Thursday, September 26, 2013

NGO CDP disclosing data on the CO2 footprint of 500 big companies

Graph of emissions produced in Europe
in Metric tons of CO2
The NGO CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) disclosed CO2 emission data of 500 big companies worldwide, including CO2 effects linked to the supply chain. The report is based on voluntary disclosure by the companies. This implies that the data have not necessarily been verified by a neutral source. However, the data can certainly be used to indicate the minimum CO2 footprint of the big companies participating to the CDP operation.

The list contains electric power and utility companies like Enel, Vattenfall, E.ON, Electricité de France, with RWE topping the list, but also telecommunications companies like  Verizon. Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and Telefonica because of links via the supply chain.

The list closely matches a list of European power companies found here based on a analysis by Price Waterhouse Cooper and an older article about polluters in Europe on our blog.

The full report from CDP can be found here:

In a view of climate change compensation claims readers should in particular take note of the CO2 emission graphs on the pages 20, 24, 34, 38 and the table starting on page 49 of the CDP report.

Related: polluters in Europe

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Extreme weather events sometimes attributable to climate change

Extreme weather events attributable to climate change?
(Image Robert A. Rohde)
To what extent can extreme weather events be attributed to climate change? This is the question analysed by Peter A. Stott et al. in their article “The attribution of weather and climate-related events”. The article is part of the book “Climate Science for Serving Society - Research, Modeling and Prediction Priorities” (Editors: Ghassem R. Asrar and James W. Hurrell; ISBN: 978-94-007-6691-4 (Print) 978-94-007-6692-1 (eBook); Springer 2013). 

The authors make a range of subtle statements, like the following: Climate change has increased the likelihood of certain extreme weather events, reduced the likelihood of others and left the likelihood of certain others unchanged. The attribution of a certain extreme weather event to climate change can be possible. However, it must be done by “carefully calibrated physically based assessments of observed weather and climate-related events”. Also the authors hold that “in most cases it is not possible to determine that the weather or climate-related event in question could only have happened because of a particular climate-driver”. But it is possible to calculate an increase of likelihood. The authors mention a few cases where attribution to climate change was possible, amongst them the Moscow heatwave already referred to on this blog.

Related: the World Climate Research Programme report on Attribution of extreme weather events to climate change