Fed names climate as risk to financial stability

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington, DC. Wikimedia

The Federal Reserve, for the first time, named climate change as a risk to financial stability.

In its biannual financial stability report, the Fed also said banks should be more transparent about how their assets are vulnerable to frequent and severe weather, but stopped short of explicitly calling on banks to do so. The Fed itself is still learning how capital markets are vulnerable to climate change and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told reporters it would be working to learn from other central banks and regulators.

The Fed’s announcement comes as banks are preparing for increased climate-related scrutiny under a Biden administration. Last week, SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee warned global warming is a systemic risk that “looms even larger than the pandemic” and could “have even more grave human and economic costs than we have witnessed in these last eight months.”

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