Risky Business Announces New Research

From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy

The Risky Business Project is excited to announce the next phase of our work. In late 2016 we will release a new report titled From Risk to Return: Investing in a Clean Energy Economy. This report will assess the economic and technical feasibility of reducing climate risks by transitioning towards an economy powered by clean energy in the near- to medium-term.

We are also pleased to announce that Anne Mulcahy, former Chair and CEO of Xerox, and Jim Owens, former Chair and CEO of Caterpillar, have joined our Risk Committee. They will provide profound expertise and insight as we work to understand the challenges American businesses face.

Our first report, Risky Business: A Climate Risk Assessment for the United States, demonstrated that the U.S. economy faces significant risks from unabated climate change. Every year of inaction serves to broaden and deepen those risks.

The best available science finds that in order to reduce the risk of catastrophic consequences, we have to reduce carbon emissions. So the next logical step is to ask:

Is a transition to an economy that produces less carbon affordable?

Can we do it with the technologies we have?

What will it mean for investors and for consumers?

Ultimately, we want to know how American businesses can lead us towards an economy with lower climate risks.

In conducting research for the new report, we will consider all practical solutions that contribute to lower carbon emissions. Nuclear energy, carbon-capture and storage, and a range of other commercial and near-commercial solutions are on the table alongside advanced energy storage, solar, and wind energy.

Our report will synthesize recent analytical work on potential transitions to clean energy by time period, by sector, and by region. Researchers will analyze multiple investment and technical pathways across nine U.S. census regions. A national report for the project will present a suite of technology pathways and will identify areas of economic opportunity available to the business community that will stem from this transition.

Research will draw from cutting-edge economic modeling provided by E3 (an economic consultancy that specializes in North American electricity markets) and analysis by the World Resources Institute. A panel of world-renowned scientific, policy, and legal experts will then review this research. The final report and public products 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.

Over the coming months we will also be meeting with the best and brightest minds in American business to help us further understand the opportunities they see and the challenges they face in addressing climate risks. Our work will benefit from their feedback as we continue changing the conversation among businesses on climate change.

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