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Giving Compass' Take:
• Emily Pontecorvo details a recent report from a US federal regulatory agency, which called for a contingency plan for climate change's financial impact.
• What can you do to contribute to future policies that mitigate the effects of climate change on American communities?
For the first time in U.S. history, a federal regulatory agency has put out a report recognizing climate change as a major threat to the economy. The report, which was commissioned by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and released on Wednesday, explains plainly that even if the world begins reducing emissions tomorrow, one only need to look around at the fires and floods plaguing the country to see that the stockpile of CO2 in the atmosphere has put the stability of the U.S. financial system at risk.
The report is the result of a vote the CFTC made a year ago, with unanimous support from its two Democratic and three Republican members, to put together a Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee tasked with examining climate risks and proposing solutions. The commission convened a group of 34 experts from finance, academia, industry, and the public policy sector.
“For such a politically and sectorally diverse group to issue such a strong call for regulatory action is testament to just how serious a systemic financial threat climate change poses to U.S capital markets, and how concerned stakeholders from across the political spectrum are about it,” said Mindy Lubber, the CEO of the sustainable investing nonprofit Ceres and a member of the subcommittee.
One thing that the report says regulators can do today is improve the standards for companies to disclose their climate risks to the government and to investors, for example, by making it mandatory and requiring reporting of material risks over different time scales. The report also recommends that U.S. regulators officially join several international initiatives that are tackling climate risk and doing the work of figuring out how to channel capital toward sustainable investments.
Read the full article about climate change's financial impact by Emily Pontecorvo at Grist.