(3BL Media/Justmeans) - In Pope Francis’s encyclical, he appeals to the international community–particularly rich countries–to step up and alter their economies and lifestyles in order to address ‘the ecological crisis.’ Governments are called on to address the issues, but there are corporations whose gross revenues surpass the GDP of entire countries. So what then is the responsibility of corporations, when multiple stakeholders are impacted by these companies?
Guest blog by Marvin Smith, Future 500
(3BL Media/Just Means) - Fish are endangered in the Mediterranean Sea. While sunlight-deprived Europeans flock to Mediterranean beaches for their summer breaks, offshore the action is a tad less quaint. The old Med has turned into a jammed criss-cross of fishing activity that have led fish populations to the brink of collapse. Now it ranks as the most over-exploited fishing region on the planet.
(3BL Media/Just Means) - Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic airline has some good news. The company posted its latest figures on greenhouse gas emissions and it has gone down by 12 percent.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There was big news coming out of Europe last week, other than the ongoing Greek banking crisis. A district court in The Hague made a ruling in a climate change lawsuit that could have far-reaching consequences. A group called the Urgenda Foundation, along with some 900 co-plaintiffs, filed suit against the Dutch government for not taking sufficient action against climate change. The case was filed in November 2013, after a letter written a year earlier, asking for more action received a response that acknowledged that the Dutch government's action were insufficient. The lawsuit was based on “the principle that the government can be held legally accountable for not taking sufficient action to prevent foreseeable harm.”
The action was largely inspired by the book, Revolution Justified, written by the Dutch lawyer Roger Cox, who made the case for such a suit in a piece published in The Guardian. He later gave a TEDx talk on the subject entitled “How EU Action Couild Save Earth from Climate Disaster.”
The suit made three specific requests of the court:
To declare that global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius will lead to a violation of fundamental human rights worldwide.
To declare that the Dutch State is acting unlawfully by not contributing its proportional share to preventing a global warming of more than 2 degrees Celsius.
To order the Dutch State to drastically reduce Dutch CO2 emissions even before 2020 to the level that has been determined by scientists to be in line with less than 2 degrees Celsius of global warming; that is, to reduce Dutch emissions by 40% by 2020 below 1990 levels.
The court upheld the position of the plaintiffs, ruling that, “the State must take more action to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands. The State also has to ensure that the Dutch emissions in the year 2020 will be at least 25% lower than those in 1990. The parties agree that the severity and scope of the climate problem make it necessary to take measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Based on the State’s current policy, the Netherlands will achieve a reduction of 17% at most in 2020,
Guest Blog by Gurnek Bains, co-founder and chairman of YSC
Preventing the destruction of natural forests is a top priority for Asia Pulp and Paper. The company has engaged NGOs, government officials, and local communities to assist in their efforts to build comprehensive programs and zero deforestation policies.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – The U.S. has become a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers and innovators. Yet now this position is threatened, as comparatively few American students pursue expertise in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Attracting young people to pursue careers in STEM starts early on in their academic lives.
(3BL Media/Justmeans) – Sadly, all types of people live in poverty in different parts of the world, including those living in advanced economies. Life changes such as unemployment, illness or family separation can happen to us all. Shifts in the cost of living, especially higher prices in essentials such as food and fuel, affect most people.