Methane debates in forecasts of climate change impact and costs

As we know, the scientific modelling and forecasting of climate change is very complex.  It could hardly be anything else, given the size, complexity, volatility, interconnectedness, non-linear behaviour, feedback loops, and threshold behaviour of the global climate systems. Continue reading “Methane debates in forecasts of climate change impact and costs”

Japanese insurance companies in community-based environmental scheme

Here is an interesting story concerning two Japanese insurance companies, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc. and Nipponkoa Insurance Co., which are building sustainability initiatives into their core business.  Under their new offering, it is possible for customers to select an insurance options which trigger contributions from the insurance companies to fund community-based, participatory actions in biodiversity preservation and environmental improvement.  While clearly a marketing initiative, directed at the emerging demand in post-Fukushima Japan for environmentally-responsible action, the companies seem to be putting their money behind it, and to be working through responsible environmental agencies.  The program has the potential to strengthen community action in environmental improvement at the local level.

Re-greening approaches to farming in Africa through trees

Here is an account of an indigenous approach to sustainable farming in West Africa.  It seems to have emerged on farms there spontaneously, and to have spread by word of mouth.  The centre of the approach is a recognition of the value of protecting and promoting young trees by farmers on their own land.  The documented benefits flow both to the farm–shade, shelter, leaf litter and organic matter, water conservation, and so on–and to the global environment, by building a significant carbon sink.  As this article notes, the initiative can be scaled up, and the learning being accumulated by these African farmers can be communicated with other farmers throughout the world–a welcome flow of expertise from African farmers.

UniSA Business Magazine: sustainable business book article

The May 2013 edition of UniSA Business Magazine carries a feature, “Sustainability: does it all add up?” about my edited book, Sustainable Business: Theory and Practice of Business Under Sustainability Principles, published earlier this year.  In the article I summarise the main ideas of sustainable business.  Other contributions to the feature come from other authors of chapters in the book. The magazine edition is available here: the feature runs pages 30-36.