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Earth, Inc. - How Business Took On the Climate Fight

This week's cover story for TIME explains the shifting responsibility for combating climate change.
Earth, Inc. - How Business Took On the Climate Fight

As climate change remains a politically-polarizing issue and governments around the world struggle to enact significant restrictions on their populations' contribution to the issue, "government officials have increasingly focused their attention on the private sector—treating companies not just as entities to regulate but also as core partners," writes Justin Worland for TIME's cover story.

"We need to accelerate our transition...and that process will only happen if the American private sector are an inextricable part of that process" says Brian Deese, director of President Biden’s National Economic Council.

Planet Earth’s Future Now Rests in the Hands of Big Business (Justin Worland - TIME)

Excerpt from TIME: For some, the emergence of the private sector as a key collaborator in efforts to tackle climate change is an indication of the power of capitalism to tackle societal challenges; for others it’s a sign of capitalism’s corruption of public institutions. In the three decades since the climate crisis became part of the global agenda, scientists, activists, and politicians have largely assumed that government would need to dictate the terms of the transition. But around the world, legislative attempts to tackle climate change have repeatedly failed. Meanwhile, investors and corporate executives have become more aware of the threat climate change poses to their business and open to working to address its causes. 
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In a related article from the same issue, Edward Felsenthal writes that a recent U.N. global warming meeting in Glasnow "reflected a new paradigm in the climate fight." He says, "the general assumption" had been that governments "would be at the center of any path forward," but despite some progress in diplomacy "it has become all too clear that political will is far from where it needs to be."

Ecopreneurs Are Critical to the Planet's Future (Edward Felsenthal - TIME)

Excerpt from TIME: It is a moment of both opportunity and risk, giving businesses enormous power over what the energy transition looks like and whether it succeeds. Many companies—urged on by employees, customers, and investors—are seeking to reduce emissions and “offset” carbon footprints. But business as a whole is only just beginning to respond to the crisis. Untangling the options, and ensuring those commitments are real, is one of the great challenges we face.
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As a prime example of this shift to companies, in late March, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission formally proposed "new rules that would for the first time require businesses to report their greenhouse gas emissions, along with details of how climate change is affecting their businesses," writes David Gura for NPR.

"Every year, public companies in the U.S. are required to provide investors and regulators with detailed data about their financial performance and the risks they face. Soon, they may also have to disclose information about how they are dealing with climate change," said David Gura.

The SEC wants companies to disclose how climate change is affecting them (David Gura - NPR)

Excerpt from NPR: In a statement of support for the proposed rules, SEC Chair Gary Gensler said the regulator is responding to demand from investors and companies given the increased push for information on the risks climate change-related events pose to businesses. "Our core bargain from the 1930s is that investors get to decide which risks to take, as long as public companies provide full and fair disclosure and are truthful in those disclosures," Gensler said. "That principle applies equally to our environmental-related disclosures."
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