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‘Slam the Brakes’: Regulator Flags Environment Risk in Markets

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” Frequent and disastrous” economic shocks caused by climate change threaten to weaken the stability of the U.S. monetary system, according to a first-of-its-kind report from a monetary regulator.

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The watershed document was released the other day by a climate-focused subcommittee within the Product Futures Trading Commission, a federal company that manages derivatives markets.

The CFTC task force was created in 2015 to investigate worldwide warming’s potential to topple financial markets– and to identify what steps the federal government needs to require to avoid that result.

The subcommittee’s work led to a sweeping, 165- page publication that was unequivocal in its evaluation of the danger.

” U.S. financial regulators must recognize that environment modification presents serious emerging dangers to the U.S. monetary system, and they must move urgently and decisively to determine, comprehend, and address these risks,” wrote the authors.

They added that international warming has actually begun to impact “almost every facet of the U.S. economy.” It’s a truth they stated could threaten the wellness of countless American homes– particularly those that are low-income or otherwise marginalized.

That conclusion is not necessarily unexpected. It mirrors a swath of existing research study and is in line with advocacy efforts from financial firms, academics and green groups that for years have trumpeted their concerns about the monetary perils of international warming.

But 2 components of the file, said report co-author Nathaniel Keohane of the Environmental Defense Fund, are especially notable: who asked for it, and who backed it.

For beginners, he stated, the task force’s work was all requested by all five CFTC commissioners– three Republicans, 2 Democrats– each of whom was designated by President Trump. In his eyes, “the broad acknowledgment by the CFTC that this is a real concern that needs to be addressed” is substantial in itself.

And 2nd, the conclusions were approved by the whole subcommittee, Keohane stated. That group is made up of more than 30 representatives from a broad swath of companies, consisting of ConocoPhillips, Morgan Stanley, BP PLC and the Nature Conservancy.

Subcommittee Chairman Bob Litterman, who is a founding partner at New York-based investment firm Kepos Capital, concurred.

He highlighted the panel’s top-line recommendation, which implores Congress to establish a carbon price to help slash planet-warming emissions and force capital markets in a greener direction.

” Monetary markets are very effective and efficient at assigning capital offered the incentives that they deal with. Now, we don’t have adequate incentives; for that reason, capital is not streaming in the right direction. And the monetary markets can’t alter that by themselves,” Litterman stated.

” We have to slam on the brakes, and that’s what this report states in no uncertain terms,” he added.

The subcommittee listed dozens of other suggestions that suggest ways that numerous regulators must integrate climate considerations into their existing requireds.

For instance, the Financial Stability Oversight Council– a panel established by the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Security Act– must think about environment risk as it oversees nationwide financial stability.

The Securities and Exchange Commission was similarly motivated to examine its guidance that determines how business report the environment threats they deal with. The job force wrote that improving that guidance, which dates back to 2010, would help “achieve higher consistency in disclosure to assist notify the marketplace.”

The report likewise contacted financial regulators to join various worldwide unions that for many years have led efforts to address environment danger. Amongst them is the Network for Greening the Financial System, a group of more than 50 foreign central banks and regulators that are working to press financial systems to meet the climate objectives of the Paris Arrangement.

The Federal Reserve has yet to become an official member of the network. Its absence stands in contrast to previous declarations by Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who on several occasions has acknowledged the reserve bank’s duty to ensure that major banks are “resilient to the longer-term dangers from environment modification” ( Climatewire, Feb. 12).

” The U.S. is the huge issue right now,” said Litterman, who previously directed danger management at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. “The Europeans are prepared to progress. The Chinese are prepared to move forward. They are awaiting the U.S.”

To be sure, several panel members said their basic approval of the file did not equate to assistance of every point in the last file.

Report co-author Daniel Paul, the supervisor of risk and regulatory affairs at ConocoPhillips, said in a statement that regardless of being broadly supportive of the report, its analysis and conclusions “do not always show in every instance” the views of his company.

Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley said the very same.

” Our company believe that with respect to specific recommendations, such as those around disclosure, there are difficulties that require additional research study and evaluation by pertinent authorities responsible for the development and application of any extra regulatory assistance or requirements within their regulative scope,” the 3 firms wrote in a joint statement.

Nevertheless, specialists stated the report likely would guide how the CFTC, other monetary regulators and the federal government deal with climate-related threat.

” We have not yet resolved environment risk in the financial system. That is obviously a problem, and the report has 53 specific suggestions on how it can be resolved,” Litterman stated. “Going forward, this is going to be an obvious question to every monetary regulator and Congress. It’s obviously part of the nationwide discussion now.”

Reprinted from Climatewire with consent from E&E News. E&E supplies daily coverage of important energy and environmental news at www.eenews.net

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