Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement applauding the Biden administration’s announcement that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is establishing a Climate Risk Unit and an earlier announcement that the Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking public input on its rules for climate risk disclosures:
“We can’t continue to ignore the risk that climate change poses to our financial markets. I’m glad the Biden administration is taking this threat seriously and establishing a Climate Risk Unit. This is a welcome response to the questions Senator Rubio and I raised last year regarding the financial risks posed by climate change.
“I’m also pleased that Treasury Secretary Yellen is creating a new senior post at the department to handle climate risk and that the SEC is making climate risk a priority.
“Reducing carbon emissions is the best way to fight climate change. However, as we work toward the goal of net-zero emissions, we must also accept that climate change is creating a substantial strain on our financial system and plan for that reality.
“In California, we understand this threat all too well. Wildfires and other climate-related natural disasters have cost billions of dollars and are driving up the price of insurance for homeowners. Rising sea levels threaten our coastal economies. And farmers are still recovering from the historic drought that struck the West just a few years ago.
“I’ll continue to work with the Biden administration and my congressional colleagues to look for other ways to ensure financial regulators are including climate change in their financial assessments. We can’t afford to do nothing.”
- Senator Feinstein is the author of the Addressing Climate Financial Risk Act, a bill to improve the ability of federal regulators to understand and mitigate risks from climate change within the financial system.
- In January, Senator Feinstein called on Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to implement key provisions of the Addressing Climate Financial Risk Act including creating a permanent Advisory Committee on Climate Financial Risk made up of experts on climate financial risk, climate economics and climate change.
- Last September, Senator Feinstein called on the Treasury Department’s Federal Insurance Office to issue a report on the impact of increased wildfire risk due to climate change on private insurance markets.
- Last June, Senators Feinstein and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to include specific recommendations for addressing the financial risk of climate change in the upcoming report by its Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee, the first federal financial regulator advisory committee focused on the risk climate change poses to the financial system.