US businesses face a sea change on climate risk management and disclosure

By Stacy Swann The Biden administration is reportedly preparing an executive order that will require federal agencies to measure, manage, and disclose climate risks — and which, by extension, likely signals new rules for financial institutions and for companies working in sectors from energy to agriculture. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is setting up committees to look at climate risks to banks and the broader financial system, and the Securities and Exchange Commission is considering climate disclosure requirements for public companies. At the state level, the New York Department of Financial Services has put the nation’s first-ever regulatory framework for climate [...]

2021-04-19T17:56:51-04:00April 19th, 2021|Climate Risk, Greening Finance|

New report: Protecting low-income communities through climate insurance

By Will Bugler (Acclimatise) & Andrew Eil (Climate Finance Advisors) This article also appears on the Acclimatise website here. Since 2015, the InsuResilience Investment Fund (IIF) has worked to build the climate resilience of poor and climate-vulnerable households as well as micro, small and medium enterprises, by increasing climate insurance coverage. Today, at a side event of the InsuResilience Global Partnership’s 4th Annual Forum, it has launched a new report “Protecting low-income communities through climate insurance”, which takes stock of its experience and achievements to date. As the first fund of its kind to raise private capital to invest in [...]

2020-12-22T13:19:32-05:00December 22nd, 2020|Climate Risk|

How Can Climate Finance Help Secure the Resilience of Low-Income Communities?

This op-ed originally appeared on Triple Pundit in two parts: Part 1, Part 2 Co-written with Joyce Coffee   In 2020, the world’s poor find themselves at the nexus of two crises: COVID-19 and climate change. The populations most vulnerable to COVID-19 – low-income individuals, women, informal workers and minorities – are the same populations that are most vulnerable to weather and climate crises. The poor disproportionately face obstacles to adapting to the effects of climate change due to unstable incomes, small savings, their work in the informal economy, a lack of access to credit, and of course, the reality [...]

2020-10-30T15:44:23-04:00October 30th, 2020|Climate Risk|

Science and data analytics can illustrate climate-related financial risks. COVID-19 might show us what climate risk will “feel” like.

News out in the last two weeks has illustrated the dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on the overall economy.  In the US, GDP contracted by 4.8 percent in the first quarter, and unemployment is at depression-era levels. The European Commission has released forecasts for a "recession of historic proportions", projecting a 7.4 percent contraction in 2020 across the European Union. Major emerging markets have suffered as well. China’s economy shrank by 6.8 percent in Q1, and Brazil’s economy is expected to shrink by at least 3.8 percent this year. Meanwhile, other major emerging market economies are bracing for the uptick in [...]

2020-09-25T14:55:47-04:00May 12th, 2020|Climate Risk, Greening Finance|

For Solving Tough Problems, Government Always Matters – How We Invest Matters Too

COVID-19 reminds us that government has a critical role to promote the greater good of everyone, not only a few. Governments across the world (both national and local) and the policies they promote have always had the potential to make the difference in our ability to solve tough problems. Importantly, we have seen examples of both good government and not-great government in this moment of crisis. When we look beyond the current COVID-19 pandemic and the pressing need to rebuild the economy, the largest looming issue at our doorstep is undeniably the climate crisis. Addressing climate change takes leadership at [...]

2020-04-15T17:19:03-04:00April 15th, 2020|Climate Risk|

Mind the Protection Gap: Where Finance Fits in Solving the Climate Vulnerability of the Poor

Last week, an opinion article in the Washington Post by Robert Samuelson somewhat skeptically noted that recent announcements by BlackRock and other financial institutions were not a substitute for strong, unequivocal policy direction to address climate change. Samuelson was correct on one front: There is a desperate need for policy to align with, reinforce, and accelerate a low-carbon, climate-resilient transition. But we also need the financial sector to step up, and as we noted in a blog earlier this month, BlackRock’s announcement puts a marker down that the pathway for seeking solid investment returns runs through good climate risk screening [...]

2020-06-23T17:19:01-04:00January 31st, 2020|Climate Risk|

Addressing Climate Change: The Financial Sector Reaches a Tipping Point

As the toll of climate risk events climbs, the finance sector is at a crossroads of conventional wisdom and best practices. This year, in the weeks following devastating Australian fires and unprecedented flooding in Indonesia, climate-related risks dominate the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2020 top five long-term risks. The experts who inform the annual WEF survey likewise highlight climate-related risks are among the most important short-term risks. In short, climate risks are here now. And they are gravely serious for the economy as well as the planet: A new paper from the Bank for International Settlements, the central [...]

2020-02-20T13:14:08-05:00January 23rd, 2020|Climate Risk, Greening Finance|

Financing Climate-Resilient Community Infrastructure in the Age of Adaptation

Stakes are high for communities that have already started experiencing extreme rain, storm events, or wildfires. In the past three years, climate damage has cost the world $650 billion, two-thirds of which was covered by North America alone, and if trends continue, the damage could reach hundreds of billions of dollars just in the United States by 2090. But how well prepared are these communities for the age of adaptation? Frontline communities are acutely aware of the numerous ways climate change can impact local economies, jobs, and livelihoods, including in terms of business interruption, loss of income and economic activity, [...]

2020-02-20T13:14:16-05:00December 12th, 2019|Cities, Climate Risk|

Signals that Financial Policymakers in the U.S. are Starting to Focus on Climate Risk

To say that climate change has the potential to threaten financial stability is not news. 2020 will mark five years since Mark Carney’s famous speech about the Tragedy of the Horizons, which highlighted the short-termism inherent in most financial decision making – both by investors and policymakers – as perhaps the single biggest barrier preventing the full integration of climate considerations into the financial system, and thus an often overlooked potential risk. Much “issue spotting” on the topic of the financial risks from a warming planet has been done since then, including the groundbreaking work of the Task Force on [...]

2020-02-20T13:15:41-05:00December 3rd, 2019|Climate Risk, Greening Finance|

Adjust, Align, Accelerate: What the Financial Sector Must Do to Deliver Resilience to Climate Change

Across the globe, physical climate impacts have become more pronounced and damaging in recent years, with grave implications for many vulnerable people and societies. The four-year period between 2015 and 2018 has been confirmed as the hottest on record and was replete with extreme weather triggered or exacerbated by climate change that negatively affected, and sometimes devastated, many countries and millions of people and their livelihoods, rippling out to entire ecosystems and economies. Both acute and chronic impacts from a changing climate are already manifesting in financial and economic losses around the globe, not only in emerging economies of the [...]

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