The latest alarm bell to be rung on climate change — last Friday’s government report warning that the damage caused by the warming planet could shrink the U.S. economy by 10% by the end of the century — is expected to support the push for mandatory climate-risk disclosures among corporations, according to experts, writes MarketWatch, a business newsletter.
But much remains to be done to get companies to consistently make disclosures on how climate-change-related events, such as the recent deadly wildfires in California, are impacting business. ‘[W]e are looking at an economic crisis that, not unlike the subprime meltdown, will impact every sector of the economy and company within it”, says Mindy Lubber, chief executive of the sustainability-oriented nonprofit Ceres. According to Lubber, the report differed from other climate studies in one respect: most climate research is science-based and tends to seek to generate a sense of urgency around time frames, public health and the future of the planet. “This one zeroed in on the economic impact, and that’s very important because we are looking at an economic crisis that, not unlike the subprime meltdown, will impact every sector of the economy and company within it,” she said.
In 2017, The Guardian reported that since 1988, just 100 companies, mostly in the energy sector, were responsible for 71% of the world’s carbon emissions, suggesting that action by a limited number of corporations could yield significant reductions.