"Climate change is an immediate problem”: Non-partisan US leaders demand climate risk action

18 June 2014

NEW YORK: A non-partisan, independent coalition of American business and policy leaders is leading a new campaign to highlight the economic risks of climate change.

In an open letter to the business community published in the Wall Street Journal, the Risky Business Project called for a greater awareness of the climate risk posed to American enterprise.

The coalition of prominent public leaders - which includes former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and former US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry M. Paulson – expressed its concern that corporations are ignoring global warming to the detriment of both their bottom lines, and the planet.

“While we know America’s businesses are highly adept at identifying opportunities and threats, and adapting to the ever-changing business climate, we are concerned that major U.S. industries, financial institutions, and business leaders are disregarding the economic risks we face from climate change.”

In a call to action, the open letter asks that US companies recognize the risks and adapt their business strategies in order to minimize them.

“And though we may disagree with each other about the appropriate response to climate change, we all see the same big picture: Climate change is an immediate problem that should command our urgent attention”, the signatories implore.

By asking direct questions, the Risky Business team focus the reader’s attention on aspects of the American economy which are critically affected by the rise in global temperatures.

“How much coastal property and infrastructure could be lost to sea level rise and storm surge? How might labor productivity and energy system performance be affected by extreme heat?” the authors query.

How much contingent liability might the federal government face from flood insurance, crop insurance, disaster relief, and other taxpayer-funded programs?”

And with an effective rhetorical question, the letter concludes.

"Don’t investors, business leaders, and elected officials have a duty to seek answers to these questions?"

The coalition will publish a full report on the climate risks which are jeapordizing the US economy on June 24. To receive a copy sign up here.

Related news:

Global business leaders and ministers pledge action on climate and energy: Event in London

World’s top businesses call for bold climate policy at Abu Dhabi summit

Nike continues to cut emissions and grow profits

World’s most innovative companies are thinking sustainably: top 50


By Alana Ryan

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