climate-change-money.jpg

Wall Street Warns About Cost Of Doing Nothing On Climate Change

As President Obama heads to the Arctic to discuss climate change, just mere weeks after approving Shell Oil’s bid to drill for oil in the treacherous Chukchi Sea, a very different group is sounding the alarm over the dangers of a warming climate. That group, surprisingly, is Wall Street bankers.

Citibank has released a new report showing that taking action now against the growing threat of climate change would save an astonishing $1.8 trillion by the year 2040. Conversely, the report says that if no action is taken, the economy will lose as much as $44 trillion during that same time period.

As Think Progress points out, the Citibank report takes into account the potential lost revenue from leaving resources in the ground — including 80% of coal reserves, half of the world’s gas reserves, and a third of global oil reserves — and still concludes that the global economy would see a net gain.

This report offers a very stark contrast to the typical talking point that we hear as to why we can’t take action on climate change — that action would simply cost too much. 

But this is not the first time that financial leaders have warned about the financial dangers of climate change.

Earlier this summer, a group of current and former Wall Street executives and former U.S. Treasury Secretaries warned that a 2 degrees Celsius increase in global temperatures could result in property losses in the state of Florida totaling $23 billion by the middle of this century. On top of the economic losses from property being underwater, the Southeast would also begin to see an alarming rise in yearly deaths due to extreme heat, with some estimates putting the yearly death toll as high as 35,000 people a year.  Agricultural losses could be as high as 20% of current yield.

If Wall Street understands the threat of climate change, even if only in terms of dollars, then this begs the question as to why they continue to fund climate change denying politicians.

Since 2014, Wall Street banks, real estate firms, and insurance companies — all industries that have expressed enormous concern over the financial threat of climate change — have poured an astonishing $507 million into political campaigns and lobbying activities.  62% of this money went to Republicans.

The reason that Party split is significant is because we have more climate change-denying members of the House and Senate then at any other point in time, and nearly every single one of them are members of the Republican Party.  According to an analysis by Think Progress, 53% of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives deny that climate change is real, and 70% of Republicans in the Senate refuse to admit that climate change is real.

If they want to be taken seriously, and if they want their financial concerns addressed by politicians, then Wall Street bankers need to immediately stop the flow of corporate campaign cash that is going to climate change deniers. As long as those people hold seats of power in Washington, D.C., then we will continue to see action stalled year after year.

 

Image source – Huffington Post UK.

We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?
We’ve got big plans for 2024
Seeking out climate solutions, big and small. Investigating the influence of oil and gas lobbyists. Holding leaders accountable for protecting the natural world.

The Narwhal’s reporting team is busy unearthing important environmental stories you won’t read about anywhere else in Canada. And we’ll publish it all without corporate backers, ads or a paywall.

How? Because of the support of a tiny fraction of readers like you who make our independent, investigative journalism free for all to read.

Will you join more than 6,000 members helping us pull off critical reporting this year?

See where 120 orphaned baby bears take shelter as B.C. wildfires and drought shrink their habitat

It’s early February and the fields surrounding Northern Lights Wildlife Society shelter in Smithers, B.C., are bare and brown. Extreme drought conditions that dried up...

Continue reading

Recent Posts

Thousands of members make The Narwhal’s independent journalism possible. Will you help power our work in 2024?
Will you help power our journalism in 2024?
… which means our newsletter has become the most important way we connect with Narwhal readers like you. Will you join the nearly 90,000 subscribers getting a weekly dose of in-depth climate reporting?
A line chart in green font colour with the title "Our Facebook traffic has cratered." Chart shows about 750,000 users via Facebook in 2019, 1.2M users in 2020, 500,000 users in 2021, 250,000 users in 2022, 100,000 users in 2023.
… which means our newsletter has become the most important way we connect with Narwhal readers like you. Will you join the nearly 90,000 subscribers getting a weekly dose of in-depth climate reporting?
A line chart in green font colour with the title "Our Facebook traffic has cratered." Chart shows about 750,000 users via Facebook in 2019, 1.2M users in 2020, 500,000 users in 2021, 250,000 users in 2022, 100,000 users in 2023.
Overlay Image