ECONOMICS

ECONOMICS


The vast economic implications of climate change are explored here as we acknowledge  the interrelationships of economic and financial risk that are associated and often amplify one another --for example, weather-related property destruction can lead to bank losses, leading to less lending, leading to reduced investment, etc. We are watching, in these pages, the federal reserve closely as they monitor these connections – along with the actions of international organizations, governments, businesses as we search to develop an understanding of the implications of climate change for the financial sector and the financial stability of ourselves, our families, and our world.

We are also looking to gain information which can, in turn,  wield influence and encourage action by individuals, communities, financial organizations (such as pension funds), insurance companies, corporations and governments. Each member of the economy can influence change within their area of influence if they realize the extent of their power and wish to exercise it.

The section is organized in the following way:

CORONAVIRUS: As a result of the pandemic, global emission dropped in 2020 but the decline wasn’t nearly enough to halt the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This page also appears in the HEALTH section of the website.

COSTS: Extreme weather events cost U.S. taxpayers $99 billion in 2020 and things are only getting worse, and that is not taking into consideration the health impacts, and other side effects of climate change. Economic experts and climate insurers have warned that if climate change continues unmitigated, the world economy (particularly in developing countries) will lose growth opportunities in the trillions of dollars.

JOBS: Our future economic health will be heavily impacted by the jobs a clean energy future can deliver. It focuses on where the green jobs are growing.

INVESTMENTS AND DIVESTMENTS: As individual shareholders, we can take advantage of ESG (Energy, Sustainability, and Governance) investing and deliver our dollars to organizations, corporations and ideologies that are fighting against climate change. We can also divest from those organizations as can university, government and union pension funds.

INSURANCE: Insurance companies are in the business of predicting future loss, and so must ensure that they reserve for such events. What happens when history is no longer a reliable guide for predicting the future? Going forward, insurance companies may have a heavier hand in shaping human behavior. It’s unlikely that homebuyers would purchase (or be able to purchase) a house in uninsurable areas, for example.

HOUSING: Extreme weather has caused the burning and flooding of thousands of homes. It has destroyed power in both the 2019/20 Texas winter freeze and the 2021 summer hurricanes. It has disproportionately harmed the poor who have fewer resources to move. We have numerous mitigation and adaptation measures to explore.

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY: Eliminating waste and pollution, this is instead a closed-loop system emphasizing reuse, recycling, sharing, and repair. Ideally, waste and pollution are cut out of the equation in the design phase, and products and materials are kept in use. One of the tools in our tool box.

CARBON PRICING: Burning fossil fuels is by far the greatest source of the greenhouse gases causing climate change. However, the full cost of fossil fuel energy is not included in the price of the fuel. We pay for that later when we deal with the consequences of global warming. Using a car to illustrate this point, “We pay for the gas, we pay for the car, and we pay for the insurance, but we don’t pay for the pollution that comes out of the tail pipe.” This page explores different carbon pricing solutions and appears again in our POLITICS section.

CREDIT: C2ES

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

04/18/22
Financial markets need clear, comprehensive, high-quality information on the impacts of climate change. This includes the risks and opportunities presented by rising temperatures, climate-related policy, and emerging technologies in our changing world.

Origin of the Network for Greening the Financial System

11/30/21
At the Paris “One Planet Summit” in December 2017, eight central banks and supervisors established the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). Since then, the membership of the Network…

Tracking climate mitigation efforts in 30 major emitters

11/02/21
This report by NewClimate Institute, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and FTSE Russell tracks climate mitigation efforts in 30 countries and regions. Our analysis shows that emissions trends remain far from the goals…

Gauging Economic Consensus on Climate Change – Issue Brief

04/14/21
We conducted a large-sample global survey on climate economics, which we sent to all economists who have published climate-related research in the field’s highest-ranked academic journals; 738 responded. To our knowledge, this is the largest-ever…

Climate Roadmap for U.S. Financial Regulation

04/08/21
The Biden Administration has taken office with an urgent climate mandate to act on climate and announced a “whole-of-government” approach in response.1 Because climate change threatens our financial system and, indeed, entire economy, the United…

Addressing Climate as a Systemic Risk: A call to action for U.S. financial regulators

10/01/20
This Ceres report outlines how and why U.S. financial regulators, who are responsible for protecting the stability and competitiveness of the U.S. economy, need to recognize and act on climate change as a systemic risk.

Moving To A Finite Earth Economy – Crew Manual

04/25/20
Moving To A Finite Earth Economy By 2030 Addresses Two Critical Human Issues: The Existential Threat Of Climate Change, And The Fact That Growth Economies Are The Root Cause.

Resources as a Constraint on Growth By William D. Nordhaus

12/18/19
Things which have traditionally been treated as free goods-air, water, quiet, natural beauty-must now be treated with the same care as other scarce goods.

MORE NEWS

Climate Change Threatens $2 Trillion ‘Blue Economy’

Photo: Nasa , Mauri Estes   05/16/22  
Earth observations like those from NASA satellites are critical to understanding the threats of climate change to Earth’s ocean, according to a recent article in Oceanography led by the Ecological Forecasting program area. The article,…

Cutting air pollution from fossil fuels would save 50,000 lives a year, study says

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post   05/16/22  
Eliminating air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels would prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths and provide more than $600 billion in health benefits in the United States every year, according to a new study…

Big Oil investors reject calls for stricter climate goals — so far

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images   05/13/22  
Investors in three of the world's largest oil and gas companies this week rejected proposals for the firms to set stronger climate targets, as fossil fuel firms reap record profits following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Climate chaos certain if oil and gas mega-projects go ahead, warns IEA chief

By Fiona Harvey and Others   05/12/22  
The world’s leading energy economist has warned against investing in large new oil and gas developments, which would have little impact on the current energy crisis and soaring fuel prices but spell devastation to the…

SEC extends deadline for public to comment on climate risk proposal

By Rachel Frazin   05/09/22  
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended how long the public will have to weigh in on a proposal that would require companies to reveal their vulnerabilities and contributions to climate change.

Leader of Treasury’s Climate Hub touts ‘agitating’ role

By Avery Ellfeldt  Photo : Ben Hider , Getty Images   05/05/22  
John Morton was tapped last year to lead Treasury's first-ever "Climate Hub" as part of the administration's whole-of-government approach to climate change. A year later, the former Obama official and sustainable investing veteran says his…

Shareholder proposals to limit fossil-fuel financing fail to gain traction at 3 major banks

By Anna Hrushka   04/28/22  
Citi’s proposal, which would have limited the bank from lending and underwriting new oil and gas projects, garnered 12.8% of the vote. Similar proposals at Wells Fargo and Bank of America each received 11% of…

The GOP’s New War On Divestment

By Donald Shaw  Photo: Martin Meissner , AP Photo   04/28/22  
Republican state and federal lawmakers, their campaign coffers filled with fossil fuel donations, are quietly building a nationwide effort to pass anti-divestment bills that would punish financial institutions that consider the climate crisis in their…

Forget gas prices. The billionaire club’s run on cobalt says everything about our battery-powered future

By Willem Marx  Photo: Richard Mosse   04/21/22  
As the bankers from J.P. Morgan’s London offices stepped off the two-hour private flight from Johannesburg onto the hot runway, soldiers sporting sunglasses and semiautomatics watched them closely. The Democratic Republic of the Congo’s brutal…

Giant global asset managers have $82 billion in coal projects, $468 billion in oil and gas

By Catherine Clifford  Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters   04/20/22  
Reclaim Finance found that collectively 30 asset managers have $82 billion in companies developing new coal projects and $468 billion in 12 major oil and gas companies. In a ranking of the asset managers, six…

The Asset Managers Fueling Climate Chaos

By Lara Cuvelier   04/20/22  
We surveyed 30 major asset managers, mostly headquartered in Europe (25) and in the US (5) and among the biggest institutions worldwide in terms of assets under management. We analyzed their investment practices regarding climate…

What the 1970s teaches about today’s energy crisis

By Heather Richards  Photo: Ashley Landis , AP Photo   04/12/22  
The Biden administration faces an oil crisis the likes of which haven’t been seen since the price shocks of the 1970s. That troubled decade is burned on the American imagination with its Nixonian price controls…

Communicating the financial risk of climate change

04/08/22  
On April 1st, 2022, we explored what can be learned from finance professionals working to communicate the risks to peoples’ pocketbooks associated with climate change. Ivan Frishberg, Senior Vice President and Chief Accountability Officer of…

Climate change could cost U.S. budget $2 trln a year by end century

By Timothy Gardner  Photo: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo   04/04/22  
Flood, fire, and drought fueled by climate change could take a massive bite out of the U.S. federal budget per year by the end of the century, the White House said in its first ever…

Renewables Are Key to Cutting Emissions Over Next Decade, U.N. Panel Says

By Nidhi Subbaraman  Photo: Theo Stroomer   04/04/22  
Countries must make major, rapid shifts away from fossil fuels and to renewable energy to meet the goals in the 2015 Paris agreement, climate experts tapped by the United Nations said in a report...

Revolutionary changes in transportation could slow global warming

By Alan Jenn  Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images   04/04/22  
Around the world, revolutionary changes are under way in transportation. More electric vehicles are on the road, people are taking advantage of sharing mobility services such as Uber and Lyft, and the rise in telework…

The new IPCC report was delayed as scientists debated carbon capture

By Ciara Nugent  Photo: Getty Images—Abstract Aerial Art   04/04/22  
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the worst of climate change would be relatively cheap and technologically feasible, but governments and financial bodies are failing to do so as they continue to prop up the…

You’ve heard Bitcoin fuels the climate crisis,but did you know a software code change could clean it up?

04/01/22  
And it’s quickly surpassing more countries, according to the University of Cambridge. Unless its price is decoupled from its energy use, Bitcoin will drive devastating climate impacts.

Ben McKenzie Would Like a Word With the Crypto Bros

By David Yaffe-Bellany  Photo: Eli Durst , The New York Times   03/31/22  
Ben McKenzie was driving his father’s silver Subaru through Texas farmland, talking in breathless bursts about money: who has it, who needs it, what makes it real or fake. He detailed the perils of cryptocurrency…

US Taxpayers Are Spending Billions to Keep Farms on Flooded, Unproductive Land

By Georgina Gustin   03/31/22  
The vast Mississippi River watershed contains famously fertile soil, making the cropland of the American Midwest some of the most valuable and productive in the world. The watershed is also projected to flood more frequently…

EV Shift Would Spur Trillions in Health Benefits, Report Says

By Jennifer Hijazi   03/30/22  
Widespread transition to zero-emission vehicles would yield more than $1 trillion in public health benefits, according to research from the American Lung Association. A nationwide switch to electric cars and other vehicles would save 110,000…

Statement by Martin J. Gruenberg, Acting Chairman, FDIC Board of Directors On the Request for Comment on the Statement of Principles for Climate-Related Financial Risk Management for Large Financial Institutions

03/30/22  
Today, the FDIC Board approved a proposed Statement of Principles for Climate-Related Financial Risk Management for Large Financial Institutions (Statement of Principles). The proposed Statement of Principles provides a high-level framework for the safe and…

U.S. International Climate Finance: FY2022

03/17/22  
U.S. International Climate Finance Over the past several decades, to varying degrees, the

Sarah Bloom Raskin withdraws her nomination to the Fed Board

By Jane Mayer  Illustration: Nicholas Konrad / The New Yorker   03/15/22  
Biden’s nominee had publicly encouraged measures to mitigate climate change, including a transition to cleaner energy, which triggered a backlash from America’s powerful oil, gas, and coal industries.

Manchin won’t support Raskin for the Fed, imperiling her nomination.

By Emily Cochrane and Jeanna Smialek  Photo: Ken Cedeno/Pool photo   03/14/22  
Senator Joe Manchin III, a key centrist Democrat, announced on Monday that he would not support Sarah Bloom Raskin for a top position on the Federal Reserve, potentially dooming her chances for confirmation as Republicans…

As War Rages, a Struggle to Balance Energy Crunch and Climate Crisis

By Brad Plumer , Lisa Friedman and David Gelles  Photo: Yevgeny Sofiychuk/Getty Images   03/10/22  
As the world reels from spikes in oil and gas prices, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has laid bare a dilemma: Nations remain extraordinarily dependent on fossil fuels and are struggling to shore…

How Does Climate Change Affect Real Estate Prices?

By Andrew Dehan   02/27/22  
Whether you notice it or not, climate change is affecting the world around us. From droughts to fires to rising amounts of hurricanes, we’re noticing how our world is changing. These changes are causing shifts…

DOE Releases First-Ever Comprehensive Strategy to Secure America’s Clean Energy Supply Chain

02/24/22  
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today released America’s first comprehensive plan to ensure security and increase our energy independence. The sweeping report, “America’s Strategy to Secure the Supply Chain for a Robust Clean Energy…

Soaring Gas Prices Could Have Been Mitigated If Energy Sector Plugged Huge Methane Leaks, IEA Says

By Robert Hart  Photo: AFP via Getty Images   02/23/22  
Methane leaks from the energy sector are much higher than what national governments claim, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday, adding the industry could slash emissions of the highly polluting greenhouse gas—widely recognized as a…

What’s Driving Insurers to Prioritize ESG Investments?

By Jonathan McGoran   02/23/22  
A recent survey of 280 decision makers at U.S.-based life/annuity and P&C insurers shows increased attention and commitment to aligning investments with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals.

Climate investing ‘boycott bills’ flood state capitals

By Zack Colman and Jordan Wolman  Photo: Charlie Riedel , AP   02/15/22  
Texas, West Virginia and Oklahoma are among states moving to bar officials from dealing with businesses that are moving to ditch fossil fuels or considering climate change in their own investments. Those steps come as…

How Spiking Energy Prices Complicate the Fight Against Global Warming

By Brad Plumer  Photo: Loic Venance , Getty Images   02/02/22  
While world leaders have vowed to scale back the use of fossil fuels to help keep a lid on global warming, a drastic upheaval in the markets for oil, natural gas and coal could complicate…

JPMorgan fights nuns and activists over climate disclosure proposals

By Patrick Temple-West  Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg   01/27/22  
JPMorgan Chase is fighting four shareholder petitions related to climate change at the Securities and Exchange Commission, in spite of a new policy by the US agency to take a tougher stance against attempts to…

Named: The oil companies gambling on climate failure

By Joe Lo  Photo: Sarah Pannell/Greenpeaces   01/26/22  
Fossil fuel firms are gambling on global warming going unchecked and the price of oil remaining high, a Carbon Tracker analysis has claimed.

The net-zero transition: What it would cost, what it could bring

01/25/22  
In a new report, we look at the economic transformation that a transition to net-zero emissions would entail—a transformation that would affect all countries and all sectors of the economy, either directly or indirectly. We…

Citigroup sets rare hard target to reduce energy-sector emissions

By Ross Kerber  Photo: Reuters/Andrew Kelly   01/20/22  
Citigroup Inc (C.N) on Wednesday laid out goals for corporate borrowers to cut emissions that included a rare "absolute reduction" target for companies in the energy sector by the end of the decade. Citi said…

‘Coastal county snapshots’ delivers new tools, data for climate resilience

By NOAA  Photo: Coastal County Snapshots   01/18/22  
A major update to a popular NOAA tool used to inform planning and decision-making in coastal communities is now online. Coastal County Snapshots, available on NOAA’s Digital Coast platform, turns complex data into easy-to-understand charts,…

Heading for a Second Term, Fed Chair Jerome Powell Bucks a Global Trend on Climate Change

By Marianne Lavelle  Photo: Brendan Smialowski   01/16/22  
Many of the questions Jerome Powell faced at his Senate confirmation hearing last week would have been familiar to any Federal Reserve chair on Capitol Hill: Where is the economy heading? What about inflation? How…

Biden names Sarah Bloom Raskin as Fed’s top banking regulator

By Courtenay Brown and others  Photo: Andrew Harrer via Getty Images   01/14/22  
President Biden will nominate Sarah Bloom Raskin as the Federal Reserve's top Wall Street cop, a Biden administration official said, one of three nominees being unveiled for the critical open seats on the central bank's…

Integrating Biology into Ocean Observing Infrastructure: Society Depends on It

By F. Muller- Karger & Others  Photo: Fabrice Dudenhofer & Others   01/07/22  
The link between humans and life in the sea is not something most of us think about every day. However, we humans have historically built communities close to the sea, and we have studied how…

Climate Change an ‘Emerging Threat’ to U.S. Financial Stability, Regulators Say

By Alan Rappeport  Photo: Max Whittaker , New York Times   12/17/21  
Federal regulators warned for the first time in an annual report to Congress on Friday that climate change was an “emerging threat” to the U.S. financial system, laying out how the costs associated with more…

Finance group fails to deliver at COP26

By Michael Northrop   11/29/21  
What does it mean that we have already financed 1.5֯ C of warming? In short, that the cumulative impact of the fossil fuel projects banks and investors have financed will be 1.5֯ C degrees of…

Bankers Took Over the Climate Change Summit. That’s Bad For Democracy.

By Christopher Caldwell  Photo: Scott Heppell/Associated Press   11/25/21  
The big annual United Nations forum for debate on climate change ended this month in Glasgow in a way that left many attendees bewildered. Money men have taken the thing over. COP26, as the event…

Biden taps Powell for another term as Federal Reserve chairman

By Courtenay Brown  Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images   11/22/21  
President Biden said today he will renominate Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell for another term — as market-watchers widely anticipated.

WV Treasurer Moore Leads 15-State Coalition to Push Back Against Bank Boycotts of Traditional Energy Industries

11/22/21  
“I’m proud to continue to stand with my colleagues against these attacks on our states’ coal, oil and natural gas industries,” Treasurer Moore said. “These industries – which are engaged in perfectly legal activities –…

The Real Reason Gas Prices Are So High Right Now

By Molly Taft  Photo: Rich Pedroncelli , AP   11/19/21  
On Wednesday, amid a fresh surge in gas prices, the Biden administration announced that it had asked the FTC to investigate whether oil and gas companies were doing anything illegal to manipulate prices. Republicans have…

Why the U.S. Didn’t Join 40 Other Countries in Pledge to End Coal

By Benjamin Storrow  Photo: George Frey Getty Images   11/08/21  
The Biden administration arrived this month at international climate talks in Scotland with the intent to prove the United States was again ready to lead the fight against global warming.But when more than 40 countries…

Biden, other G-20 world leaders formally endorse groundbreaking global corporate minimum tax

By Jeff Stein  Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images   10/30/21  
The new global minimum tax of 15 percent aims to reverse the decades-long decline in tax rates on corporations across the world.

U.S. Warns Climate Poses ‘Emerging Threat’ to Financial System

By Alan Rappeport and Christopher Flavelle  Photo: Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times   10/21/21  
A Financial Stability Oversight Council report could lead to more regulatory action and disclosure requirements for banks.

The firms that help keep oil flowing

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Jim Wilson/The New York Times   10/13/21  
Secretive investment funds are putting billions into fossil fuel projects, buying up offshore platforms and building new pipelines.