Washington (AFP) – President Joe Biden has asked federal agencies to devise a comprehensive strategy to identify and address the government’s and private sector financial risks from climate change.
In an executive order issued on Thursday, Biden called for concrete steps to mitigate climate risks while protecting workers’ savings, stimulating job creation, and helping the United States reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The greenhouse effect that contributes to climate change.
New regulations could be applied to the banking, real estate and agricultural sectors, among others.
“Extreme weather linked to climate change could disrupt entire supply chains and deprive communities of food, water or emergency supplies,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday.
Snowstorms can disrupt energy supplies, while floods made worse by rising sea levels can devastate homes and businesses.
The White House said the new strategy aims to identify the public and private funding needed to mitigate those risks and help protect Americans’ financial security.
Biden has prioritized tackling climate change and has set a goal by 2030 to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to 52% below 2005 levels. He also indicated that he hopes to adopt a clean energy standard that would make electricity carbon-free by 2035, to Aspect of the broader goal of zero net carbon emissions across the economy by 2050.
The executive order calls on White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy and economic adviser Brian Deiss to develop a government strategy within four months to identify and disclose financial climate risks. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and the White House Office of Management and Budget will also participate, while the Labor Department will discuss how to protect pensions from weather-related risks.
Yellen will also be instructed to share weather-related financial risk statements and issue an independent report within six months.
The Securities Commission has begun work on potential regulations to compel companies to disclose risks related to global warming, while Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that his agency has begun adopting risk assessment changes, which represent climate change for the banking system.
Whether due to sea level rise or bad weather, climate change “already represents an increased risk to infrastructure, investments and businesses. However, these risks are often hidden,” the White House said.
“From signing a loan for a new home or small business to a life savings department or pension fund, it is important that the American people have access to the information they need to assess the potential risks associated with these important financial decisions,” he explained.
The White House noted that the new executive order “ensures that the correct regulations are in place to properly analyze and mitigate these risks” and publicize them “and enable the American people to make informed financial decisions.”
Environmental groups praised the executive order, stating that Biden was aware of the enormous risks posed by climate change.
“The Biden government said today it understands that corporate information and voluntary commitments alone are not sufficient to address systemic climate risks and that regulatory authorities must act,” said Ben Cushing, financial advocacy campaign manager at the Sierra Club environmental group.