Tags: paulson | climate | change

Henry Paulson: Climate Change Biggest Risk to Economy

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 07:14 AM

Former treasury secretary Henry Paulson said that "the single biggest risk that exists to the economy today" is climate change,  Forbes reported.

He made the comments during a panel discussion with Prime Minister Helle Thorning of Denmark at the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.

Paulson, who served in the administration of president George W. Bush, likened greenhouse gas emissions to the excess debt that contributed to the 2008 financial meltdown. He said that just as unsound U.S. government policies spurred banking incentives that fed reckless borrowing to finance homes, current climate policy is encouraging the overuse of carbon-based fuels, Forbes reported.

"I am looking at this through the lens of risk – climate change is not only a risk to the environment but it is the single biggest risk that exists to the economy today," Paulson said.
He would put a price on carbon – a tax that would help market forces quantify the value of spending to address the problem.

The economic risks of climate change are outlined in a report  backed by Paulson that was issued by the Risky Business Project, funded partly by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist.

Former Clinton administration treasury secretary Robert Rubin, former Reagan administration secretary of state George Schultz, and former George H. W. Bush administration Environmental Protection Agency administrator William Reilly, have all urged Congress to pass market-based methods to reduce emissions, the Washington Examiner reported.

Paulson said businesses could not be expected to act on climate change in the absence of federal direction.

The discussion took place in advance of Tuesday's start of the United Nations climate change summit in New York which brings together some 120 world leaders.

This U.N. meeting is intended to set the stage for the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where nations will try to agree on universally binding emissions policies, the Examiner reported.

Some 73 countries have agreed to put a price on carbon emissions, the World Bank announced  on Monday. The list includes China, Russia, and the European Union. Absent are the United States and India.

President Barack Obama has pursued his global warming agenda through executive action. Neither centrist Democrats nor Republicans are keen to back policies that unilaterally restrain emissions on the grounds that it would disadvantage the U.S. economy, according to the Examiner.

Thorning-Schmidt said Denmark was able to achieve economic growth even as it has been cutting its greenhouse gas emissions. She urged other countries to also set long term emission reduction targets, the Examiner reported.

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Former treasury secretary Henry Paulson said that the single biggest risk that exists to the economy today is climate change, Forbes reported. He made the comments during a panel discussion with Prime Minister Helle Thorning of Denmark at the Clinton Global Initiative's...
paulson, climate, change
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2014-14-23
Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 07:14 AM
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