Climate Change

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A View from the Peak: Balancing Our Carbon Budget

Earlier this year, the financial services company HSBC came out with a report in which their analysts calculated that taking climate change seriously could cut share prices of major oil companies by up to 60%. That report, Peak Planet: The next upswing for the climate agenda, held some sobering news for business. Now that it has been made freely available on the company’s website, executives concerned with managing risks may want to read it.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Worldizen.
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A Hotter Climate Limits Growth

It seems pretty obvious that droughts and hot weather hurt agricultural output and growth, but MIT professor of economics Benjamin Olken asserts that even localized hot spells can significantly damage long-term economic growth in developing countries. In a recent paper published in the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, Olken and his colleagues found that every 1 degree Celsius increase in temperature in a poor country reduces economic growth by around 1.3 percentage points, and that higher temperatures also may reduce the rate of growth.

Image courtesy of Flickr user World Economic Forum.
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What Environmental Ratings Miss

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Given the sparkle that environmental rankings lend to high-ranking companies, they should take into account a business’s advocacy activities to influence environmental regulation in addition to the business’s internal operations, argue Auden Schendler of the Aspen Skiing Company and Michael Toffel of Harvard Business School.

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BBC Web Game Lets You Feel Full Force of Political Decisions

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The BBC’s free web-based game Climate Challenge lets you to take a shot at cutting down on green house gases while growing the economy, staying on budget, and keeping the public happy. Play it too aggressively and you’ll get voted out of office. You may even be told, “You were a deeply unpopular leader who cared nothing for the happiness of the population.”

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Cancun Climate Conference: Talking Points

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In the opening speech for the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, which started November 29 and runs through December 10, Mexican President Felipe Calderón cited last year’s hurricane in Mexico, this year’s floods in Pakistan, and fires in Russia as examples of natural disasters brought about by climate change

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Playing Russian Roulette — With the Gun Pointed at Our Children

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How can you explain to ordinary people the dangers of not taking action to lower the risks associated with climate change in the future? That's a question MIT Sloan School professor John Sterman has given thought to -- which was evident when he gave a presentation on climate change last week at a systems thinking conference at MIT.

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Mitigating Climate Risks: The Business Challenge

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Think about the challenges involved in combating climate change, and issues like international cooperation, public opinion, public policy and technological innovation may all come to mind. But there's another key topic that may not come to mind quite as readily -- and that's a business challenge.

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Hundreds of Gallons of Water in Every Shirt

A founder of the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Sustainability Lab talks about how businesses and governments have to surmount social issues as well as economic ones if they are serious about sustainability.

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The benefits of pricing carbon

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Sign of the times: In a wide-ranging speech on energy policy, a leading U.S. energy executive discusses the need to place some type of price on carbon dioxide emissions.

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Peter Senge on sustainability and climate change

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This month's Strategy+Business contains a beautiful, must-read article co-authored by MIT Sloan School's Peter Senge (with Bryan Smith of York University's Sustainable Enterprise Academy and Nina Kruschwitz).

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