Bloomberg: Climate Change Is a Financial Crisis, Too

Bloomberg, November 19, 2019: Climate Change Is a Financial Crisis, Too

The people who oversee America’s financial system seem to think that climate change isn’t their problem. As one official quipped in recent congressional testimony, he’s “not a meteorologist or a climate scientist.”

They should think again. By failing to take action, regulators are leaving the country exposed to a devastating crisis.

Financial institutions, from banks to insurers to asset managers, face climate-related risks that go far beyond the issue of social responsibility. One way or another — be it through natural disasters and forced migration, or decisive moves to transform energy use — they could end up facing trillions of dollars in cumulative losses. These could come in the form of defaulted mortgages in flooded areas, soured investments in regions that become uninhabitable, or nonperforming loans to shuttered coal-fired power plants.

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