February 28, 2021
February 2021 at Policy Integrity
- Mandating the Disclosure of Climate-Related Financial Risk
- Biden Administration Kicks Off Updates to Social Cost of Carbon
- Hein to Help Lead White House Environmental Office
- Upcoming Event: Addressing the Social Costs of Driving
- A New Era for Regulatory Review
- Commentary: The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Climate Policy
- Revesz Participates in Climate Policy Discussions
While climate change imposes serious costs on corporations and their investors, climate change-related financial risk is not routinely disclosed to the public. We published a report with the Environmental Defense Fund that makes detailed recommendations on how the Securities and Exchange Commission can develop mandatory, effective rules for disclosure of climate risk. Our report was highlighted by media outlets including Bloomberg Law and IHS Markit. Heather McTeer Toney, Climate Justice Liaison for the Environmental Defense Fund and Senior Advisor to Moms Clean Air Force, included our report with her testimony on climate risk to the House Financial Services Committee.
We also published a report summarizing the discussion from our October 2020 conference on corporate climate risk. Investors, companies, researchers, and regulators convened to identify risks and explore what can be done to better assess, report, and act on them.
Last week, the Biden administration moved to restore science-based estimates for social cost of carbon and related values after they were slashed under the Trump administration. The updated damage estimates—which will serve as interim values until new, final values are calculated in the coming months—will guide policymaking as the administration works to address the climate crisis.
Richard Revesz spoke with Reuters, Bloomberg Law, and Mother Jones about the action, and was featured in a segment on Bloomberg Radio. His piece in Bloomberg Law lays out related steps the administration can take to boost climate policy using the social cost of carbon. We’ve done extensive research and advocacy work on the SCC. Our website, costofcarbon.org, compiles resources on climate damage estimates and tracks their use in policymaking.
Jayni Hein was named Senior Director for the National Environmental Policy Act and Counsel in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She joined Policy Integrity in 2014, serving as Natural Resources Director and leading our work on NEPA and public lands, among other critical climate issues. While on leave from Policy Integrity in this role, Hein will help advise the president, develop environmental policy, and coordinate federal environmental initiatives.
No comprehensive climate policy can achieve its goals without addressing the transportation sector, which is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. On Wednesday, March 24, we will co-host a webinar with the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, to be moderated by the Foundation's President and founder, Robert Atkinson. Matt Butner and Justin Gundlach will discuss Policy Integrity's recent report, A Pileup, which identifies several transportation market failures and potential policy responses, including a mileage fee. Following presentation of the report, Barb Rhode, Executive Director of the Mileage-Based User Fee Alliance, will discuss some of the suggested policy responses in more concrete detail.
Just hours after being sworn into office, President Biden signed a presidential memorandum on modernizing regulatory review. Michael Livermore’s piece in The Regulatory Review emphasizes how the memorandum reinforces longstanding values that have been threatened in recent years. Richard Revesz also authored a piece, which focuses on how the memorandum provides a significant blueprint for much-needed regulatory reforms. Livermore and Revesz’s new book, Reviving Rationality, closely examines Trump-era regulatory missteps and details how future administrations can rebuild a rational regulatory system. They’ll be discussing the book and related topics in a March 17 event hosted by UCLA Law’s Emmett Institute.
The European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists publishes a quarterly magazine featuring brief articles that contribute to recent policy discussions in the field. The most recent issue includes a piece by Jack Lienke and Jason Schwartz on U.S. climate policy architecture. Max Sarinsky and affiliated scholar Bethany Davis Noll also contributed pieces discussing previous and future domestic climate policy, respectively.
Richard Revesz recently joined some of our partner organizations for conversations on climate policy. In webinars hosted by Resources for the Future and the Environmental Law Institute, Revesz discussed key scientific and policy considerations for the Biden administration as it begins work on the social cost of carbon. He also discussed upcoming opportunities for climate action in an event held by The Nature Conservancy.