Politics Joe Biden considers ordering climate confessions
Hunter Biden admits laptop 'certainly’ ‘could be’ his
Hunter Biden admitted the laptop whose hard drive contents were obtained by the media in late 2020 “certainly could be” his after all, with President Joe Biden’s son suggesting the laptop could have been stolen or hacked and hinting without evidence that Russian intelligence might be behind it. © Patrick Semansky/AP President Joe Biden walks with his son Hunter Biden, left, Hunter Biden's wife Melissa Cohen and son Beau, before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Friday, March 26, 2021. The Bidens are spending the weekend at their home in Delaware.
President Joe Biden is readying an executive order that would require companies to disclose the risks they face from climate change, special climate envoy John Kerry said this week.
Kerry didn’t elaborate on the details of the order or the timing, but the move would fulfill aBiden made on the campaign trail to require all public companies to report their emissions and climate-related risks.
Already, the Biden administration has taken a number of actions to bolster capacity at agencies such as the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and the Federal Reserve to address the risks climate change poses to the financial system. Last month, the SECon establishing a regime for climate disclosures.
Hunter Biden’s tell-all memoir leaves out China deals, missing gun, DOJ investigation, and more
Hunter Biden’s memoir is notable for what it doesn’t discuss, gliding past deals with shady Chinese businessmen, not mentioning the name of the child he had with a stripper, noting his infamous “purported” laptop only once, and avoiding a Justice Department tax investigation and a missing gun incident altogether. © Provided by Washington Examiner Biden claimed in his book, titled Beautiful Things, that “I became a proxy for Donald Trump’s fear that he wouldn’t be reelected. He pushed debunked conspiracy theories about work I did in Ukraine and China.
The early moves from Biden's team on climate finance have already drawnfrom Republican lawmakers, who say the administration's efforts are a politically motivated attempt to choke off capital to fossil fuels.
Kerry, during remarks Wednesday at a virtual event hosted by the International Monetary Fund, said climate disclosure requirements will shift the allocation of capital.
“Suddenly, people are going to be making evaluations considering long-term risks to their investment based on the climate crisis,” Kerry said. “And that will encourage new investment, as well as laws in countries,” such as tax incentives to support clean energy technologies, he added.
The truth behind companies' 'net zero' climate commitments
Going green is in fashion — but are corporate claims of going green reliable?What do these corporate pronouncements mean? Imagine you want to use your tax refund to buy stock and you pick the oil industry giant BP because you learn the company has pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050. Or suppose you are a young professional deciding whether to accept a job offer from the consumer products giant Amazon, impressed by the company's claims that it is "committed to" sustainability.
Kerry’s remarks came following comments from IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva saying that overseeing and standardizing climate disclosures is an important role for global financial entities.
“We have to make the invisible visible — the transition risk that banks are carrying because they’re invested in high-carbon activities that, over time, are going to be phased out and the physical risks, investments in highly vulnerable coastal areas or in agriculture that could be affected by floods or droughts,” Georgieva said.
Understanding what risks banks and companies face is paramount, she said, and the IMF is aiming to stress test those levels of risk to determine how well the financial system could handle them. Georgieva said big investment firms are also demanding disclosures so they can understand their own potential risks.
Environmental advocates have broadly welcomed the Biden administration’s actions thus far on climate finance. They see disclosure requirements as a necessary component of the U.S. approach to curbing climate change.
It's time to declare a national climate emergency
This month, President Biden will convene 40 world leaders to discuss the urgency of climate action and strengthen global cooperation on key climate goals. But before the president takes the global stage at the Leaders Summit on Climate, there's something he should do at home: declare a national climate emergency here in the United States.In recent years, we have seen the effects of the climate crisis, both in our own backyard and around the world. From wildfires raging across Oregon and the West, to hurricanes wreaking havoc in the southeast, and increasing average temperatures everywhere in between, the impacts have been devastating.
“That alone will not get us to a net-zero future, but we will never, never get to a net-zero future without mandatory, across-the-board climate disclosure,” said Steven Rothstein, managing director of the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Capital Markets.
“We are anticipating the executive order and are hopeful that it will send a positive and strong signal across the marketplace,” he added.
The Obama administration in 2010 issued SEC guidance on climate disclosures, but such reporting wasn’t mandated, so whether and how much companies report their emissions and climate risks has been largely inconsistent.
Recently, however, many investors, including major asset managers such as BlackRock, have called on governments to require climate disclosures, especially as those investors work to align their own portfolios with the Paris climate agreement.
Ben Ratner, a senior director at the Environmental Defense Fund, said the Biden administration now has an opportunity to move away from “scattershot” climate disclosures.
“Raising the bar will help the market accurately price climate risk and further the competitiveness of American businesses on the evolving global stage,” Ratner said. “Sector-level reporting guidance, including companies’ climate lobbying, are important elements of a robust U.S. response.”
Biden releases breakdown of what needs fixing for infrastructure plan
Republicans slammed President Joe Biden's $2.7 trillion infrastructure plan as a 'dog's breakfast of slush funds' for Democrats as White House releases state-by-state breakdown of what needs fixing.Biden will host four GOP lawmakers - along with four Democratic ones - on Monday to discuss his massive infrastructure plan, which Republicans have criticized for containing more than traditional infrastructure projects.
U.S. agencies are also increasingly engaging on the international stage on climate finance. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is co-chairing the G20’s sustainable finance group. The Federal Reserve joined the Network for Greening the Financial System, a global network of central banks working on climate change, late last year. The SEC is participating in efforts by the International Organization of Securities Commissions to improve the consistency of climate disclosures globally.
Rothstein, though, said the Biden administration shouldn’t wait for a “world standard” for climate disclosure.
“Literally, parts of our country are on fire, other parts are seeing droughts, other people are seeing ice storms, so we need to act and act quickly,” he added. While it’s important to coordinate globally, he said, the United States can’t “wait for international consensus.”
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Climate change: Biden aims to cement US credibility on climate and galvanize world leaders at virtual summit .
President Joe Biden's ability to galvanize global momentum faces its first major test this week when he convenes 40 of his foreign counterparts for talks on combating the climate crisis. © MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images US President Joe Biden speaks on climate change, creating jobs, and restoring scientific integrity before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 27, 2021.