As the SEC continues to receive comments(as recently as April 15) on the 116-page “Petition for Interpretive Guidance on Climate Risk Disclosure” filed jointly by 22 signatories on Sept. 18, 2007 (there’s also the “Petition for Interpretive Guidance on Business Risk of Global Warming Regulation” filed by the Free Enterprise Action Fund Oct. 22, 2007), President Bush spoke yesterday on “Taking Action to Confront Climate Change,” announcing, “a new national goal to stop the growth in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.”
In his speech, the President noted, “To reach our 2025 goal, we will need to more rapidly slow the growth of power sector greenhouse gas emissions so that they peak within 10 to 15 years, and decline thereafter.. . By doing so, we will reduce emission levels in the power sector well below where they were projected to be when we first announced our climate strategy in 2002.”
He added, “There are a number of ways to achieve these reductions, but all responsible approaches depend on accelerating the development and deployment of new technologies."
Reactions to the President’s plan varied, as noted in the article by James Gerstenzang and Richard Simon in today’s Los Angeles Times, “President Bush Offers Goals to Fight Climate Change." and in the AP wire story carried in USAToday, "Bush Revises Strategy on Curbing Greenhouse Gases."
Separately, Elizabeth Williamson reports in today's Wall Street Journal, "Climate Issues Divide U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, Big Members.”
In reading about the announced climate change goal for 2025, I was reminded of the song “In the Year 2525,” recorded by Zager & Evans in 1969. The lyrics begin, “In the year 2525, if man is still alive, if woman can survive…” A later verse says, “In the year 9595 I'm kinda wonderin' if man is gonna be alive, he's taken everything this old earth can give, and he ain’t put back nothing.”
The President’s remarks on climate change followed by about four hours the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the White House. Did the meeting with the Pope influence the President’s views on climate change (albeit the remarks were prepared in advance of the visit)? Perhaps only they will know.
In addition, the President’s announcement came two days ahead of: “U.S. Governors to Gather at Yale for Climate Change Conference.”
Committees Appointed by Treasury Recommend Best Practices for Hedge Funds
Speaking of clearing the air, “Hedge Funds Need More Oversight, Transparency, Treasury Panels Say,” reports David Cho in today’s Washington Post. He notes, “Two committees appointed by the Treasury Department called yesterday for greater accountability within the secretive world of hedge funds and pressed fund managers to detail their investment activities, saying such moves would help the troubled financial markets.”
Further details on the hedge fund announcement are in Treasury’s April 15 press release, “PWG [Presidents Working Group] Private-Sector Committees Release Best Practices for Hedge Fund Participants.” The two committee reports – the Asset Managers Committee chaired by Eric Mindich of Eton Park Capital, and the Investors Committee chaired by Russell Read of CALPERS – along with other committee information, are available at: http://www.amaicmte.org.
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