The Week Ahead: Disasters and the Environment to Be Focus of Conference in Washington, D.C.


Disasters--including drought, hurricanes, and wildfires--and the environment will be the theme of the 13th National Council on Science and the Environment conference Jan. 15-17 in Washington, D.C. A plenary session Jan. 16 will cover climate change, which some observers say may be exacerbating or increasing the likelihood and intensity of such disasters.

The conference will feature keynote addresses by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Jane Lubchenco, head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

As detailed in a Jan. 8 article, NOAA released a report earlier this month that found 2012 was the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States. The national average temperature in 2012 was 3.3 degrees above the 20th century average, according to the report, State of the Climate: National Overview for Annual 2012. Every state in the contiguous U.S. recorded an above-average annual temperature for 2012.

NOAA also is expected to release a a report in the week ahead on global temperature and precipitation trends in 2012.

Agency Webinars

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention will host a webinar Jan. 16 to introduce online calculators designed to help measure the environmental and economic performance of pollution prevention measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money.

On Jan. 15, the Department of Energy will host a webinaron "Community Renewable Energy Deployment Success Stories: Developing Photovoltaic Projects with Requests for Proposals and Purchase Power Agreements." The webinar will feature the experiences of city officials in Tucson, Ariz., and Minneapolis, Minn., including the pros and cons of using RFPs and PPAs to promote PV projects.

SASB Meeting

On Jan. 17, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board will hold its first meeting in San Francisco. As detailed in a Jan. 10 article, the board, which is developing standards that can be used by companies to disclose material sustainability information in financial filings such as 10-K forms, received accreditation Jan. 8 by the American National Standards Institute.

World Resources Institute

The World Resources Institute will hold its 10th annual "Stories to Watch" event Jan. 15 in Washington, D.C. WRI president and CEO Andrew Steer will cover topics such as how the Obama administration can address climate change and energy and which countries are expected to emerge on the forefront of sustainability.

U.S. Energy Association

The U.S. Energy Association will host its ninth annual "State of the Energy Industry Forum" Jan. 16 in Washington, D.C. Energy trade associations, including the American Petroleum Institute and the American Gas Association, will present the priorities, issues, trends, and challenges expected to affect the industry this year.

Bloomberg BNA Webinar

Bloomberg BNA will sponsor a webinar Jan. 15 on "Current Trends in Corporate Sustainability Reporting: What Lies Ahead?" The webinar is intended to identify the development, progress, and trends of sustainability reporting; analyze the fundamentals of sustainability communications including guidelines and standards; and look at the future of corporate sustainability.