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Corporate Responses to Climate Change: Achieving Emissions Reductions Through Regulation, Self-Regulation and Economic Incentives [Hardcover]

Rory Sullivan

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Book Description

3 Nov 2008
Given the scale of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions that are seen as necessary to avert the worst effects of climate change, policy action is likely to result in a complete reshaping of the world economy. The consequences are not confined to 'obvious' sectors such as power generation, transport and heavy industry; virtually every company's activities, business models and strategies will need to be completely re-thought. In addition, beyond their core business activities, companies have the potential to make important contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the allocation of capital, through innovation and the development of new technologies, and through their influence on the actions taken by governments on climate change. 'Corporate Responses to Climate Change' has been written at a crucial point in the climate change debate, with the issue now central to economic and energy policy in many countries.This book analyses current business practice and performance on climate change, in the light of the dramatic changes in the regulatory and policy environment over the last five years. More specifically, it examines how climate change-related policy development and implementation have influenced corporate performance, with the objective of using this information to consider how the next stage of climate change policy - regulation, incentives, voluntary initiatives - may be designed and implemented in a manner that delivers the real and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions that will be required in a timely manner, while also addressing the inevitable dilemmas at the heart of climate change policy (e.g. how are concerns such as energy security to be squared with the need for drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions? Can economic growth be reconciled with greenhouse gas emissions? Can emissions reductions be delivered in an economically efficient manner?). This book focuses primarily on two areas. First, how have companies actually responded to the emerging regulatory framework and the growing political and broader public interest in climate change? Have companies reduced their greenhouse gas emissions and by how much? Have companies already started to position themselves for the transition to a low-carbon economy? Does corporate self-regulation - unilateral commitments and collective voluntary approaches - represent an appropriate response to the threat presented by climate change? What are the barriers to further action?Second, this book examines what the key drivers for corporate action on climate change have been: regulation, stakeholder pressure, investor pressure. Which policy instruments have been effective, which have not, and why? How have company actions influenced the strength of these pressures? 'Corporate Responses to Climate Change' is a state-of-the-art analysis of corporate action on climate change and will be essential reading for businesses, policy-makers, academics, NGOs, investors and all those interested in how the business sector is and should be dealing with the most serious environmental threat faced by our planet.

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This book is particularly important since it addresses the corporate sector, a major stakeholder in tackling the challenge of climate change. Indeed, it is largely through market-based responses that new technologies will be developed and their dissemination would take place to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases. The book appropriately addresses issues of public policy and their nexus with corporate responses, which makes this a useful volume not only for corporate leaders but policy-makers as well. Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and Director-General, TERI, India --United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Captains of industry are the key to the solution of global warming. This book helps define rules that will help them to lead, rather than oppose, the actions that are needed. James Hansen, Columbia Earth Institute --Earth Institute

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is pleased to endorse this important new book. The companies in our membership are innovative and well managed partly because of their commitment to sustainable development. They are also the front-runners in understanding the business benefits derived from innovative energy and environmental approaches. This means they do not waste time on outdated notions: for example, that the economy will suffer massively by responding to the challenges climate change presents. To the contrary, the current financial crisis means that we must now develop business models for growth driven by a low-carbon economy. This new work is a valuable contribution to guiding us further in meeting that challenge. Björn Stigson, President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development --World Business Council for Sustainable Development

About the Author

Dr Rory Sullivan is Head of Responsible Investment at Insight Investment. He is responsible for leading Insight s research and engagement activities on social and environmental issues, with a particular focus on climate change. He is also a member of the Steering Committee of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and is the Chair of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) s Carbon Reporting Working Group. Rory has authored a series of major reports on the investment implications of climate change including Taking the Temperature: Assessing the Performance of Leading UK and European Companies in Responding to Climate Change and Climate Change Policy and the Electricity Industry (published by Chatham House). He also led the drafting of the IIGCC Investor Statement on Climate Change and was a contributor to the UNDP 2007/2008 Human Development Report (Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World). His previous experience includes advising Environment Australia and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the development and implementation of pollutant release and transfer registers, advising companies on greenhouse gas emission inventories and greenhouse gas emissions management, and contributing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management in National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (2000). Rory has written over 300 articles, book chapters and papers on climate change, energy policy and investment issues, including articles in Climatic Change, Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Journal of Business Ethics and Atmospheric Environment. He is the author/editor of five books on these issues including Rethinking Voluntary Approaches in Environmental Policy (Edward Elgar, 2005) and Responsible Investment(editor with Craig Mackenzie; Greenleaf Publishing, 2006). He holds a first-class honours degree in Electrical Engineering (University College Cork, Ireland), master s in Environmental Science (University of Manchester) and Environmental Law (University of Sydney) and a PhD in Law (Queen Mary, University of London).

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