President Biden speaks as Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen listens to the weekly business briefing in the Oval Office at the White House April 9. Biden issued an executive order compelling Yellen and other regulators to assess the risk of climate change to the American financial system. Pool / Getty Images Hide caption
Pool / Getty Images
Pool / Getty Images
President Biden wants the government to measure the financial impact of a changing climate on American families, businesses, and the federal government.
On Thursday, Biden signed an executive order that forced key regulators, including Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and other members of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, to assess the risks that a changing climate poses to the US financial system.
It is also suggested that the Council make recommendations on measures to reduce these risks within six months.
“Americans should be able to know the real risks that extreme weather and rising seas pose to the homes they’ve invested in or the small businesses they’ve built,” said national climate adviser Gina McCarthy . “Knowing the risks is the first step in actually addressing them.”
The mandate directs McCarthy, as well as National Economic Council director Brian Deese, to highlight the financial risks of climate change to the government itself, as well as the funding it would take to transition to a carbon-free economy over the next three decades.
“Our modern financial system is based on the assumption that the climate is stable,” said Deese. “Today it is clear that we no longer live in such a world.”
Meanwhile, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, whose department oversees pensions and other retirement assets, has been instructed to seek ways to protect those savings from the costs of climate change.
This could include the repeal of a Trump-era rule designed to restrict the consideration of environmental and other social factors when choosing retirement investments.