White House unveils climate finance road map, highlights lending and
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[October 15, 2021]
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White
House published a report on Friday outlining projects to measure and
address the risks that climate change poses to Americans and the
economy, including programs to better incorporate climate threats into
federal lending programs and budgeting processes.
Many of the projects laid out in the report are not new, including
mandatory disclosure rules under consideration by the Securities and
Exchange Commission to bring more clarity to investors about climate
change-related investment risk.
But the report highlights government-wide efforts to address the issues
at a key moment, weeks before President Joe Biden participates in the
Oct. 31-Nov. 12 COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
"We have more work to do, but this is a critical first step in our
efforts to address the systemic threat that climate change poses to our
economy, our workers and our families as well as our retirees," White
House domestic climate change adviser Gina McCarthy said on a call with
reporters previewing the report.
The report pledges that the White House will include an assessment of
the federal government's climate risk exposure in its annual budget and
notes that government agencies will improve federal underwriting and
lending program standards to better address the climate-related
financial risks to their loan portfolios.
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White House Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy holds a news conference in
the parking garage at Union Station in front of new EV charging
stations in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Evelyn
The Department of Housing and Urban Development is
also working to identify options to incorporate climate-related
considerations into mortgages, the White House said.
The report responds to an executive order Biden issued in May
requiring development of a government-wide climate-risk strategy
within 120 days, as well as an annual assessment of climate-related
fiscal risks as part of the U.S. budget.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Peter Cooney)
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