G20 task force suggests 4 uniform areas for climate-risk reporting | Breathing battery may be solution to sustainable energy storage | Birds' plumage recorded changes in US air quality over 135 years
October 18, 2017
Aon Enviromental Risk Advisor
Risk Management, Insurance and Claims
G20 task force suggests 4 uniform areas for climate-risk reporting
The more than 100 companies who signed on to recommendations from the Group of 20 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures will report on the risks climate change poses for their business operations and the process used to measure the risk. The TCFD suggests that "all companies and investors will report against the same four areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets," CDP Chief Executive Paul Simpson writes.
GreenBiz (10/11) 
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Breathing battery may be solution to sustainable energy storage
Cost-effective, high-capacity energy storage is vital to the future of sustainable energy sources, whose output can vary greatly over time. Researchers at MIT offer a promising possibility in the form of a rechargeable flow battery that uses liquids for its cathode and anode, with the cathode effectively breathing in air to create a charge balance by taking oxygen in and out of the system.
New Atlas (10/12) 
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Laws and Regulations
EPA to offer states guidance on confidential business info under TSCA
The Environmental Protection Agency is working on guidance to help states access confidential business information in certain situations as long as they prove they can protect such information. The process is part of the reformed Toxic Substances Control Act.
Bloomberg BNA (free content) (9/29) 
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Senators oppose lower renewable-fuel requirements
A letter signed by 38 US senators urges the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider lowering 2018 biofuel requirements. "The rule unjustifiably flatlines biomass-based diesel, reduces advanced biofuels and reduces the cellulosic biofuel blending target by about 25 percent," the senators wrote.
Reuters (10/5) 
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Green Construction
New building at Ariz. university will be net-zero
Arizona State University is going green with its new Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building. Carbon-capture technology, recycled water, solar power and efficient sewage treatment are all part of the design for a net-zero energy building.
Construction Dive (10/11) 
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Database aims to foster development of eco-friendly cement
A team of 15 scientists from 11 institutions worldwide has created a database to determine which cement will perform best and which can be environmentally sound. "The publication of this common database represents a milestone for the field that will greatly increase the impact for molecular modeling in the development of new and eco-friendly cements," said Robert Flatt, a scientific adviser on the project from Switzerland's ETH Zurich.
PhysOrg/News release/ETH Zurich (10/9) 
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Aon News
Why collaboration is the future of insurtech
Drones and artificial intelligence are changing the way we insure our homes, cars and businesses. With $14 billion in investment to date, insurtech is turning heads, and insurance will likely never be the same again. One characteristic that marks this period of business disruption: a level of partnership and co-operation between industry incumbents and tech startups. So what's next for insurance? Learn more.
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Property insurance rates likely to spike after disasters
Recent catastrophes didn't just damage property; insurance rates could be in danger as well. Recent natural catastrophes such as the hurricanes in the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico will have underwriters looking to increase rates across several lines of business in the near future. "Clearly there's a recognition that the market needs to see some correction," said Paul Kim, managing director and co-chief broking officer at Aon Risk Solutions in New York. However, only about one-third of insurance companies have reported their third-quarter catastrophe-loss estimates, so the potential amount of rate increases remains unclear. Read more.
Business Insurance (tiered subscription model) (10/11) 
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