FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2nd June 2016
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Business Leaders to Assess the Challenges and Investment Opportunities in a Transition to Clean Energy
Risky Business Project leaders Michael R. Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer launch new research effort on the economic opportunities in reducing climate risks
Jim Owens, former Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar and Anne Mulcahy, former Chairman and CEO of Xerox join project
New York, NY –The Risky Business Project, led by Michael R. Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, today announced that it has initiated a new research project that moves from risk measurement to risk management: specifically, identifying the key opportunities and challenges businesses face in transitioning to a lower-carbon, more resilient economy. Its findings, From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy, will be released in late 2016. The new report will build on a series of previous reports assessing the economic risks of climate change to U.S. business across different regions and sectors.
“While business leaders across America largely agree that climate change poses risks to their operations, many of them have serious questions about the hard economics of a transition to clean energy,” said Hank Paulson, former Treasury Secretary and Co-Chair of the Project. “With our new report, we’ll assess the opportunities that businesses can seize right now that will allow us to reduce climate risk while also increasing economic opportunities for American companies and their workers, and U.S. competitiveness amid a global shift toward cleaner energy technologies.”
From Risk to Return will take an objective look at the costs and benefits for American business as they consider the transition to an economy fueled by cleaner energy. Grounded in quantitative analyses and modeling of alternative economic scenarios, the report will:
Analyze different energy pathways, focusing on sources of energy that produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions.
Detail the level of investment needed for each pathway.
Identify areas of economic opportunity to be created by these energy transitions.
Outline near- and medium-term investment opportunities for businesses across nine U.S. census regions.
“Left unchecked, climate change poses a tremendous risk to our economy and we can’t wait to address it,” said Tom Steyer, California business leader, philanthropist, and Co-Chair of the Project. “American business plays a critical role in developing the solutions that will simultaneously grow our economy, create jobs, deliver strong returns, and advance technologies that will help reduce the costs that companies face from climate change.” Steyer discussed the new study during the Clean Energy Ministerial in San Francisco today, along with Risk Committee member and former Cargill CEO Greg Page.
This next phase of research will be advised by a Risk Committee composed of leading figures from business and government including two new members announced today: Anne Mulcahy, former Chair and CEO of Xerox; and Jim Owens, former Chair and CEO of Caterpillar. The Risk Committee will work to ensure that the project produces instructive and actionable data. The Project’s Co-Chairs and Risk Committee members will also meet with investors and industry leaders for guidance on the challenges and opportunities different sectors are facing from climate risk.
“The Risky Business Project has provided a good measure of climate change risks. Now we have to get to work on managing and reducing these risks,” said Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P., 108th Mayor of New York City, and Risky Business Project Co-Chair. “It’s not about what happens 50 years from now. Businesses, cities and countries have decisions to make in the coming months and years about the type of energy we utilize, the homes we build and the transport we take. We can build a better, more prosperous America, with cleaner air for our children, if we choose to reduce carbon pollution now.”
The first set of Risky Business Project reports, released in 2014-2015, assessed the risks from climate change to the U.S. economy and to specific regions of the country. It found that damage resulting from climate change will have widespread effects across the American economy including on our water supply, labor productivity, agricultural production, and coastal infrastructure and housing markets. The report found that if we continue with business as usual, by 2050 between $66 billion and $106 billion worth of existing coastal property will likely be below sea level.
“Businesses need to avoid short-term thinking if we’re going to reduce the long-term risks of climate change. I joined the Risky Business Project to help equip business leaders with the best available information on climate risks and on the opportunities that come from reducing them.” – Anne Mulcahy, former Chair and CEO of Xerox
“Action by business will determine how resilient we can make the U.S. economy to climate change. I decided to join the Risky Business Project because I think we can work with business leaders to craft sensible responses to climate risk. For the sake of future generations we need a strong economy and a healthy environment.” – Jim Owens, former Chair and CEO of Caterpillar
About the Risky Business Project:
The Risky Business Project is a non-partisan research initiative launched in 2013 by co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer. It provides a business-focused assessment of the economic risks and opportunities related to climate change.
The project is joined by members of a Risk Committee that is composed of former Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and George Shultz; former Senator Olympia Snowe; Al Sommer, M.D. former dean of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros; former HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and Greg Page, Executive Director and Former CEO of Cargill, Inc. Jim Owens, former Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar and Anne Mulcahy, former Chairman and CEO of Xerox are the newest members of the Risk Committee.
Research will draw from cutting-edge economic modeling provided by E3 (an economic consultancy that specializes in North American electricity markets) and from analysis by the World Resources Institute. A panel of world-renowned scientific, policy, and legal experts will then review this research. The final report will benefit from the input and guidance of the Risk Committee of the Risky Business Project. This process will ensure analytical rigor and real-world applicability.