Commercial, Industrial, Regulation - September 23, 2022 - By Mindy Lubber, Ceres
With financial losses from climate change mounting, the SEC must act now
In just the past two months, record-shattering torrential rains have wreaked havoc on homes and businesses in Texas, the west coast and the Midwest, along with Pakistan, Australia, China and other parts of the globe. In a cruel twist traceable to climate change, these same regions have also been reeling from withering heat and droughts that have devastated crops and water supplies and halted supply chains.
The financial hits from these dry-and-deluge double whammies will be consequential. In the first half of 2022 alone, climate-linked extreme weather caused an estimated $65 billion in losses worldwide. That’s double the losses from the same time period in 2018. And, with global greenhouse gas emissions and average temperatures continuing to rise, these numbers will continue to grow. The impacts of climate change could slash U.S. GDP by 7% by 2050, according to global insurer SwissRe.
These and other financial impacts from the systemic climate trends are hugely relevant as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission considers its next move in its push to significantly strengthen corporate climate disclosure rules. The proposal, released in March, would require all U.S. publicly traded companies to disclose annually how they assess and manage climate change financial risks. That followed a detailed SEC request for information on climate risk disclosure, from March 2021, which garnered 6,580 responses.
Tomorrow, SEC Chair Gary Gensler will testify before the Senate Banking Committee and this issue will likely be on the agenda.
- Ceres Report: US Carbon Emissions Fell Slightly in 2022
- UN Confirms Human Impact on Climate Change, Steps to Take
- Ceres Launches Call on Highest-Emitting Companies in Agriculture to Limit Emissions
- Logitech Participates in LEAD on Climate 2021
- Coalition of 310 Businesses and Investors Urges Climate Action from the White House
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