Biden Orders Assessment Of Climate Change on Economy

May 24, 2021 by Tom Ramstack
President Joe Biden

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed an executive order Thursday directing the Treasury Department to prepare a report on the financial risks to the U.S. economy from climate change.

The report is supposed to help the Biden administration target environmental investments to reduce the economic impact of greenhouse gases. It also advances Biden’s pledge to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by nearly half by 2030.

“The intensifying impacts of climate change present physical risk to assets, publicly traded securities, private investments and companies, such as increased extreme weather risk leading to supply chain disruptions,” the order says.

An explanation that accompanies the order says as long as energy systems are moving away from burning fossil fuels anyway, the United States should capitalize on the trend.

“This global shift presents generational opportunities to enhance U.S. competitiveness and economic growth, while also creating well-paying job opportunities for workers,” the order says. 

Biden announced his American Jobs Plan shortly after his inauguration in January as a $2.3 trillion economic stimulus program that would rely heavily on improving clean energy infrastructure.

One part of it proposes a $174 billion public investment to expand the electric vehicle market in a joint effort with automakers. Other parts would improve public transit.

On Friday, Biden downgraded his proposal from $2.3 trillion to $1.7 trillion as Republicans warned the bigger price tag would be inflationary.

However, he has not backed away from his pledge to more than double U.S. commitments under the 2015 Paris climate agreement to reducing greenhouse gases.

Last week, the International Energy Agency said in a new report that global temperatures will continue to rise without a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels.

“Climate pledges by governments to date – even if fully achieved – would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050,” the report says.

Biden’s executive order reflected similar themes when it said, “We know that the climate crisis, whether through rising seas or extreme weather, already presents increasing risks to infrastructure, investments and businesses. Yet, these risks are often hidden.”

However, it also sounded upbeat about Biden’s environmental plans.

“The agency actions spurred by the president’s directive today will help safeguard the financial security of America’s families, businesses and workers from the climate related financial risks they are already facing,” a White House fact sheet accompanying the order said.

Beginning next year, the Biden administration is requiring the Office of Management and Budget to include climate risk in its financial projections.

In addition, large government contractors must disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and environmental risks they create. Government agencies are supposed to use the disclosures in making purchasing decisions.

Biden’s order reverses a Trump administration Labor Department policy that barred investment firms from considering environmental impacts in strategies for overseeing pensions and retirement funds.

In The News

Health

Voting

Climate

President to Meet with Governors to Prepare for Natural Disasters
Emergency Management
President to Meet with Governors to Prepare for Natural Disasters
June 23, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden announced Tuesday he would meet with state governors next week to map out a strategy for handling disasters from severe weather. Heat and drought in western states is creating wildfires and crop damage. The National Weather Service is predicting potentially heavy... Read More

New Dems Endorse Slate of Bills to Combat Climate Change
Climate
New Dems Endorse Slate of Bills to Combat Climate Change
June 23, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The New Democrat Coalition on Wednesday  endorsed its first slate of bills in the 117th Congress to confront the existential threat of climate change, building on the Coalition’s work to advance an ambitious and actionable policy agenda to attain net-zero emissions by 2050.  As... Read More

EXPLAINER: What's Behind the Heat Wave in the American West?
In The News
EXPLAINER: What's Behind the Heat Wave in the American West?

PHOENIX (AP) — Much of the American West has been blasted with sweltering heat this week as a high pressure dome combines with the worst drought in modern history to launch temperatures into the triple digits, toppling records even before the official start of summer.  Record... Read More

Drought Saps California Reservoirs as Hot, Dry Summer Looms
In The States
Drought Saps California Reservoirs as Hot, Dry Summer Looms

OROVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Each year Lake Oroville helps water a quarter of the nation's crops, sustain endangered salmon beneath its massive earthen dam and anchor the tourism economy of a Northern California county that must rebuild seemingly every year after unrelenting wildfires. But the mighty... Read More

Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
Congress
Congress Wants to Build Resiliency Into its Response to Climate Change
June 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- A congressional hearing Friday gave a boost to part of the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan that seeks to resist the devastation of climate change. Lawmakers said building infrastructure that is resilient to disasters caused by global warming is a better option than rebuilding after... Read More

Carbon Capture, Storage Garners Strong Bipartisan Support on Capitol Hill
In The News
Carbon Capture, Storage Garners Strong Bipartisan Support on Capitol Hill
June 14, 2021
by Dan McCue

As technology goes, it hasn’t reached the level of maturity of other methods to address climate change -- like wind- or solar-energy -- but carbon capture and storage has certainly caught the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Among the bills on everybody’s radar, perhaps the... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top