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Climate Change Listed as Risk to NY Bondholders

New York is warning investors that climate change poses a long-term risk to the state’s financial health, citing Hurricane Sandy and tropical storms Irene and Lee, which caused widespread damage and economic losses.

Climate change is now listed as a risk in the state’s bond offerings, alongside warnings about other hazards including unresolved litigation and potential cuts in federal spending, the New York Times reports.

The decision by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Administration follows Hurricane Sandy, which caused more than $40 billion in damage in the state after it made landfall last year, according to Bloomberg News. New York may be the first US state to warn investors of the risk caused by climate change, such as rising sea levels, flooding and erosion, the news agency says.

Moody’s Investors Service vice president Emily Raimes told the New York Time more disclosure “is always a good thing.” However, most of the risk for local and state governments from severe storms is mitigated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which provides disaster aid for the cost of the immediate cleanup and rebuilding public infrastructure, she added.

Since Hurricane Sandy, Cuomo has repeatedly talked about the link between severe weather events and climate change. He mentioned climate change in his State of the State address in January as he announced a proposal to create a green bank to spur private investment in the clean economy.

Cuomo has taken other actions aimed at energy savings and preparing for more frequent weather events. Earlier this year, Cuomo issued an executive order directing state agencies to increase energy efficiency in state buildings by 20 percent in seven years.

A draft report released in January by the NYS 2100 Commission, one of four panels appointed by Cuomo in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, has proposed a number of changes to protect the area from future super storms that could affect utilities, railways, wastewater treatment and the state’s shoreline.

Developers also are rethinking how they design buildings in New York City, following Hurricane Sandy, which sent rising water rushing over embankments and into the basements of residential buildings. Developers of several residential buildings are working with engineers and construction crews to make design changes, such as installing mechanical equipment on the upper floors, as well as adding protective measures, including floodgates and backup generators.

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4 thoughts on “Climate Change Listed as Risk to NY Bondholders

  1. What’s worse than a comet hit? A climate crisis!
    Science can say a comet hit is real but can’t say a climate change crisis is as real as a comet hit. Not one IPCC warning isn’t qualified with “maybes”. Help my house could be on fire maybe?

  2. What’s worse than a simple misinformed but well meaning comment? An internet troll!
    Mememine69 keeps posting the same nonsensical comments to stories across the web. I have already refuted this particular comment type. See here for an example: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/03/18/manufacturers-freaked-out-about-climate-guidelines/comment-page-1/#comment-961141. Here is the relevant excerpt from my reply to mememine69 on that page: “The complaints by mememine69 are groundless – no individual, group, or movement can ever predict the future with 100% accuracy or certainty. It is simply absurd to demand such certainty. However, just look at the consistent percentage of top climate scientists who agree that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is both real and a danger: around 98%. And that supermajority of climate scientists in agreement with AGW has persisted as more and more studies are completed and published, as more and more data roll in, and as the scientific discussion has proceeded. Scientists, and the scientific process, are about as skeptical as can be imagined – but they do pay attention to the data and they do allow that data to influence their thinking and their hypotheses. And that data has continued to convince 98% of them. It’s just too bad that climate change deniers refuse to listen to the same data, and refuse to pay attention to the experts in the field (especially when the deniers themselves so obviously lack any real scientific expertise).”

  3. this direct connection from climate change to economic devastation is exactly what is needed. It was established over a decade ago–reinsurance companies (those who insure the insurance companies) figured out that it was going to cost them dearly if climate change wasn’t addressed. They were the canary in the financial coal mine. We all need to understand this now, down to the personal investor.

  4. Climate change deniers will never completely disappear. The fossil fuel industry will ensure that. There once was a time when the Flat Earth Society was quite the rage among the least informed people.The difference is that they were not being funded by a trillion dollar industry. The antidote: More scientists need to get out of their ivory tower and speak truth to power. We all know this: the longer we wait, the more difficult it will be, and the more we will regret that we didn’t get off active a lot earlier.

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