Every year the world’s largest companies cause $2.2 trillion in environmental damage to the planet and most of the time pick up none of the tab. According to the Guardian:
"The cost of pollution and other damage to the natural environment caused by the world's biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, a major unpublished study for the United Nations has found."
"The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils."
"Later this year, another huge UN study - dubbed the "Stern for nature" after the influential report on the economics of climate change by Sir Nicholas Stern - will attempt to put a price on such global environmental damage, and suggest ways to prevent it. The report, led by economist Pavan Sukhdev, is likely to argue for abolition of billions of dollars of subsidies to harmful industries like agriculture, energy and transport, tougher regulations and more taxes on companies that cause the damage."
More than half of this damage is caused by the emissions of greenhouse gasses. The longer we delay, the more it will cost future generations to clean up our mess.
-From Al Gore @ http://blog.algore.com/2010/03/