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.

CURRENT NEWS

Western States Could Make Billions Selling Renewable Energy, But They’ll Need a Lot More Regional Transmission Lines – Inside Climate News

By Wyatt Myskow 04/18/24
The four western states that have traditionally exported large amounts of electricity generated with fossil fuels to neighboring states are poised to draw tens of billions of dollars by exporting clean energy across state lines,…
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Climate change will make you poorer, according to a new report

By Samantha Delouya 04/17/24
Record-breaking heat waves, severe floods and acute wildfires, exacerbated by climate change, carry a colossal price tag: an approximately 19% reduction in global income over just the next 26 years, a new study published Wednesday…
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Biden administration finalizes lightbulb efficiency rules

By Zack Budryk 04/12/24
The Biden administration on Friday finalized lightbulb efficiency rules first proposed in late 2022. The final rule will more than double the required efficiency level for the most common lightbulbs, from 45 lumens (the unit…
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Union for Reform Judaism pledges to divest millions from fossil fuel industry

By Asaf Elia-Shalev 04/11/24
The organization representing the largest American Jewish denomination is pledging to divest from the fossil fuel industry as a response to the climate crisis.
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Image By CCR + AI
Highlight Article

Enverus Says Peak Oil Won’t Happen Before 2030 as EV Impacts Ebb

By Tope Alake 04/10/24
Global oil demand won’t peak before the end of this decade because of underwhelming fuel economy standards and slowing adoption of electric vehicles in the US, energy researcher Enverus says.
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Dimon Calls Push to Stop All Oil and Gas Enormously Naïve

By Ruth Liao 04/08/24
Jamie Dimon said US delays of liquefied natural gas projects were done for political reasons to pacify those who believe oil and gas projects should simply be stopped — a position he calls “wrong” and…
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Biden admin doles out $20B in “green bank” funding

By Ben Geman 04/04/24
Biden officials just unveiled organizations that will receive $20 billion designed to flow into tens of thousands of clean energy and pollution-cutting projects nationwide. Why it matters: The "Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund" is the largest…
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The Biden Administration Is Unleashing $20 Billion for Green Banks

By Emily Pontecorvo 04/04/24
Vice President Kamala Harris and EPA administrator Michael Regan are in Charlotte, North Carolina this morning to announce the award of … wait for it … $20 billiondollars for climate mitigation and adaptation projects. This…
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Fed Blocks Tough Global Climate Rules for Wall Street Banks

By Alastair Marsh 04/03/24
US regulators, led by the Federal Reserve, have thwarted a push to make climate risk a focus of global financial rules, according to people familiar with the matter. European central bankers have been advocating for…
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Higher temperatures mean higher food and other prices. A new study links climate shocks to inflation

By Seth Borenstein 03/22/24
Food prices and overall inflation will rise as temperatures climb with climate change, a new study by an environmental scientist and the European Central Bank found. Looking at monthly price tags of food and other…
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Global warming and heat extremes to enhance inflationary pressures

By Maximilian Kotz 03/21/24
Climate impacts on economic productivity indicate that climate change may threaten price stability. Here we apply fixed-effects regressions to over 27,000 observations of monthly consumer price indices worldwide to quantify the impacts of climate conditions…
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U.S. Approves $500 Million for Bahrain Oil Project, Despite Opposition

By Hiroko Tabuchi 03/14/24
A federal bank that finances projects overseas voted Thursday to put $500 million toward an oil and gas project in Bahrain, a transaction that critics said was out of step with President Biden’s climate commitments.
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KEY RESOURCES

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

02/28/24
Summary of U.S. billion-dollar weather and climate related disaster research, methodology, and data sources.

Principles for Net-Zero Financing & Investment

09/25/23
In recent years, financial institutions — including over 100 U.S. firms1 — have independently made voluntary net-zero commitments. Successful execution of such commitments can help firms mitigate exposure to climate-related risk and unlock economic opportunities…

National Green Bank

06/27/23
CGC is a non-profit with a mission to halt climate change by accelerating investment in clean energy technologies. CGC achieves this by advocating for, creating and implementing Green Bank finance institutions. Green Banks are a…

World Energy Investment 2023

05/31/23
This year’s edition of the World Energy Investment provides a full update on the investment picture in 2022 and an initial reading of the emerging picture for 2023.

F o s s i l Fuel Finance Report 2022

04/03/23
n a year that saw unprecedented attention to banks’ role in driving climate change, one of the most important developments flew largely under the radar: La Banque Postale — a major French bank with $901.7…

Track public money for energy in recovery packages

08/02/22
As governments across the world continue to invest hundreds of billions in the energy system to reboot their economies, our analysis is expanding to cover more countries and provide a more comprehensive global picture. Countries…

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

The Trillions of Dollars Forgotten When Tracking the Energy Transition

By Nathaniel Bullard   08/17/23  
Last year, global energy transition investment topped $1.1 trillion, according to BloombergNEF. The International Energy Agency, using a more expansive definition of energy transition, tracked $1.7 trillion dollars in 2022. With 2023’s wind and solar…
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The richest Americans account for 40 percent of U.S. climate emissions

By Kasha Patel   08/17/23  
The richest 10 percent of U.S. households are responsible for 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to a study released Thursday in PLOS Climate. The study, which looked at how a household’s…
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Celebrating the Investment Reverberation Act

08/16/23  
Sure, inflation has been reduced from 8.3% to 3.2% since the passage a year ago of the “Inflation Reduction Act” (IRA). But the intended purpose of the IRA was bigger than short-term inflation reduction. Its…
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A Year Into Biden’s Climate Agenda, the Price Tag Remains Mysterious

By Leslie Kaufman   08/16/23  
It’s been exactly one year since President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act, securing a core part of his domestic agenda with what’s by far the most significant climate law in US history. There’s…
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I Turned My House Into a Zero-Carbon Utopia

By Leah C. Stokes   08/14/23  
Last April, I decided to break up with my gas company. It wasn’t me; it was them. Like so many other fossil-fuel companies, SoCalGas was lobbying against clean energy while it continued to spew carbon…
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Clean Economy Works | IRA One-Year Review

08/14/23  
One year after the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) was signed into law on August 16, 2022, private industry has announced at least 210 major new clean energy and clean vehicle projects across the country, according…
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Bankers Hate Saying ‘ESG’ But Are Hardwiring It Into Finance

By Alastair Marsh and Lisa Pham   08/14/23  
Bankers, money managers and other financial market participants are starting to loathe the label “ESG” — but they’re also sticking with the strategy, according to a Bloomberg survey.
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GOP Effort to Curb ESG Fails to Yield Concrete Results So Far

By Tim Quinson   08/02/23  
For all of the Republican Party’s furious opposition to ESG, its efforts to accomplish something on the legislative front have fallen short.
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One Year Of Our Clean Energy Boom

07/25/23  
Since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)'s landmark climate and clean energy investments became law in August 2022, companies have been racing forward with massive investments to build our clean energy future. New manufacturing in wind,…
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Climate Change Is Upending Farmers’ Livelihoods — and Exacerbating a Mental Health Crisis

By Mélissa Godin   07/17/23  
When Mike Rosmann, an Iowa farmer and psychologist, heard his phone ring on a spring morning in 2019, he knew he had to answer. In the previous four months, his state had experienced the wettest…
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Zombie Wells, Part 1: Texas oil wells are leaking toxic waste, and no one wants to pay to clean it

By Amanda Drane   07/17/23  
Mesquite waved in the breeze at Antina Ranch as well control specialist Hawk Dunlap dipped a stick into a hole in the ground and smelled it. “See?” he asked, extending the stick.
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FEMA set to run out of money before peak hurricane season

By Jacob Knutson   07/15/23  
The federal government's disaster relief fund is on pace to run out of money at the height of both the hurricane and wildfire seasons, a top official warned this week. Why it matters: Government funding…
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More than $2 billion committed at UK-US climate finance forum

07/11/23  
Finance leaders, companies and philanthropists have committed more than $2 billion to help finance efforts to reduce carbon emissions and boost climate resilience across Africa, Asia and Latin America, a joint UK-U.S. statement said on…
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Extreme heat will cost the U.S. $1 billion in health care costs — this summer alone

By Zoya Teirstein   07/10/23  
Extreme heat — summertime temperatures and humidity that exceed the historical average — is being made more frequent and intense by climate change. In the first two weeks of June, a late-spring hot spell prompted…
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They opposed the infrastructure law. Now, some in the GOP court its cash

By Tony Romm   07/09/23  
When the Biden administration awarded Alabama roughly $1.4 billion in late June to expand high-speed internet access across the state, its senior Republican senator rejoiced.
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The planet heats, the world economy cools – the real global recession is ecological

By Larry Elliott   07/09/23  
First it was the pandemic. Then it was the war in Ukraine. Next it could be the climate crisis. On Monday last week the world registered its hottest-ever day but the record lasted only 24…
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Oil giant Shell warns cutting production ‘dangerous’

By Simon Jack   07/07/23  
Cutting oil and gas production would be "dangerous and irresponsible", the boss of energy giant Shell has told the BBC. Wael Sawan insisted that the world still "desperately needs oil and gas" as moves to…
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Labor market impacts of destructive California wildfires

07/01/23  
The severity and destruction of wildfires in California have increased in magnitude every decade since the late 1900s. Some researchers have studied the impacts of wildfires on people’s health and earnings and on the environment,…
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A hail-battered June adds to billions in U.S. storm damage this year

By Bob Henson   06/29/23  
Countless thousands of Americans this month found themselves racing for cover, fretting about cars and roofs, and covering their ears from the deafening roar of heavy hail. Time and again this spring, and especially during…
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A Renowned Economist’s New Idea for Stopping Climate Change

By Peter Coy   06/26/23  
Robert Litterman is a legend on Wall Street. He earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Minnesota in 1980. In his 23 years at Goldman Sachs he oversaw quants, managed risk and developed,…
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Larry Fink “ashamed” to be part of ESG political debate

By John Frank   06/25/23  
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said he's no longer using the term "ESG" (environment, social and governance) because it is being politically "weaponized" and he's "ashamed" to be part of the debate on the issue.
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Countries on Front Lines of Climate Change Seek New Lifeline in Paris

By Catherine Porter   06/22/23  
An unusual if guarded optimism has descended upon Paris, along with hundreds of world leaders, bankers and climate activists. They have come for a two-day conference billed as the new Bretton Woods. The reference is…
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World Bank offers developing countries debt pauses if hit by climate crisis

By Fiona Harvey   06/22/23  
Poor countries will be able to pause their debt repayments if hit by climate disaster, under plans announced by the World Bank at the finance summit in Paris. The international development organisation said it would…
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Clean Energy Finance: Green Banking Strategies for Local Governments

06/19/23  
Green banks are financial institutions that can leverage public funding to attract private capital for clean energy projects (including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other distributed energy resources), as well as other “green” investments. They…
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Democrats’ clean-energy tax credits are popular — and expensive

By Maxine Joselow   06/14/23  
The price tag of Democrats’ landmark climate law is ballooning. Whether that’s a bad thing or a good thing depends on your perspective and political party.
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The Looming Labor Fight Over Electric Vehicles

By Emily Pontecorvo   06/14/23  
One of the dirty little secrets of the electric vehicle boom is that many of its workers are paid less and enjoy fewer benefits than those who manufacture the nation’s gas guzzlers. But if unions…
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Long-term trauma for natural disaster evacuees part of uncounted climate cost

By Paul Hantiuk   05/31/23  
When Cathy Orlando heard she was going to lose her roof, the stress made her vomit. Having her home in jeopardy as Sudbury, Ont., grappled with a massive snowfall in 2019 was "probably the most…
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Opinion: El Niño is back. What does that mean for an already overheated California?

By Justin S. Mankin and Christopher W. Callahan   05/25/23  
During the El Niño of 1983, Californians counted their blessings. The warm Pacific waters sloshing eastward certainly brought heavy spring rains and record snow. But the state largely escaped the flood risks being frantically managed…
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The high cost of an El Niño in 2023

By Isabelle Gerretsen   05/25/23  
Over the coming months, a vast body of warm water will slosh slowly across the tropical Pacific Ocean in the direction of South America. As it does so, it will trigger the start of a…
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Fossil fuel firms owe climate reparations of $209bn a year, says study

By Nina Lakhani   05/19/23  
Groundbreaking analysis by One Earth is first to quantify economic burden caused by individual companies. The world’s top fossil fuel companies owe at least $209bn in annual climate reparations to compensate communities most damaged by…
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Fossil Fuel Companies Should Pay Trillions in ‘Climate Reparations,’ New Study Argues

By Nicholas Kusnetz   05/19/23  
One of the most contentious climate policy debates revolves, unsurprisingly, around money. Who should pay the monumental sums needed to protect against extreme weather and transition to clean energy, particularly because the damage has been…
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Funding carbon removal in FY24

By Alyson Lee   05/16/23  
The federal government’s annual appropriations process is central to our efforts to fund carbon dioxide removal (CDR). Each year, Carbon180 submits requests to various congressional offices to help guide where next year’s dollars will flow.…
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Oil and gas health impacts cost $77 billion per year, study finds

By Ayurella Horn-Muller   05/10/23  
Air pollution from U.S. oil and natural gas production causes roughly $77 billion in health impacts nationwide every year, while also contributing to thousands of early deaths and health flare-ups, a new study finds...
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Senator Bill Frist Testifies on the National Costs of Climate Change

05/10/23  
Today, Senator Bill Frist, M.D. testified before the United States Senate Budget Committee during a hearing, “Lessons Learned: Leadership Perspectives and Experience on the National Cost of Climate Change,” examing the national costs of climate…
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White House Proposes 30% Energy Tax To Address Environmental Crypto Mining Costs

By Kelly Phillips Erb   05/04/23  
If you mine digital assets—like cryptocurrency—your job might soon become a little more expensive. The White House has announced plans to ask crypto miners to pay a premium for energy consumption. President Biden’s proposed budget…
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Green investment funds pushing money into fossil fuel firms, research finds

By Phillip Inman   05/02/23  
Investment funds branded as green or socially responsible are being used by some of the world’s largest asset managers to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in fossil fuel companies, according to a report. The…
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A leading private equity firm claimed to be a climate leader – while increasing emissions

By Nina Lakhani   04/27/23  
The Carlyle Group’s 2011-22 greenhouse gas footprint was roughly equivalent to Alaska’s ‘carbon bomb’ Willow drilling projectA leading private equity firm that claims to be an industry climate leader in fact almost doubled its average…
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Shareholders at three big banks reject climate resolutions

By Avery Ellfeldt   04/26/23  
During the annual general meetings of Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, stockholders voted down eight climate-related resolutions.
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New project aims to change how we power EV batteries forever: ‘The biggest source of lithium carbonate in the US’

By Eliot Engelmaier   04/24/23  
North America’s very first battery-grade recycling hub just received a monumental boost in funding in the form of a $375 million loan. The hub will be financed by the Department of Energy (DOE) and will…
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Banks Bank on LNG Exports

04/05/23  
Any new fossil fuel infrastructure is incompatible with a safe climate, a fact confirmed by the recent IPCC report but in practice denied by nearly 20 major banks that are financing a methane export boom…
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A look at the cost of climate change on human health

By Frank A. von Hippel and others   04/03/23  
The evidence is clear – climate change is having a negative effect on our physical and mental health. The scale of the impact is vast, with millions of people around the world already facing the…
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The (true) cost of a low-carbon future

By Daniel Bachman   03/30/23  
Success in limiting greenhouse gas emissions is necessary for the future of our planet and humanity. But success in limiting greenhouse gases is likely to be accompanied by weak measures of economic growth and productivity.…
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World Bank Warns of ‘Lost Decade’ for Global Economic Potential

By Alan Rappeport   03/27/23  
The World Bank warned on Monday that the coronavirus pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine had contributed to a decline in the global economy’s long-term growth potential, leading to what could be a “lost decade”…
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Climate activists target nation’s big banks, urging divestment from fossil fuels

By Michael Copley   03/22/23  
Across the U.S., people protested outside major banks on Tuesday, calling on financial institutions to shift investments away from fossil fuel companies. In Boston, more than 200 people marched from a Chase Bank to a…
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Climate Change Is Speeding Toward Catastrophe. The Next Decade Is Crucial, U.N. Panel Says

By Brad Plumer   03/21/23  
Earth is likely to cross a critical threshold for global warming within the next decade, and nations will need to make an immediate and drastic shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the planet from…
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Why seniors are blocking entrances to the four largest U.S. banks

By Maxine Joselow and Vanessa Montalbano   03/21/23  
Climate activists on Tuesday will protest four banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo — that help finance the fossil fuel industry....
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What is the social cost of carbon?

By Elijah Asdourian and David Wessel   03/14/23  
The social cost of carbon (SCC) is an estimate of the cost, in dollars, of the damage done by each additional ton of carbon emissions. It also is an estimate of the benefit of any…
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Treasury Secretary Yellen warns that losses tied to climate change could ‘cascade through the financial system’

By Emma Newburger   03/07/23  
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Tuesday warned that climate change is already taking a significant economic toll and could cause extensive losses to the U.S. financial system in the coming years.
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PG&E delivers bill shocks to customers amid soaring natural gas prices

By George Avalos   02/27/23  
Soaring prices for natural gas and this winter’s icy blasts have jolted unsuspecting PG&E customers with brutal — and fast-rising — monthly utility bills.
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U.S. Nominates Ajay Banga to Lead World Bank

By Alan Rappeport and Coral Davenport   02/23/23  
President Biden tapped the former Mastercard chief executive to run an organization that found itself mired in controversy after comments by the current president about climate change....
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