Sustainability Reads: October 13– October 19

 U.S. Defense Department released a report titled 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap saying climate change will intensify current military challenges such as global instability, disease, poverty, and conflict through effects such as rising temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, increasing intense storms and rising sea levels. Report also outlined a long-term process for the armed forces to try to incorporate climate risk in the form of three broad adaptation goals:
  • Identify and assess the effects of climate change on the Department
  • Integrate climate change considerations across the Department and manage associated risks
  • Collaborate with internal and external stakeholders on climate change challenges

Chuck Hegel, the Secretary of Defense, describes the motivation for the report perfectly: “Politics or ideology must not get in the way of sound planning.” We agree. Article on Bloomberg Politics.

“The Paris Declaration”
Last Friday and Saturday, the first World Summit of Regions for Climate was held in Paris, France. Organized by R20 Regions of Climate Action, the Summit saw over 1,000 representatives of cities, regions, provinces and states from around the world, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Founding Chair of R20 and former Governor of California. The Summit also recognized six regional networks that committed to the Paris Declaration and whose networks collectively represent over 3,000 local governments (Oru/Fogar, Assembly of European Regions, ICLEI, The Mexico City Pact, The Association of North East Asia Regional Governments, and Fonds Mondial pour le Développement des Villes). The first commitment of the Paris Declaration is to “Commit to adopt, support and engage in concrete «bottom-up» lead by local authorities in partnership with businesses and investors, to complement the efforts of Parties in the framework of the intergovernmental negotiation process of the UNFCCC, to reach a global Climate Agreement in Paris in 2015,” while the second is to “Commit to take concrete measures to fight against global warming within such action programs, each according to our respective local conditions, and taking as an example the objectives (of the European Union and UNSE4ALL for the year 2030: reduction of GHG emissions by 40%, increasing energy efficiency by 40% and increasing renewable energy production by 40%, based on 1990 data).”

Sustainable Stock Exchanges Progress Report: A Report on Progress
The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Global Dialogue initiative hosted its flagship event and released this report that provides insight into the efforts of 55 stock exchanges to facilitate more sustainable financial markets, promote improved corporate performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, and promote investment to help meet the expected UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Exchange sustainability initiatives typically take one or more of three forms: promoting sustainability reporting by companies, providing guidance and training on ESG issues to companies and investors, and producing sustainable investment products. Here are some statistics, but check out this report to learn more on the importance of commitments from stock exchanges and the areas that future efforts should focus:

  • Over forty percent of the exchanges reviewed offer at least one index integrating social and/or environmental issues;
  • Over one-third of the exchanges provide either sustainability reporting guidance or training to the listed companies on their exchange;
  • Twelve of the 55 exchanges require aspects of environmental and social reporting for at least some of their companies, with 7 of those exchanges requiring such reporting for all listed companies.

By SSE Secretariat.

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