Biden announces plan to address economic risks from climate change

Read Time:2 Minute, 51 Second

US President Joe Biden speaks on September employment data in the Southern Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on October 8, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The Biden administration announced on Friday a full-government plan to address the systemic threat posed by climate change to all economic sectors.

The roadmap is part of the Biden administration’s long-term agenda to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half by 2030, and transition to a net-zero economy by the middle of this century, while mitigating the economic impact of climate change.

Climate-related disasters, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, and wildfires, are getting worse and may overturn the stability of the global financial system.

According to the Federal Disaster Statement, extreme weather events this year affected one-third of Americans and disrupted supply chains across the country. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States, in the past five years, extreme weather has caused more than 600 billion U.S. dollars in losses to Americans.

The government’s plan considers how climate change will affect companies that people invest in, and aims to protect the savings and pensions of American households through retirement plans. According to a fact sheet released by the White House, climate-related risks in retirement plans have cost American retirees billions of dollars in pensions.

According to the report, the Department of Labor “is working to remove regulatory barriers and ensure that trustees of employee benefit plans can incorporate significant climate-related risks into their investment decisions.” “These efforts will better protect the life savings of American workers and their families from the effects of climate change, and can also mobilize funds for sustainable investment.”

The roadmap also determines how the organization can strengthen the resilience of infrastructure to cope with deteriorating climate disasters. It shows how agencies can use federal procurement to address climate-related financial risks and incorporate climate-related risks into federal loans and budgets.

This month, more than 20 federal agencies issued climate adaptation plans, revealing the biggest threats climate change poses to their operations and facilities and how they plan to respond.

“Climate change poses risks to our economy and the lives and livelihoods of Americans. We must act immediately,” National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy told reporters at a press conference on Thursday. “This roadmap is not just to protect our financial system-it is to protect people, their salaries and their prosperity.”

“We know how climate change brings systemic risks to our economy,” Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, said at a press conference. “We are taking preventive measures, which reflects the fact that inaction is not an option.”

The report is called “a road map for building a climate-resilient economy.”

President Biden also called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the chairman of the Financial Stability Supervisory Board and financial regulators to compile a report on climate financial risk data. The report has not yet come out.

The president and first lady will travel to Europe in two weeks, and the global climate crisis is the top priority of Biden’s agenda. Biden will also travel to Glasgow, Scotland, to participate in the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP26) in early November.

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