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Biden unveils plan to deal with the dangers of local weather change to the financial system

United States President Joe Biden delivers September vacancy remarks in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC on October 8, 2021.

Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

The Biden government on Friday unveiled a government-wide plan to address the systemic threat climate change poses to all economic sectors.

The roadmap is part of the White House’s longer-term agenda to cut domestic greenhouse gas emissions nearly in half by 2030 and move to a net zero emissions economy by mid-century while mitigating the effects of climate change on the economy.

Increasing climate-related disasters such as heat waves, droughts, floods and forest fires threaten the stability of the global financial system.

This year, according to federal disaster statements, 1 in 3 Americans were affected by extreme weather events and disrupted supply chains across the country. In the past five years, extreme weather has caused more than $ 600 billion in damage to Americans, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The government’s plan takes into account how climate change is affecting the businesses people are invested in and aims to protect the savings and pensions of American families with retirement plans. Climate-related risks in retirement plans have cost US retirees billions in lost retirement funds, according to a White House leaflet.

The Department of Labor “is making efforts to remove regulatory barriers and ensure that benefit plan trustees can incorporate material climate-related risks into their investment decisions,” the report said. “These efforts will better protect the savings of American workers and their families from the effects of climate change and could also mobilize capital for sustainable investment.”

The roadmap also shows how authorities can strengthen infrastructure resilience in response to worsening climate disasters. It shows how authorities can use federal procurement to address climate-related financial risks and incorporate climate-related risks into federal lending and budget planning.

This month, more than 20 federal agencies published climate adaptation plans that highlight the major threats climate change poses to their operations and facilities and how to deal with them.

“Climate change poses a risk to our economy and to the lives and livelihoods of Americans, and we must act now,” said national climate advisor Gina McCarthy on Thursday during a press briefing. “This roadmap isn’t just about protecting our financial system – it’s about protecting people, their paychecks and their wealth.”

“We have a clear focus on how climate change poses a systemic risk to our economy,” said Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, Bharat Ramamurti, at the press conference. “We take a precautionary approach that recognizes that inaction is not an option.”

The report is entitled “A Roadmap to Build a Climate-Resilient Economy”.

President Joe Biden has also called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, the Head of the Financial Stability Oversight Council and financial regulators to prepare a report on the data on financial risk to climate. This report has not yet been published.

The President and First Lady will travel to Europe in two weeks, with the global climate crisis high on Biden’s agenda. Biden will also be traveling to Glasgow, Scotland, to attend the Parties’ UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, in early November.

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