Elizabeth Warren Wants Companies To Get Real About Climate Change


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Elizabeth Warren Wants Companies To Get Real About Climate ChangeAnother day, another bold Elizabeth Warren plan. The Senator and Presidential candidate recently announced a two-pronged plan to combat climate change by forcing companies to be more upfront to investors about the financial cost of climate change. Going Green The first part of the plan calls for the SEC force companies to tell investors how unabated climate change will impact their business, with Warren noting “companies could face serious harm from climate change in any number of ways, from flooding that damages their warehouses to massive storms that disrupt their shipping routes.” Once again, climate change, bad for business, bad for everyone! The Cost Of Change: Second, Warren suggests companies reveal how efforts to combat climate change will impact certain businesses, particularly energy ones. (This isn’t something companies like Exxon like to do.) As she notes, studies have found that reducing greenhouse gas and pumping up affordable clean energy technology could have “significant, near-term financial implications” for Big Oil and fossil fuel companies. At the moment, Warren says, companies are not factoring in that if we met the goals of the Paris climate accords, “at least 82% of global coal reserves, 49% of global gas reserves, and 33% of global oil reserves will have to go unused the next 30 years,” and therefore, the market is overinflating the value of the (possibly/hopefully) soon to be less valuable fossil fuels, creating what Vice President Al Gore calls a potentially dangerous “carbon bubble.” On The Other Hand Not everyone is so down with Warren’s plan. Over at Bloomberg, Matt Levine argues that her idea might be inefficient, and it is the government’s job to educate shareholders (and everyone else) about the cost of climate change, not companies. -Michael Tedder Photo: Elizabeth Frantz / REUTERS