By Rosaly Byrd-
Today the members of a new committee that will analyze the economic risks that climate change presents to the United States were announced. The Risk Committee is a part of the Risky Business Initiative, which was actually launched in October 2013 as a joint project by Next Generation, Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Office of former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Risky Business seeks to quantify the economic risks associated with a changing climate and make it transparent to the public, in order to prepare the American economy for the impacts we will see and feel. The Risk Committee includes members that will enhance the credibility of the initiative and also bring knowledge and experience from both the financial and public sector. Bridging the gap between these two sectors is increasingly vital in implementing meaningful climate action.
Risky Business and the Risk Committee have great potential in providing information regarding the costs of climate change and also bringing more public attention to the issue. The founders of Risky Business, Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer are not only climate and environmental champions, but their financial and governance experience is tremendously valuable in conveying to the private sector (as well as the general public) the economic consequences that climate change presents for the United States.
The Risky Business initiative states it has two core components: (1) to assess and publicize the financial risk the United States faces from unmitigated climate change and (2) target the economic sectors most at risk and help prepare a measured response to the risks these sectors face. This initiative is a first of its kind in the United States and it will allow us to prepare our investments by evaluating and quantifying the risks and impacts of climate change.