Sunday, September 25, 2022

White House plans to address economic risk of climate change

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is taking steps to address the economic risks posed by climate change, releasing a 40-page report Friday on government-wide plans to protect the financial, insurance and housing markets and the savings of American households.

Under the report, the mortgage process, stock market disclosures, retirement planning, federal procurement and government budgets are all being reconsidered so that the country can pay for the risks posed by climate change. The report is a follow-up to a May executive order by President Joe Biden It essentially calls on the government to analyze how extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, wildfires and sweeping adjustments to address climate change could affect the world’s largest economy.

White House national climate adviser Gina McCarthy said, “If this year has shown us anything, it is that climate change is an immediate and systemic risk to our economy and the lives and livelihoods of everyday Americans, and we need to act now.” should do.” told reporters.

A February Hurricane in Texas There were widespread power outages, 210 deaths and serious property damage. Forest fires broke out in the western states. heat dome Caused record temperatures in the Pacific Northwest in Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Hurricane Ida It struck Louisiana in August and caused deadly flooding in the Northeast.

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The actions being recommended by the Biden administration represent a significant shift in the wider discussion about climate change, suggesting that the nation should be prepared for the costs that families, investors and governments will bear.

The report is also an attempt to show the world how serious the US government is in tackling climate change ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference. Running from 31 October to 12 November in Glasgow, Scotland.

Among the steps mentioned is the government’s Financial Stability Monitoring Council which is developing tools to identify and mitigate climate-related risks to the economy. The Treasury Department plans to address the risks and availability of coverage for the insurance sector. The Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at mandatory disclosure rules about the opportunities and risks posed by climate change.

The Labor Department on Wednesday proposed a rule for investment managers to incorporate environmental decisions into the choices they make for pensions and retirement savings. The Office of Management and Budget announced that the government would begin the process of asking federal agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions from companies providing supplies. Biden’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2023 will include an assessment of climate risks.

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Federal agencies involved in lending and mortgages for homes are looking into the impact on the housing market, with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and its partners developing disclosures for home buyers and flood and climate-related risks. The Department of Veterans Affairs will also look at climate risks for its home loan program.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating the standards for its National Flood Insurance Program, potentially revising guidelines that go back to 1976.

“We now believe that climate change is a systemic risk,” McCarthy said. “We have to look fundamentally at how the federal government does its job and how we view the finance system and its sustainability.”

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