This morning, the group "Risky Business" - "a joint initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Office of Hank Paulson, and Next Generation," whose goal is to "reveal the likely financial risk the United States faces from unmitigated climate change" - announced the members of a "Risk Committee who will oversee an analysis of the economic risks of climate change in the United States." Here's an excerpt from their press release:
"The United States faces unprecedented risks from climate change, and quantifying those risks is a critical first step to mitigating them," said co-chair Michael Bloomberg. "These new members of our Risk Committee have deep expertise across different sectors of the American economy, and they will be instrumental in helping us develop the rigorous metrics we need to battle climate change effectively."
"When we launched Risky Business, we knew it was critical to make sure the risk assessment ends up in the hands of the leaders who are best-positioned to take action," said co-chair Hank Paulson. "With the addition of these new Risk Committee members, we’ll be able to reach deeper into those areas of the American economy that face the greatest risk."
"The messenger matters," said co-chair Tom Steyer. “The new Risk Committee members provide the expertise needed to expand our reach, and effectively engage health care professionals, farmers, and others on the risks they face from climate change."
Risk Committee members span a broad range of the American political and business spectrum. Their responsibilities include reviewing the initiative’s independent climate risk assessment and sharing its findings with the industries, regions, and market segments that face the greatest risks from unmitigated climate change.
Members of the Risk Committee include:
- Henry Cisneros, Founder & Chairman, CityView Capital; former US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); former Mayor of San Antonio, TX
- Gregory Page, former CEO and current Chair of the Board of Cargill, Inc.
- Robert Rubin, Co-chairman, Council on Foreign Relations; former US Secretary of the Treasury
- George Shultz, Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution; former US Secretary of State; former US Secretary of the Treasury; former US Secretary of Labor; former Director, Office of Management & Budget; former President, Bechtel Group
- Donna Shalala, President, University of Miami; former US Secretary of Health and Human Services; former Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Olympia Snowe, former US Senator representing Maine
- Al Sommer, Dean Emeritus, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University
"Energy and climate are inherently regional issues, and most regions of the U.S. lack a good quantitative analysis of the risks they face from catastrophic climate change,” said Kate Gordon, executive director of Risky Business and Vice President of the Energy and Climate program at Next Generation. “Our Risk Committee members bring an enormously valuable perspective to this challenge –they’re familiar with the proper role of risk assessment in decision making from their own illustrious careers, and they represent a diversity of American industries and geographies."
This is an important project, one which promises yet more strong evidence as to why we need a rapid transition towards clean energy and away from dangerous, dirty fossil fuels. We look forward to its findings.