind Subprime Meltdown

Greg Palast
Greg Palast
CWR co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon speak with investigative journalist Greg Palast, who notes the coincidental timing of revelations of Eliot Spitzer’s hiring of a prostitute on the eve of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s $200 billion bailout of banks implicated in the subprime meltdown. The former New York Governor was set to unveil plans to pursue prosecution of the banks for predatory lending that is illegal under New York State law, where most of the banks are headquartered, according to Palast. So instead of being busted by Spitzer, the banks behind the subprime mess were rewarded with a fifth of a trillion dollars, printed by the US government.

14 March 2008, GregPalast.com: “Eliot’s Mess”

14 February 2008 Washington Post article by Eliot Spitzer: “Predatory Lenders’ Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers”

CWR HEADLINES

17 March 2008, BusinessGreen: “Experts warn Bear Stearns crisis could curb cleantech growth”

13 March 2008, The Economist: The Green Exchange, the first US-based carbon emissions market, opened on March 17 (“The greening of Wall Street: Tackling the carbon crisis amid the credit crisis.”)

16 March 2008, New York Times: “Hydrogen Fuel Station Opens in White Plains”

11 March 2008, New York Times: “Long Ocean Voyage Set for Vessel That Runs on Wave Power”

16 March 2008, New York Times: X-Prize Foundation announces contest for affordable, consumer-friendly car getting 100 miles a gallon

Planning for the Convergence of Peak Oil and Climate Change

Daniel LerchCWR co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Daniel Lerch, author of Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty and manager of the Post Carbon Cities project of the Post Carbon Institute. Lerch discusses the overlap as well as the distinctions between peak oil and climate change. He also responds to the question of how the policy void at the federal government level in the US is driving action at the municipal and state level to address climate change and peak oil.

The show also features CWR’s new headlines segment:
–Nanotech is Exposed in Grocery Store Aisles;
–The Vatican says greenhouse gas emissions and genetically modified organisms are “Modern Sins”;
–A new study says the Clean Energy Market will Hit $254 Billion by 2017.

Post Carbon Cities: Planning for Energy and Climate Uncertainty

Post Carbon Institute

CWR HEADLINES

Listen to the headlines

March 11, 2008 Friends of the Earth news: “Nanotech Exposed in Grocery Store Aisles”

March 10, 2008 Reuters article: Vatican lists “new sins,” including pollution

March 11, 2008 GreenBiz headline: “Clean Energy Market to Hit $254 Billion by 2017, Says Study”

March 11, 2008 Clean Edge report: Clean-Energy Trends 2008

The Past, Present, and Future of Shareowner Activism

Laura Berry
Laura Berry
Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Laura Berry, executive director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. Founded in 1971, ICCR pioneered the modern practice of shareowner activism by reviving an obscure rule allowing shareowners to file resolutions addressing social and environmental issues at company annual meetings and on their proxies. Now, over three-and-a-half decades later, ICCR is a coalition of about 275 faith-based institutional investors with over $100 billion in assets who filed over 300 resolutions this proxy season.

Berry clarifies common misconceptions about how the ins and outs of shareowner activism. For example, media accounts often report a less-than-majority vote as a “defeat,” when in fact, companies often implement what resolutions request when they receive 20 percent or more support. She also discusses transformations she sees taking place in the corporate social responsibility landscape.

CWR also debuts a new segment with headlines on corporate sustainability developments from the past week, the first in a series of exciting changes to enhance the show.

Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility

Edited transcript of this interview on SocialFunds.com

CWR HEADLINES:

February 27, 2008 Geophysical Research Letters abstract: “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”

February 29, 2008 Reuters article: “Weyerhaeuser, Chevron Form Biofuels Joint Venture”

February 28, 2008 Gristmill blog on “Stabilizing climate requires near-zero emissions”

February 27, 2008 New York Times article: “Flooded Village Files Suit, Citing Corporate Link to Climate Change”