Past Meetup

Risky Business: Moving climate change from a political to an economic issue

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Kate Gordon, Senior Advisor, Risky Business Project and Michael Delgado, Research Analyst at the Rhodium Group

The U.S. economy faces significant and material risks from unabated climate change. Every year of inaction serves to broaden and deepen those risks. Founded by co-chairs Michael R. Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer, the Risky Business Project examines the economic risks presented by climate change and opportunities to reduce them. Our inaugural report, released in June 2014, took a classic business risk analysis approach to physical climate risk, using an integrated assessment model to overlay specific regional and sectoral data on top of heat and sea level rise projections. The project emerged with granular, actionable information for the agriculture, energy demand, and coastal real estate sectors, as well as for health and labor productivity across sectors. This presentation will focus on the strategic decisions behind taking this approach to a very partisan subject, in an attempt to move the climate debate beyond politics and into the realm of mainstream business decision-making. In particular, the presentation will focus on the specific decisions made about what data to use, and how to approach every aspect of the project from research to communication to key messengers, in a way that was most effective for a business audience while remaining unbiased and nonpartisan.

Kate Gordon is Vice Chair of Climate and Sustainable Urbanization at the Paulson Institute. She is also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University. Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Before joining the Paulson Institute, she was Senior Vice President for Climate and Energy at Next Generation, a non-partisan think tank based in San Francisco, where she worked on California policy development as well as large-scale national communications and research projects. While at Next Generation, she helped launch and lead the “Risky Business Project,” and focused on the economic risks the U.S. faces from unmitigated climate change. She still serves as a Senior Advisor to the project.

Michael Delgado is a research analyst at Rhodium Group where he works with quantitative tools to assess macroeconomic and market impact of energy and environmental trends and policy. Previously, he has worked as an energy modeler with John Weyant at Stanford University and at Livermore National Lab with the NIF/LIFE team.


RSVP to open two weeks in advance

-- 6.30pm : light refreshments
-- 7.00pm : talk