“Risky Business” will quantify the economic risk the United States faces from impacts of climate change –www.riskybusiness.org
San Francisco, CA – Next Generation today announced that it has joined with Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Office of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to launch the “Risky Business” initiative (www.riskybusiness.org), a year-long effort to quantify and publicize the economic risks the United States faces from the impacts of a changing climate.
Under the leadership of co-chairs Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City; Hank Paulson, former U.S. Treasury Secretary; and Tom Steyer, Retired Founder of Farallon Capital Management, the Risky Business initiative seeks to help leaders across the American economy prepare for the financial and social impacts of the extreme weather events that are being exacerbated by climate change.
As a part of today’s announcement, the co-chairs released video statements on the Risky Business website.
In his statement, Secretary Paulson said, “Every day across America, families and businesses take out insurance policies to protect themselves against adverse risks. As a nation, why aren’t we taking this approach toward the catastrophic risks of climate change?”
“The best science tells us that extreme weather events may become more frequent,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “To better protect our whole country we need a national risk assessment that will accurately assess the costs of these events.”
“If the business of the United States is business, we need to frame climate change in economic language; we need to set the business context,” said Steyer, who also serves on the board of Next Generation.
The Risky Business initiative includes two core components:
An independent risk assessment will combine existing data on the current and potential impacts of climate change with original research that will quantify potential future costs. The results, to be released in the summer of 2014, will reveal the likely financial risk the United States faces from unmitigated climate change.
An engagement effort will target the economic sectors most at risk from a changing climate, and begin the process of helping leaders from across these sectors prepare a measured response to the risks they face. The engagement will be led by a risk committee composed of top national and regional leaders from across the American economic and political spectrum.
“In sectors across our economy – finance, health, agriculture, national security – it’s standard practice to evaluate and quantify potential risks before making important investments,” said Kate Gordon, Executive Director of the Risky Business initiative and Vice President of the Energy and Climate Program at Next Generation. “But we haven’t yet done that when it comes to climate change, even though we’re seeing more and more climate impacts every day. Through the Risky Business project, we intend to solve that problem.”
Risky Business is a joint initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Office of Hank Paulson, and Next Generation. All three organizations are providing staff input to the project, and are supporting an independent economic analysis that will quantify the range of likely costs of climate-driven impacts and weather disasters.