Insurance and Climate Change column

50 Big Corporations Pushing Congress for Clean Energy Tax

By | April 28, 2022
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As Congress is poised to return from a break, nearly 50 major reporting at least $200 million in annual revenue urged lawmakers to pass an economic package with massive investments into clean energy projects.

A letter from businesses including Adobe, Airbnb, IKEA, HP, Lyft, Redfin, and Salesforce, calls on legislators to consider a new package of tax credits for clean energy development, as well as incentives for consumers and companies moving to clean vehicles and energy systems, more investments in supply chains and improved manufacturing capabilities, and for advancing resilient forestry and climate friendly agricultural practices.

The effort was organized by Ceres, and it states that “clean energy will be the backbone of America’s economic infrastructure and the key to the global competitiveness of American businesses.”

The letter also outlines economic benefits if the policies being called for were to be included in the economic package:

  • Saving the typical U.S. household $500 annually on energy costs;
  • Reducing supply chain delays by growing domestic capacity.
  • Providing new economic opportunities for disadvantaged and rural communities.
  • Ensuring that the U.S. can meet global demand for the advanced technology to lead the world in clean energy manufacturing.

4% Loss

Climate change could cost 4% of global annual economic output in the next few decades, and could hit many poorer parts of the world disproportionately hard, according to a new study of 135 countries.

S&P Global published a report on Tuesday examining the likely impact of rising sea levels, and more regular heat waves, droughts and storms, an article from Reuters published on Insurance Journal this week states.

Exposure to wildfires, floods, major storms and also water shortages mean South Asia has 10% to 18% of GDP at risk. Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa regions all face sizable losses. East Asia and Pacific countries face similar levels of exposure largely due to storms and floods rather than heat waves and drought, according to the article.

“To different degrees, this is an issue for the world,” S&P’s government credit analyst Roberto Sifon-Arevalo told Reuters. “One thing that really jumps out is the need for international support for many of these (poorer) parts of the world.”

According to the article, nations around the equator and small islands tend to be at greater risk, while those with economies that rely more agriculture are likely to be more affected than those with large services sectors.

Eight Years

“Eight years left to turn the ship,” reads the ominous headline from a CBS article on Wednesday.

The article features interviews with scientists sharing their thoughts on how climate change could change daily life for people and the planet.

In short, those interviewed by CBS say today’s extreme events are just a glimpse of what’s to come.

“We are seeing already big increases in large storms. Hurricane Harvey hit Houston and Hurricane Sandy in New York,” said atmospheric physicist Alex Hall, director of the UCLA Center of Climate Science. “…That’s what we’ve been predicting with a warmer world and we will have more of those types of impacts.”

Deborah Brosnan, a scientist and marine resilience specialist, told the news outlet that the events will continue to rapidly evolve, with more intense heat waves in the Pacific Northwest, and those who live in low-lying island nations dealing with significant storm surge and economic repercussions.

“In some areas, you’ve had like 100 feet of beach has disappeared,” Brosnan told CBS. “…Where do people who live this close to the ocean go? Where do they go for new jobs? Where do they relocate? The islands are going to face a huge economic burden and they don’t have the resources to do it.”

Scientific American

An ocean current that transports heat around the globe and helps to regulate weather patterns throughout the North Atlantic is at its weakest point in the last 1,000 years, and it may be slowing down.

Whether climate change is causing the slowdown or is it just a natural fluctuation isn’t entirely clear, but it’s probably a bit of both, the say the scientists studying it.

It may be that the climate change signal has yet to push the current outside of historically normal behavior – in other words the signal from natural variability “basically dominates” the signal from human-caused warming, lead study author Mojib Latif, a scientist at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel in Germany, said in an article this week in Scientific American.

The article explains that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation current ferries heat between the equator and the Arctic, making it largely responsible for the mild weather conditions enjoyed throughout Europe and the eastern U.S.

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Topics Energy

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