Senate Hearing Looks at Financial Risks of Climate Disclosure

Washington, DC (October 31, 2007)- The Senate held a hearing to look at the financial risks and opportunities posed by climate risk disclosure. Chairman of the Securities, Insurance, and Investment subcommittee Jack Reed (D-RI) began the hearing by noting that while many businesses regard climate change as posing both a commercial risk and an important business opportunity, climate risk disclosure is very rare. “Markets work best when they have accurate information,” Sen. Reed stated. “Informational transparency is therefore vitally important if financial markets are to price climate risks and opportunities efficiently.”

Among the witnesses was Russell Read, the Chief Investment Officer of California Public Employees’ Retirement System, which manages more than $250 billion in investments for California’s state employees. He and other witnesses emphasized the need for the Securities and Exchange Commission to use its authority to require climate risk disclosures. “We cannot assess companies’ financial viability unless we know their potential exposure to climate change-related risks and potential benefits,” Mr. Read said.
Related Resources:
Financial Week
US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Insurance Industry’s Response to Global Warming