Things are a’changin’ in the business world
BusinessWeek has a large and informative package of stories on the changing climate (har!) around climate change, both in the business world and in the halls of government. There are too many stories even to summarize here — just go browse around.
One positive notion that crops up in several stories is that federal limits on CO2 emissions are inevitable. The science is solid and public opinion is squarely behind it, and in those circumstances there’s only so long politicians can drag their feet (though a shout out here to the Bush administration, which has been amazingly effective at stalling, a perverse accomplishment of sorts). Businesses are already busy planning for it.
By planning and preparing now, [Cinergy CEO Jim] Rogers believes he’ll position his company ahead of its competitors and make a positive contribution to the environment. In the utility sector, where plants take years to build and remain online for five or six decades, that has long-ranging consequences.
"Rather than all of a sudden having huge increases [when regulation hits], we need to smooth it out over the long term," says Rogers. "I want to make sure the decisions I make today on this C02 issue ensure that leaders of this company five decades from now will look back and say ‘I’m really glad that guy positioned us that way’."
Also of particular interest — and a refreshing change from typical media reports that say "business is coming around" but provide only scattered anecdotes — BusinessWeek, Climate Group, and a panel of judges ranked companies based on their action so far on climate change. You can see a list of the top 10 overall performers as well as lists of the best management practices, best individual performers, and best financial-services companies.
This is a fantastic, comprehensive, balanced set of stories, and hopefully it will reach the right people.
It’s hard to see sometimes, especially weeks like this when the U.S. is busy shaming itself at the Montreal conference, but the tide really is turning on global warming.