The Biden administration released a new comprehensive roadmap today that would help achieve the goals of President Biden’s May 2021 Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risks, and address the systemic risks that climate change poses to our economy.
The President has said the climate crisis is an existential threat that requires a “whole-of-government approach.” This includes using every financial tool available, from budgeting to investments to procurement.
The roadmap, a collaboration between the National Economic Council and the White House Office of Climate Advisor, outlines several goals of the Biden administration including protecting the US financial system, protecting federal government resources, and protecting vulnerable communities.
“Never before in the history of our country has a U.S. president taken such a sweeping view on climate change,” said Mindy Lubber, President and CEO of Ceres. “By looking at a broad set of issues from federal procurement, retirement, budget planning and other areas, President Biden has taken important steps to ensure that we’re on a path for a safe and sustainable future. The federal government is important both in what it does in terms of purchasing, underwriting and lending, but also as a guidepost for investors and companies. With today’s announcement combined with Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Biden administration is showing the importance of addressing climate risks and opportunities across all government agencies.”
There are six key pillars to achieve the goals of the May 2021 Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risks:
- Promoting the resilience of the U.S. financial system to climate-related financial risks;
- Incorporating climate-related financial risk into Federal financial management;
- Using Federal procurement to address climate-related financial risk;
- Protecting life savings and pensions from climate-related financial risk;
- Incorporating climate-related financial risk into Federal lending and underwriting; and
- Building resilient infrastructure and communities.
The Biden plan also takes into consideration economic justice as climate change disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color.
Ceres applauds this plan as an important step forward for the federal government in combating the climate crisis.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization working with the most influential capital market leaders to solve the world’s greatest sustainability challenges. The Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets is a center within Ceres that aims to transform the practices and policies that govern capital markets in order to reduce the worst financial impacts of the climate crisis. It spurs action on climate change as a systemic financial risk—driving the large-scale behavior and systems change needed to achieve a net zero emissions economy. For more information, visit ceres.org and ceres.org/accelerator and follow @CeresNews.