Risky Business Addresses Economic Costs of Climate Change

A new organization has formed to get the US to address climate change, and this one has some big personalities behind it: it is co-chaired by NYC Mayor Bloomberg, former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and retired hedge fund manager turned climate activist, Tom Steyer.

The US is not addressing climate change in the way it needs to so the group has set out to quantify the economic costs that unmitigated climate change will present.

Over the next year, "Risky Business" will do the research and then publicize their findings on the economic risks of climate change to the US. The report will be released next summer.

"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?," asks Hank Paulson. 

"The best science tells us that extreme weather events may become more frequent," says 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," says Tom Steyer. 

"The fact that private insurers are leaving the table sends an unmistakable signal. It tells us that climate change risks are increasing and their costs to our society are climbing," he says.

They plan to engage those economic sectors most at risk, helping industry leaders prepare. 

"In sectors across our economy – finance, health, agriculture, national security – it’s standard practice to evaluate and quantify potential risks before making important investments," says Kate Gordon, Executive Director of Risky Business. "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 the non-profit, Next Generation.

Billionaire Tom Steyer recently launched a $1 million ad campaign to air across the US opposing the Keystone tar sands pipeline: "Bringing Down TransCanada’s House of Cards: The Keystone Chronicles."

He spent $32 million of his own money to get California’s Clean Energy Jobs Act passed, which will provide $500 million annually for the next five years to increase energy efficiency at schools.

Here is the Risky Business website:

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