tv Briefing on Global Commissions Climate Change Report CSPAN November 5, 2019 5:46pm-7:20pm EST
trail. >> an international climate change report warns that temperature change -- the environmental energy study institute posted a briefing on capitol hill. they explained that the climate change report, now the u.s. will be affected. >> we will go ahead and get started. the environmental energy study institute thank you for joining us back i hope everybody got all the candy. thank you for joining us this morning we have a wonderful
panel and will be learning about the global commission of a global call for leadership. the urgency of climate change may feel more acute but the issue of climate change has been with us for decades. esi stated in 1988 addressing climate change is a moral imperative. many scientists m public policy experts have been working on the issue proposing solutions i hope what we're actually seeing his momentum to act there is some evidence this is the case last week i testified before the senate energy committee that probably would not have been the case a few years ago in speaker pelosi and the house select committee is another example. as we know now that inaction on climate change makes it harder and harder to achieve. we have to act now to contribute to that momentum constantly reinforce it. so we can inform policymakers of the best and latest data and best practices to share lessons learned to help them understand the urgency to make meaningful progress to address climate change. all we need to do is start. this morning panel is special we have many resources to think and the efi true champion to help moderate. focusing research on
the interface of science and policy principally on issues related to mitigation at the national international level at the school of public health in michigan in school public policy university of maryland ran a division of the white house office of science and technology policy and lectured on every
continent and more than 20 countries i wonder how many rooms in the rayburn office building. [laughter] most importantly a member of efi distinguish board of directors and we could not do the work we do without her guidance and leadership so i will turn it over to you. >> thank you very much. good morning i am happy to be on the efi board to advise the commission on adaptation. let me set the stage. we call it global commission adaptation report because coping with the changes that are already apparent from
climate change is urgent and i word argue we already have delayed so time is of the essence. with that adaptation with half of my life ago working for the congress office of technology assessment i led the first and only report congress ever asked for on adaptation which included water coast and agriculture. in the second on right was the wetland in the forest in the parks. that was requested by three committees science -based technology environment and public worse and one - - works in transportation so it's interesting 27 years ago congress was is already thinking adaptation may be important. the un commission on sustainable development issued a report 2007 and the world bank commission the world development report focusing for the first time on
climate change and both concluded then we knew enough to say in 1992 that passed does not prologue and it alters the baselines that planning that we have done over the last 100 years will not work in most impacts will be negative and coastal ecosystems will be challenged in every region of the globe to develop in developed countries prickle that enhance preparedness response strategy should be a global priority. the mitigation and adaptation that becomes less
effective the faster the pace and total change of climate change. so it's fitting two of the three commissioners of the global commission on adaptation asked for these reports are now serving on the global commission and adaptation. from the world bank doing the world development report and then also being at the un joining forces with bill gates this year so depending on how you count this it took 27 years to get a real call on adaptation adaptation. and as you know the paris agreement by 195 countries if fully implemented would put us on the blue line well past the level that is called for in the paris accord well above the industrial level at least three.three. it
will be hard to cope with that. so all the science and the intergovernmental panel on the climate change report putting that into one graph here it is. what you can see by the length of the orange bar that already near-term risk is significant but if we move to degrees or 4 degrees c it gets much more risky. now proactive adaptation can lop off some of that risk and that's the great part especially into degree case that adaptation at 4 degrees is less effective and much more costly as you head toward greater change essentially we cannot adapt our way out of a 4-degree world. and at the temperatures we have already reached that is not insignificant we are seeing
these test ranges shifting north like west nile virus and then moving up into canada and extreme events like the fires disrupting supply chain and causing great pain and then to reiterate the climate assessments that was mandated by the global change act of 1990 and we are all very pleased legislation on resilience is emerging on the congress. natural catastrophes have been increasing. this shows the number of weather-related disasters the floods are blue the drought of heat and fire are red. you can see in the mid-
eighties the number of catastrophes was 200 globally now is 600 and as you know last year alone the fires in california cost $24 billion. in 2017 all of these events cost $312 billion. that is real money we are losing losing. also more powerful tropical storms. these are just the record setters of the strongest irma and harvey didn't even make it for being the largest and strongest but rainfall was a record of rainfall at 8 inches but irma was the longest endurance. and all of these have happened since 2012. one of the most important
changes of science base is this. we say we can't attribute any single event to climate change but science has advanced to the point this is no longer true as the blanket statement and that is from her own very distinguished national academy of sciences. the ability to attribute climate change and extreme events is a big breakthrough in science. just to give you one example the attribution of climate change the 2 feet of rain in 2016 in louisiana climate change increase the odds of getting 2 feet of rain by 40 percent. that's a powerful statement. the
temperature increase to 1 degree already we are seeing an increase of pain and suffering and cost in fact in the analysis of the extreme events of last year 21 out of 27 were seen to have a clearly increased probability from climate change they made those events more likely. every sector is affected by these ongoing temperatures with the sea level rise. so the energy sector is in our mind with lower levels wildfires affects electricity supply. and the power plants in the midwest or sometimes flooded water limits reduce productivity with reduced ability to send cold out rivers the storms are disrupting the distribution systems in the cooling water intake could be too hot depending on the weather. these all bring home that frequency and intensity of heat wave are flooding and hurricanes hurricanes. houston had three, 500 year events in three years. we're going to have to change the definition of a
500 year event. passed is not prologue. and the fire area has doubled since 1984 the area of fires in the us and the burn total and the combined fires in 2017 and 2018 were 40 billion and from her own military two thirds of installations threatened by climate change in the next 20 years. not 2100. so we know there is a lot of infrastructure in the path of storm surge and rising sea level
level. and this risky business brought it home after super storm sandy wake up call higher storm level storm surge increase the annual cost along the eastern seaboard by three and a half million in the next decade. by 2100, that number just in those regions could be as high as 507 billion. investors are sounding the alarm calling for risk disclosure. this was amplified at the un climate summit last month. the world economic forum at davos said climate change is the biggest risk to business and now pg&e has the first s&p 500 climate energy the time to act is now the adaptation commission they are desperately needed we can delay and pay or plan and
prosper. let me introduce the dr. bierbaum: let me introduce the first of our distinct thekers to tell us about global commission on adaptation and its finding. first we have manish bapna, the executive vice president and managing director of world resources institute. before that director of the nonprofit and also served at as a world economist working on watershed and rural development projects in asia and latin america and the overall lead for the global commission on adaptation.
manish: good morning everyone. thank you rosina. i have been looking at this issue the past couple years very carefully and still have so much more to learn from rosina. thank you for that lovely opening. first i suspect what is on the minds of the people the issue we are here for includes baseball with the washington nationals. just to bring these together for a moment i don't know if you saw the washington post a couple days ago. an interesting article about climate change and baseball stadiums. and how we will need to reimagine how we build stadiums for sports in light of climate change. that is something i thought was particularly interesting in light of where we are today. starting with a short video that says a word or two about adaptation.
threat. 2100 expected more than half are -- at risk from storms. by 2120 percent of the streets of lower manhattan to be subject two title inundation and subject to sea level rise with extreme heat and presentation. coastal defenses are being strengthened and rebuild the boardwalk. rooftops being painted white to reflect extreme heat. preparing the city to bounce back quickly from extreme events. so just a little bit. when people ask what is spent time we preparing these videos from around the world with voices of those on the front lines of what
it means to adapt. what i will do today is take a few minutes to talk about the global commission on adaptation and those findings released a couple months ago and then my colleagues will go deeper into what this means for the united states on a couple of issues with climate disclosure so let's start with the commission. you saw the cochairs. two main objectives for setting up this commission. to as rosanna alluded to, elevate the political visibility of adaptation. adaptation is one of those things people have been talking about for some time but not nearly as much leadership attention a resources has been put on this even despite the fact that quite recently as she mentioned, this was the top risk and an annualceos survey that the world economic forum conducts each year. the second form was not just ella mate -- elevate the
political visibility, but also to mobilize action that we wanted this to be more than just report. we want this to lead to real-world change on the ground. so we set up this commission people all over the world, sitting ministers, ceos, mayors, civil society leaders. we had the republican mayor of miami from the united states and a wide range of several hundred ngo and research partners that were part of this overall effort. the commission was launched a year ago in the netherlands. as i mentioned, the last year was largely around trying to set the intellectual or analytical agenda for what we felt needed to happen on adaptation. but this next year is about translating that report into a set of very specific recommendations. the point here was we have seen a lot of reports that talk about
the costs of the impacts come the problems climate change may create, but there's not been a systematic approach to how does the world respond. and how does the world respond in terms of building resilience. that is what this report and to do. there were five messages this report put forward and i will go through each of them. the first is about the human imperative that adaptation is about. the second is to rethink how we look at the economics of investing in adaptation. the third is to say that even with good economics, we are not getting the attention we want to see, because a number of barriers get in the way. we need to see revolutions and understanding, and planning and tofinancing to scale up, create the level of action we need to see on adaptation. the fourth is then how we apply that to key economic systems, and what that means.
fifth, is how we stimulate that and promote that in the coming year and jumpstart the whole agenda. on resilience. the first point, adaptation is a human imperative. we know that the people, the communities and the countries that often did the least to generate this problem will suffer the most. we also know climate impacts will spare no one. climate impacts are happening here and now. just to give a couple of numbers we anticipate over 100 million people around the world will fall back into poverty by 2030 if no action is taken. we anticipate that yields of -- anticipate that yields of major crops could fall up to 30 percent with massive implications for livelihoods. we anticipate that over $1
trillion per year of damages citiesace in coastal around the world by 2050. but the real tragedy here sows that have the least, those who are poor, women, future generations, will suffer the most. this is an issue we know exacerbates inequality in a much more devastating way. that said, the second message is a fresh message. we argue that adaptation, investing in building resilience makes good economic sense. we looked at a wide range of types of actions. we looked at how the returns on developing early warning systems, and making new and for structure resilient, and improving dryland agricultural crop production and protecting mangroves or other nature based solutions, making water
resources more efficient. for everys that dollar we invest in these types of adaptation intervention could generate $45 and net economic benefits in return. so this is a really significant finding. it suggests that actually countries, committees and companies make good economic sense to invest in building resilience. by ais been substantiated number of us studies that had similar conclusions. why is that? using another baseball example with a picture you may recall the washington nationals park which is the only major sports stadium in the country that is leed certified. they actually put nature to work in the stadium.
you have green roofs and trees in the stadium. when you have a lot of rain absorbs stormwater runoff. deal with extreme heat - hot days in the summer watching baseball helps to cool the temperature down. that's why this helps with the avoided loss part which makes good sense. but in addition there are two other major benefits to these investments. a white roof, grass and shrubs on the roof their electricity bills are less they don't have to cool the building nearly as much. there is good economic benefits. on top of that the aesthetics, it looks nice and recreational benefits that people commoditize losses, theed
economic benefits and the social benefits are in part what generates the cigna can economic returns. the third finding is despite these returns we don't see the uptake of action we would expect. why? a number of barriers get in the way. oftentimes climate risk were made invisible. we find it very difficult to respond to climate risk because that requires collaborating between different departments within government and different levels of government and federal , state and local government. it requires collaboration between public and private sectors. so the silos get in the way of these efforts. we also see short-term bias. people don't really appreciate the risk of tomorrow. they take decisions today. we also recognize the financial
system isn't wired to support the upfront cost associated in investing with resilience. there is a power issue here that those that feel the greatest impact have the least political voice. this gets to the point of inequality of why we do not see the scale of response we would like to see. in the report in order to address these barriers we make the argument we need to see three evolutions and how we understand and respond to climate risk, how we plan our intimate -- integrate climate risk in public and private sector decision-making, and how we integrate climate risk into the financial center to help channel public and private financial flows to build resilience. what why so in this report we
take in reply this to the food sector, with the food sector, weekly cities and infrastructure and health and early warning systems and nature based solutions and water and we talk about if you take those revolutions and apply them in the sectors, where does one start? if you are sitting in the agency and agriculture agency of the force ministry, where do you start to build resilience? we laid out what we saw some of the key entry points for how to act to integrate climate risk into these areas. examplesfew slides of from around the world how people have done that with success. this is an example of bangladesh a country that is ravaged by , cyclones. or1970, cyclones took three thousand lives in an absolute tragedy. and cyclones of similar magnitude in 1990 and 2007, 2019 with a dramatic reduction of
the cost of lives. even in a country like bangladesh bangladesh real , commitment of early warning systems, shelter , transportation and good committee case and can result in a massive reduction of loss of lives. and infrastructure we see a need to not only update codes and standards to create roads that would be more resilient in heat and rainfall, but how we need to come in for structure is a system. so not to look just at the road itself, but to look at the road as a system of transportation, to think about how you actually make the system more resilient. we look to cities and we looked at all the efforts going around the world in terms of building nature based solutions, is the waist as i mentioned, just with the washington nationals park
that really built resilience so what this report does is lay out the areas where one needs to invest. and it gives examples from around the world of where people have done this with incredible success. that takes me to my fifth and final point the commission is not just about reports but how you translate that into action. you see the launch in new york one month ago we had the commission launched the report and launch a year of action. we decided to focus in these eight areas. and within the next year or think about what are some of the concretes taps that can be taken over the next 12 months to build resilience in the sectors. so in food secured enrolled livelihoods, we looked at how to increase her double investment in agricultural research.
how we can expand access to digital advisory services. how we could expand access to insurance, finance, markets, technologies, to enable farmers to be able to weather these types of shocks. we are doing this by bringing in the world bank, the germans, the gates foundation, wide range of players together. to move this type of agenda forward. we are doing at account finance and across the tracks i mentioned. it is an incredibly exciting moment to talk about this with all of you so now i will turn this back to introduce the next speakers i am delighted to be here. dr. bierbaum: thank you, manish. i remember up store when an article came up, climate change is worrisome, we might lose for stadiums.
and i thought, you will lose the everglades and cities will be underwater. but maybe sports is a key theme that we should pick up on. we are now going to turn it over is thestina chan who director for climate resilience practices had the bri. she works to any great climate considerations -- world resources institute's. mainstreaming climate risk. she was a branch chief at the state apart and climate change office and spent eight years with care, helping communities reduced raster -- disaster-related risk and she is a member of the global commission annotation report commission. christina? thank, you, rosina.
as a codirector of the global commission on adaptation, having been deeply involved in this report but also having been with the u.s. government, part of the federal government, i wanted to -- m the key messages many laid out and bring it home innish those of you working this adaptation space, i think there is a tendency in the global dialogue that when we think about adaptation we think about the bungalow -- bangladeshes of the world. we are not so i think about china or the united states or germany. the report tries to make this global call. that it is not just about developing countries needing to adapt to the impacts of climate change, but also richer nations, like the united states that will also be infected by the impacts of climate change. revolutions in
understanding and planning and finance, how we need to apply that to our key systems and agriculture's and cities and if her structure are just as relevant in the united states as bangladesh. so first, why should we care? talking about the human and economic imperative i want to around talk about what this means for the united states and american actually talk about the economic imperative as a taxpayer it is critical or -- our the title of this talk is a plan and pay. we need to think about the way we think about benefit cost ratios. i have been in this adaptation space for two decades. i think the trend as we think about adaptation and the images during the images rosina showed
about devastation and what we need to do, we talk about in terms of the cost of the impacts. we also talk about in terms the costs of what it would take to actually adapt. what we do not necessarily do, we don't make as this will is the that if. the benefits of upfront spending and upfront investments in making sure we are where is billion in our planning and design and infrastructure. investing in nature-based solutions. and also building back after disaster strikes. not billing back to where we were in the standards where we were what a disaster hit, but building back stronger and more resilient. endthese upfront front investments will help us avoid or reduce the costs at the backend associated with responding to emergencies with disaster relief, disaster reconstruction any united states, as well as with lost economic productivity. if we do not do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt the way we operate in the changing environment, for
the x acacian that we will spend tens of billions of andars each year by 2075 federal government expenditure on disaster relief as a result of rising sea levels as well as more intense hurricanes caused by climate change. another example, has just become more intense and more frequent, our farmers in the midwest will face increasing risks to crop production. that impacts their lives and livelihood but also our federal budget and terms what the federal government does subsides crop insurance premiums. those premiums will go up as well as the payouts turn the economics in the united states are very clear. manish presented numbers earlier how one dollar investment in repairing this can save four to $10 in response.
that is the economic imperative. the second for me which was not really covered in the report just as important in the federal context. our federal government agency provide critical services to people, to citizens. and those agencies functions and services are impacted by climate change and need to remain functional in a changing climate. it will impact the ability of the department of defense to do its job. year thel last department released a study of how over 3500 military installations face climate risk from drought and flooding in severe wind. dod's training program will also be impacted and training facilities in the west that are impacted by higher temperatures and quite frankly they cannot train anymore in some places because it's too hot. the third reason we need to care
about adaptation has to do with as americans about adaptation has to do with the human and moral imperative. climate change will impact everyone in the united states however some communities will be more vulnerable with less capacity to adapt. studies in the united states have looked out the correlation between urban poverty rates and climate vulnerability. poorer the city the higher the vulnerability and lower the preparedness. one of the key messages in the commission's report is that we should not accept a world where only some can adapt and others cannot i participated in a task force on state local tribal leaders a few years ago that was formed to give advice to the president on climate
preparedness and resilience i was struck by something with the mayor of hoboken said after hurricane sandy we cannot rebuild after sandy in a way that has an island of protection where only certain people in hoboken are building back in a resilient way and others are not. so the issue of equity and moral imperative is important in the united states as well. so what is happening in the united states. look at that report state and local and tribal leaders submitted to the president a few few years ago, there were numerous examples for go houston has created mobile solar powered community stations to operate off grid and serve communities
basic needs after a disaster. illinois colorado have built infrastructure in the aftermath of disasters that is stronger and better than how those other disasters hit southeast florida has a coordinated planning effort to adapt to sea level rise and then examples like delaware and maryland low-lying states that require's that state-funded construction projects designed to new standards that recognize the changing risks and climate. lots of bright spots happening in the united states. the federal government has an essential role to play to support these local efforts by providing leadership and guidance and information and encourage preparedness and incentivize adaptation. the revolutions in understanding, planning and finance. congress can play a role in ensuring and making sure this happens at the federal level, given the important services
that agencies provide to state and local. there's an opportunity to codify elements of executive order 13653 revoked in 2017 on the grounds it made the us less competitive. there were several key components first calling on federal agencies to modernize programs for state and local communities and it emphasize the role of federal agencies to provide information, data and decision making tools to the state local level for climate change preparedness and zillions. third, it required all agencies to develop and implement and update comprehensive plans to integrate climate preparedness and resilience into agency operations and overall mission objectives. there was an emphasis in this executive order to not silo adaptation into a side office, but really build it into the way agencies operate day to day.
also it required that all agencies report on that progress for an account ability mechanism. what do we achieve with this effort? having been part of the federal government during this period you can see an increase of general awareness. there was a lot more fact finding and looking at a high level that how climate change would impact and missions.ons it was rare to see agencies actually take on specific actions to go from risk assessment high level, to taking action to address those risks. that said, right spots existed. some of the examples that struck me at that time. one was hard. what hud did as result was developed toolkits and training materials for its community
development block grant grantee so they could incorporate climate zillions at preparedness and therefore the housing and community to about my plans. hud's $20 billion community develop medlock grants had become a popular way to foster rebuilding storm ravaged communities after disasters. hide and rockefeller foundation also partnered to launch a 1 billion-dollar competition in 2016 awarding funding for resilient housing projects. another is veterans affairs. when they started in this process, i am ever hearing stories about officials showing up to these meetings and wondering why is veterans affairs here what does that have to do with climate change? and what they discovered and going to the process is, their facilities are actually at risk of sealevel rise and flooding. process,esult of the veterans affairs credit new standards.
so when they are developing new or retrofitting facilities it was a requirement they take the best available climate science into account. so looking at the agencies, there was progress overall in terms of raising awareness and capacity. they struggled with three things that are very similar to the revolutions we talk about in the report. they struggled with climate data. what data and how to use it and how you apply that and to high-level operations and strategies. there was a real desire from the agency to get support in figuring out where the data was and how to use that data. on planning. how to plan with uncertainty. i remember being in meetings where people raise their hands and say tell me what the sea level, how much the sea level is going to rise and then i will take that into account. and you have scientists saying,
well, there is uncertainty, you need to plan with uncertainty. and you have really good civil servants trying to figure out with no expertise in climate science, try to figure out what to do with that information. so planning with uncertainty was a major challenge. the third is finance. it takes money to do these risk assessments. to build the capacity of people to do them. and to identify solutions. struggled with that. some invested in hiring climate scientists. others talk to each other. there was a lot of collaboration and communication between agencies to figure it out because the financers of that. this is something people had to do in their day-to-day jobs. there was no additional funding. with a few minutes left, looking at this experience with this particular executive order, i would have a couple of recommendations in terms of what
the house can do, congress can do. the first is that the process of climate preparedness and resilience as a long-term process. that needs to be invested in as a long-term process. legislation is key to helping ensure that we do not have these fits and stops. agencies, will be learned over the last few years is we need to collaborate in .rder to provide the best data the most usable, actionable data and decision tools. to both our states and communities. second, we need to continue to integrate climate preparedness .nto date to date is in us third, we need to incentivize these upfront investments, not keep thinking about how climate change is going to increase our disaster relief expenditures, takeeally identify and action on ways in which we can reduce those costs upfront, even if that means spending upfront. another is changing the
standards. so after disasters, committees and states have an easier time rebuilding in a stronger and more easily way. and finally, the issue of equity. andcan we, the federal state and local levels, ensure that marginalized and underserved communities do not continue to be the most vulnerable and continue to not have the capacity to adapt. there are issues about what we can do to help communities at high risk with relocation. because communities will need to move and what we need to do to support those on the receiving end. they will need financial support as well. iose are some of the key ways see the report we put out in september translating into the u.s. context. thank you. thank you,um: christina. you're astley right.
the awareness at the city and state and tribal level has been increasing and mayors on the front line of responding to all of responding to all these extreme events. if you look at the burgeoning of resilience officers, the urban reliance network, there is a hunger for best practices, more data and to be able to share with each other quickly. our last speaker is leo martinez-diaz. he directs the stable finance center at the world resources institute. previously we worked out the u.s. department of treasury as japanese assistant secretary for energy and invite -- as deputy assistant secretary for energy and environment. he also worked on climate finance and capacity and our international negotiations. he has held many other negotiation -- positions, also imf, usaid. any serve the board of the green climate fund. leo is the author of the
financing adaptation chapter for the global commission on adaptation. leo? thank you. it is great to be here with so many colleagues and folks who have spent a lot of time contributing to this issue. i want to focus now on the private sector. verylleagues have been clear about showing you the challenges and opportunities for the public sector. let's think about the other part of the economy, which is a huge amount of the small and medium-size enterprises as well as larger corporations. what is climate going to do to them, and how can they prevent again to prepare and take action. it should be clear from comments today companies will be affected by these impacts. is clear these impacts are affecting the bottom line. they are affecting business operations. that affect business facilities. let me give you a couple of examples.
mars, the food giant, is very where that climate change is beginning to affect how and where it can source the key commodities that go its products that we all know and love to have to start thinking about where are we going to source these things in the future as crop yields are affected. think about bloomberg, the giant global financial data company that during hurricane sandy had its servers in the basement that came within inches of getting hit by water and wiping out the entire operations of this company. thing about our airlines which are now increasingly concerned about the ability of their planes to take off an extremely hot weather, which would mean delays and losses. think about airport operators and are shoving lines concerned about what happens when port facilities and where houses and roads get flooded.
and become inoperative. it is clear that business gets it. at least large corporations are now keenly aware of the impact. they may not call it climate risk. the color business continuity risk. they call it supply chain risk. but in the end, that is what it is. and they're beginning in many cases quietly to -- and carefully to plan. it is crucial that the governments at the federal level and beyond begin to help facilitate and encourage the private sector to take action. toole move to a powerful that can help us do that. that is the capital market. the u.s., we built this in capital apparatus, the capital market, the stock market the bond marcus turn norma's they liquid, the biggest in the world. partly, they are trusted by investors all around the world. are trustedly, they by investors all around the world and that is what makes these capital markets so powerful they are transparent.
go back to the. after the great depression, the security and exchange commission requires all public listed companies to tell us the investors about anything it could be material that would impact the value of securities, stocks in this case, show that information be known. result that information is something investors can use to make decisions about buying and selling securities. climateuestion is, is change or climate impact material echo should companies report these to investors? before that, it was not clear that you be the case. i remember having a conversation with eight u.s. bank reg later in the hallway of the treasury or i said maybe we should start thinking about the matter reality of climate risk. it was said look, material, companies would be reporting it. and because they are not reporting it, is not material. so this kind of circular
argument is going to get us into real trouble because i think you could argue this is a new risk. sure, companies have been dealing with risk of different types along. ebix. hurricanes and floods. reasonsink the for the my colleagues have laid out, this type of risk is a qualitatively new type of risk and the sense your dealing with a much higher frequent and severity of events and in some cases with cascading risks that cannot be as easily predicted. so what has been the approach to try to encourage using capital markets to get folks to think about climate risk? some years ago there was a famous speech by the governor of the bank of england who said, look we should do is to get companies to disclose their climate risk. let's get the companies to slain to us, the investors, the reg letters, the consumers, how they are taking these risks into account, how the ardennes fine
risks, and then what are they doing with the risks when they find them once identify them? and what exactly do they have plans in order to cope with this major challenge? as that becomes quantified and disclosed, that becomes known to consumers, investors, gets incorporated into the buying and selling of securities. and it is priced. as many said, there is becomes this bubble -- the risk becomes visible. and companies that take climate risks seriously, that are putting in place credit will strategies will be rewarded by the market with lower ability -- lower cost of capital. and those that are bearing their heads in the sand will find themselves in by the market because the market will say you're taking risks that are reckless. and we are not going to invest in you. that's the theory. the question is, what happens now? how do we put that into play. let me tell you the story one
major initiative it goes by the regular wonky name of the task force on climate related toncial disclosures, tcfd. many of us, that is become like the air we breathe. but in the real world this is still very secure grip. as a privately led -- private sector led voluntary group that had the blessing of regulators including from the u.s.. put together some recommendations that were pre-common sense if you look at them they try to advise companies about how they should disclose this type of risks and how they should do it. what type of categorization consider. those recommendations went out and 2017, they were endorsed by hundreds of companies including many u.s. companies. and then the question became, how do you actually do this how'd you make it granular, how to put it in reports to the sec or investors?
the bottom line is it is not going great. right now, there's a status report in the summer. companya thousand studies, about 25% are actually five ofg, lined with the 11 recommended disclosures. and only 4% of the 1000 are disclosing or aligned with at least 10 of the 11 disclosures. in other words, is going slowly. perhaps too slowly given that we have real time constraint. not cast too much blame in the sense that it is not easy. and this is better relatively short time. technically it is hard to quantify the rest you have to model some things and get the right data. getting it compelling and making sure you're getting things right is difficult. and there is a first mover disadvantages well.
there companies concerned that if they go out there with their climate risks and they are transparent about them, but their competitors do not do it, then they will be at a disadvantage. they will be perceived to be more risky than something else who stayed quiet about the rest. so as one banker told me once, if our company today, i would be secretly preparing for climate risk while denying it in public. do thatrecommending you but that is the perception out there. and that is going to be the problem as long as we have a voluntary system of disclosure. those that feel they are doing things right may be more biased toward disclosing and those that have more risk they not want to discuss anything. so that is partly what is holding back this project. what can we do now? what can we do next to try to address these things? there are at least three things on the table now. there is the climate risk disclosure act of 2019 introduced in the senate by senator warren. and there's a counterpart in the house. it would direct the sec to issue
roles into years that require every public company to disclose a series of things including its risk management strategies related to physical risks and transition risks posed by the climate crisis. of course the devil will be in the details and the sec will have to work through it with the and with ther community of investors. but it is crucial that that type of authority come from the congress. otherwise it is just going to be left to the financial regulators and will still remain in this very difficult voluntary environment of uneven disclosures. the sec did issue in 2010 guidance on disclosing against climate risk. but there was no introduction of new requirements. so we are still in a world where this is encouraged but not required. meanwhile, in europe, it they are moving forward with something called the european
union sustainable finance taxonomy it is going to be a are of activities that determined by experts and scientists to be aligned with the paris agreement in terms of mitigation. and in terms of adaptation. that can help provide a sense of credibility around these types of activities. in other words, the bank or another financial institution puts out a green bond, or bring financial product, or product that is meant to be good for adaptation, how do you know if that is truly green? if that is truly sustainable and truly climate friendly? this is one way to do it. if you apply the taxonomy, the taxonomy will be an approved, fully endorsed definition of what good for mitigation are good for adaptation would be. this would be a european standard that would be universally applied, at least in
europe, and would therefore help those in the market trying to make sense of these activities and have that reference point. they are pretty far along. the taxonomy has been released and consulted extensively but has yet to be approved by the council of ministers. that will be crucial. if that happens, around 2023 this would start getting implement and and move quickly into a major regional economy. and finally, there the climate resigns prince was launched this year by the climate bond initiative this is focused on the bonds space. you may have heard about green bonds, they're everywhere. the city of washington, d.c. issued its own green bond for water. theseoblem is a lot of bonds are focused mostly on the mitigation side and we have not done much with green bonds for adaptation resilience. what the standards do end up your eye was part of the process-- wri was part of the
process, is to define what are allowable, high-quality credit will activities for adaptation. and for resigns. there is good material out there and billy box out there. but we have yet to take the big step or of actually endorsing and turning these into law. so what should congress do? the first thing is to reflect on what we have learned the last five years and realized our limitations to the voluntary disclosure regime we are part of now. need tons there is a move toward mandatory disclosure and that is the adaptation commissions recommendation. these have to be gradually introduced to make sure the be able to absorb them and work through them. these are complicated things but we have had practice. other initiatives
have allowed the market to practice in a sandbox type of environment. so they will have to be gradually introduced and we will need a set of common standards and metrics. if every company gets to choose how it reports on what metrics on what basis and what scenarios and whatever church targets it is going to be such a disorder of information that the market will someday ignore it. it is crucial that the market isn't presented to the market and investors in a way that is comparable, consistent and common to all the companies. that is going to take centralized action. that is white is important to have government involvement. it is important we initially apply this to the public list of companies in first instance. well, small and medium-size enterprises do not have the resources to do this, it would be a burden on them and that is true. we are not suggesting that this
type of disclosure begin with begin withshould those publicly listed that is where we have the authority and the mechanisms to do that. the process will take time. it is better to start soon. especially now that voluntary approaches have run for five years. and it is important to ensure the u.s. and europe to knotted up a separate standards. this has happened before. for example if you follow accounting standards you may be familiar with that. is important we begin the conversation, transatlantic conversations of the two largest capital markets in the world will be allowed -- able to have a single standard and not competing once. and it will be important to get cap china and japan to eventually join this rate so they will be a level playing field in terms of disclosure. let me say that transparency as closure would not solve everything. the market and market transparency will be a powerful tool to move the system across the board. but it will not necessarily help that transition. we're still going to have to provide assistance and support
to companies and to communities to build resilience. the market will simply be able to discriminate became -- between those that are riskier and less risk late -- those are riskier and less risky and may be able to move swiftly to punish those are not taking action. we need to move slow fleet to provide support and help to those who want to build zillions so they can move forward. thank you for the opportunity. we will look forward to continuing this dialogue. r. bierbaum: thank you, leo. your point is well taken that the international markets are bidding quickly and strongly toward climate risk disclosure. the u.s. should be part of defining that. he also when we started maybe think again of the iconic picture during hurricane sandy of goldman sachs, the only building in midtown manhattan. it takes a system. it is not any good have just one
building let if you cannot get anybody to our from appearing -- you cannot getting one to or from there. the infrastructure, finance, natural resource systems all important to build a lien system. i want to invite -- to build a system. i want to invite dan back up. dan: i cannot believe we sat through all of that without a plotting, -- without a plotting. -- applauding. [applause] i would like to give a special thanks to our friends at the peoplecommittee, made of who are committed to working on the problem. we have our senior counsel, sam, and melvin, eric medication structure. melvin, our e -- communications director. >> on behalf of the terror would
like to thank everyone for being here today. , ion behalf of the chairman would like to thank everyone for being here today. the select committee is developing a set apollo terry rock -- policy recommendations for climate to action for congress. we need your ideas and policy proposals as groups, organizations and individuals. so i wanted to plug our information request which is climate crisis. house.gov/info it is a big document where you can fill out part adaptation or carton -- carbon pricing. again that is climate crisis. house.gov/info request. can follow artwork on facebook twitter and instagram, climate crisis.
thank you. sam? we have a roving mike too. metlock, senior counsel for the house select committee on the climate crisis. i want to recognize some of our other staff here in the audience. fellow, on how we deliver on actual information and are credible clerk. and a couple of our interns here. give a wave. catch up and talk with these folks. this is building toward a report to the congress in march, 2020 p your input is really viable to that process, as noted. thank you. to thehanks also
science, space and technology kitty for hosting us in their nice room -- committee. busy.e been very in addition to working on the response to the rfi, team eesi has been busy with briefings paired we do a lot of briefings and they're all fantastic so if you are not a regular attendee that should change and you should start attending. we have three webcasts coming up on a plug. november 6 next week on community centered resilience, lessons from louisiana, november 15, the growing role of her noble energy and that u.s. which mix and november 22 is also the deadline for the rfi response, legal pathways to deep decarbonization's in the u.s.. these are just once in november. if you cannot be with us in
person we do have webcasts we also record every thing and they're all on the website. so if you're not already or scribing.org tour newsletters including the climate solutions newsletters, we have a lot of information and it is all quite good. if you're not currently using us as a resource, we should change that. toothed changike thank our friends at c-span for bringing us to a wider audience today. again, thank our friends at world resources institute for all the great work. we are going to go ahead and get started with questions we have a rubbing microphone somewhere. -- a roving microphone. there it is. the first question is, when you look at what other developed countries are doing, to advance human adaptation practices and making investments, one of the best practices and lessons learned you think u.s.
policymakers should look at and emulate? your microphones will turn on in the same way with the talk . christina: thanks, dan. this report has several example from other developed countries. or did about major economies. i would name for examples. of good practices. what is the netherlands. as many know, the dutch have been living with water for quite some time. there's an example of their effort, room for the river is called, and instead of building levees higher and higher as the sea level rises, it is actually making room for the river so that it does flood and allowing that space flooding and not having development on that space which would increase loss and damage. his second and exam one infrastructure in the ok. and i and iconic example in the
iconic community is the thames barrier built to protect 1.3 206 5n people, more than billion pounds of property and assets from storm surges and high tide. china, an example often used there is sponge cities. they have a goal in the sponge cities in china to either absorb or use or capture 80% of storm water runoff in urban areas by 2030. the fourth i would say is our neighbor to the north in canada. investing in finance and nature-based solutions, particular natural infrastructure, restoring salt water marsh is for example in the bay in order to protect against coastal flooding. dan: ok let's turn to the audience, question in front. i am karen fluorine he --
florini with climate central. we published a peer-reviewed daddy showing coastal flooding risks are massively greater and most of the world other than the u.s. that had previously been understood because we were able on thelop an improvement coastal elevation data set. sea level rise is not just how high the water but also how high the land. the data used to date turns out to be wrong in average error of six feet. use machine able to learning to adjust that down to three inches. the result is there 300 billion people at risk of annual flooding, -- 300 million people annuallyor flooding and 200 million at risk of daily flooding by 2050 and those numbers doubled by the end of the century. my question for leo is how do we
and sure that, as comedies are doing their analysis of climate risks that they are using near data, such as this, and not justice but also other data that becomes available, much of which indicates that the risks are way worse than had been understood to date? leo: a couple of thoughts. it will be crucial to have the type of disclosure i mentioned in my remarks because that will then empower investors, including the really big institutional investors who hold large chunks of shares in these companies, to engage with those companies and ask what are you doing to deal with this risk? what precisely are you using in terms of your scenarios they are planning? what kinds of baseline scenarios are you considering to be most probable? and how are you deploying resources against that? what are the redundancies and
other safeguards you're putting into place so that if this were to happen you decided not -- you do not suddenly lose production or supply. the other piece is the insurance companies insurers are going to be crucial because their conversations with companies will have to be taken seriously. companies rely heavily of course on insurers to deal with a lot of this risk and reinsurers even today what the super risks. so the insurers are going to want to note that the companies are also taking into account the best science data available. and we need to make sure that there is a moral hazard. in other words, that there is not the perception that government will come in and bail you out. because that is the perception in the residential market. we all know about the national flood insurance program and its challenges. the global commission on adaptation mentions the issue of moral hazard. how do we make sure companies do not do nothing because they feel
what is known as ane implicit government guarantee that will essentially pour resources into those companies and communities. of course, government has to be there to protect communities, to help them recover. but there has to be a division of labor. a division of financial labor between the public sector and the private sector. have not had that conversation yet and we will have to have it. it will require both. it will require demarcating where the government role begins and ends. and where companies are expected to put skin in the game. here.have a question over yes, please. >> one of the things that we recognize in the report is that given the pace of
urbanization taking place globally and the incredible lack of data that city officials have in many places around the world, what -- one of the most strategic investments that can be made is topographic maps for cities. officials don't even know the spatial elevations of their area. >> [inaudible] and how we translate or share that and use that given some of the recent addresses is a huge opportunity. yes, so, one of the things that has been emphasized is a need for action on the federal level. , having seen so much of that recently, if we don't see that soon, let's say in the next four years, is there a plan b?
is there something the cities and the private sector can do to step up more? do we have a fatter -- do we have a backup plan if federal support doesn't come? >> thanks for the question. i will say a couple things on that. i think that perception is pretty widespread. i'm not sure it is completely accurate. we talked about this last week on the energy committee. bills that are not just being introduced, but committees are taking action and many are finding their way to the senate floor or the calendar, at least. i think the transportation bill that has emphasis on infrastructure is one example. it is bipartisan and sitting on the calendar. who knows when it will come up. but it has a lot of potential. on the house side, it has been busy, but energy commerce has been working through a lot of
bills. many of them are limited in scope. think when taken together, if they could be an active -- aacted, congress would be great place to get started. let me see what the panelists think. >> i would agree. i think one of the most amazing things we saw is the coalition called "we are still in." the cities, states, private sector, philanthropic community, and investment community all saying that we recognize this as a problem. we are dedicated to confronting and mitigating as much as we originally promised, coping with the problems the city mayors are feeling on the front line. amazingit was an ofnouncement -- amassment
groups. philanthropy caps off it. public moneys can't solve it. you need to private sector to be there strongly. they are now. lineel free to go down the and add to that. the u.s. climate alliance, most of the focus has been what they are doing on litigation. they are doing a bit of adaptation. there is a set of land-use solutions relating to agricultural and forest lands. and we need to remember that oftentimes, some of the best solutions kind of sequester carbon. there is a lot that we can do on mitigation and adaptation. is to think ae little bit about not only looking at stand-alone bills that look at adaptation, but how do you we've -- weave building resilience into the bills likely to go forward?
details, but ie suspect you do. the transportation infrastructure act -- one of the things that we try to make clear in this report is that good adaptation is just about doing growth or development differently. we need to look at how to actually reframe the narrative from one that might be polarized around climate action to one that also can be about building resilience every day. >> i would like to hold on to the hope that resilience and climate preparedness, we can do both. i think frontline communities and cities, because we are facing climate change today, it will take action to prepare.
they are doing great things in miami. one of the examples we highlight is the miami forever bond. tax money actually going to work climate preparedness. i think there are front-runner and cities and communities that will continue to take steps to adapt. adapt. at the federal level, i remember there is a mayor from louisiana. they were part of the state and local task force. no, it was a mayor from alabama. they were talking about not having the resources that miami or new york has. those communities don't necessarily have the resources or capacity. that is where i think the federal government and the policies at the federal-national level are needed to support those communities. i remain hopeful that we can do both. federalust one last
asset that does still exist and is being amplified is noaa's climate resilience toolkit. ,ou can put in your latitude longitude, your city, and it will give you future projections. you can work your way through what is most vulnerable and give about howase studies other communities have responded. >> great. one of the themes of the response that we are putting together is the point you are raising. in order to get this done, it can't just be the state and local government. it requires a huge amount of court nation to get this done because we don't have time to waste resources. it will be very difficult. i think we have another question in the front.ere
i have a question about climate change risk versus transition risk. for the private sector, different companies have different portfolios of risk. whether they are an agricultural company and they have climate change risk versus fossil companies with a have a large transition risk. do the large institutional investors worry about climate change risk or institutional risk -- or transition risk? and with the disclosure act, will they use the same framework for climate change risks and transition risks? or will they need to be a different framework? that sounded like it was aimed right at you. >> climate risk is the ability term. ,ou have the transition risk the danger that your business model will be upended by changes in policy or changes in technology.
so that if your company is based on pumping oil and gas, selling it at market price, it becomes unfeasible because of changes in regulation. what happens to your company's value? other risk like hurricanes, droughts, and so forth affecting your company. mostly, companies are focused on transition risk. much on thes very large meters. and how are they going to do with this shift to a higher carbon price? the world the last four years, the private sector is now increasingly concerned about the physical risk. investorsto a lot of including the asset managers and
asset donors. they tell us they are most concerned about climate risk. they are increasingly devoting resources to understanding physical risk. the problem is, they need data. times that data is not forthcoming or it is coming in ways that are hard to compare. it is with the mandatory disclosure regime that could help. i think the private sector now really gets it. they are really concerned about it. the two kinds of risk, transition and physical, are very different. regulatory and technological change affecting a specific set of companies. the other is about complex physical risks affecting supply chains and markets more broadly. the frameworks will have to be different for both. in order to do this right, you need to sets of people that are quite different in skills and
expertise to put together frameworks that make sense. >> just one small addition to that. for many of these companies that have complex global supply chains, these risks really need to be better appreciated given that physical risk may manifest itself in different parts of the value chain. the regulatory risk also has implications given that many other countries are taking action on this. at times, it is faster than in this country. me that we did a look at the end of the last administration of adaptation in the private sector. .t was really shocking this sort of answers the previous question about how things are accelerating. 100 were mostp worried about contingency.
keeping operations going. only 18% were using long-term climate models to think about things. now it is almost 40%. that has been just a few years. supplyea about the chains and understanding an event in one part of the world that will affect you, it is really taking off. >> thanks. we have time for one as long as it is brief. showingt row is really up with questions. thank you. to talk a little more about the highway transportation bills that are going through. where transportation is located often determines where private investment will go and where they will develop? . where should we look at transportation bills to keep people from building in the wrong places? >> that is a good question.
i will leave that to the panelists. but two things stick out to me on the transportation bill. three things, actually. it is a viable legislative vehicle and the has to be transportation authorization. that means it will attract lots of attention and everyone will have their ideas for what the committees and what the members can do. we heard about one of the existing block grant programs. there are other block grant programs. in particular, the transportation block grants. there is promoting operations for efficient and cost saving transportation which --those are ways for the government to encourage the aspects that panelists have talked about. but questions about land use and transportation planning, i am happy to turn over to the panel.
i am not familiar with the bill. but speaking generally in terms of transportation and what we can be doing, i was struck to the last point in your question -- i was struck by the last point in your question. how do you diss incentivize -- maladaptation? where a one and 100 flood is now a one and 25 year -- a one-in-100 flood is now one-in- 25-year. how do we update to running and regulations to diss incentivize -- disincentivize infrastructure in areas we know are at risk. >> a couple of things. one is to make sure that the planning and design of the
infrastructure will be based on the best available data and the most updated flood maps. you are talking about a structure that has a life expectancy of 50 plus years. another thing is known as "no regret" policies or practices. you incorporate flexible features. you may not know for sure what it will look like in 30 years. but what you might do is make sure that structure can be as , expanded, raised, elevated, or retrofitted in some way to cope with a projection that exceeds the baseline. bridge that has structures that are designed for certain heights. but they can be elevated further should the need arise. and it can be done cheaply. you have to factor those abilities into the structure before you build it.
>> i see doug mason sitting over there. i know doug was part of an effort. the hoover institute put out a paper on infrastructure and principles for climate resilient infrastructure. i was just reading through it the other day. i can't remember what the six or so principles were. there are experts like doug in the room that would be a wealth of expertise and advice. >> i think we will have to end it there. speaking to the bill, we have a wonderful fact sheet. nature-based solutions in the transportation bill. let me thank anna, amber, savannah, georgia, and that sentia for today's
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