Our monthly newsletters keep our clients, partners and networks up to date on our latest projects and news from the rapidly growing world of climate resilience and adaptation.
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BlackRock Worries About Climate Change. Trump Doesn't.
Late March 2017 Newsletter
The Executive Order (EO) signed by President Trump on March 28 aims to unravel many critical components of U.S. climate policy, mandating Federal agencies to rewrite the Clean Power Plan, lift a moratorium on federal coal leasing and remove the requirement that federal officials consider the impact of climate change and integrate the social cost of carbon when making decisions. The EO opens the door to years of litigation as a number of the regulations it seeks to remove are mandated by law, as is, for example, the EPA’s obligation to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.
The New Normal
Mid-March 2017 Newsletter
With an extreme snowstorm headed to the East Coast ready to wipe out early shoots and buds from February’s record-breaking heat, increasing variability in weather events is on the minds of many. To help with preparations for future heat events and understand the new normal, Four Twenty Seven has developed a tool to understand how heat vulnerability is increasing in the United States. This series of maps combine projections from global climate models with socioeconomic indicators of heat vulnerability to compare the complex and interconnected components of heat risk and resilience by county.
Successful Strategies For Adaptation Planning In Local Government
March 2017 Newsletter
Integrating climate change considerations into local planning processes can be a daunting task. Four Twenty Seven has developed a streamlined process to support local governments in their efforts to integrate climate risk into key planning efforts: local hazard mitigation plans, general plans, climate action plans, etc. This case study presents Four Twenty Seven’s work for six cities in Alameda County, California, with support from the Alameda County waste authority StopWaste, to respond to California’s Senate Bill 379 and integrate climate risk into local hazard mitigation plans and develop adaptation strategies.
The Rise of Climate-Competent Boards
February 2017 Newsletter
With the decreasing likelihood in the United States that the federal government will push for guidelines to assess and manage climate risk, investors are taking matters into their own hands in order to avoid unnecessary losses. Rich Ferlauto, former SEC Deputy Director of Investor Education and Advocacy, writes in a Pensions & Investments op-ed that the change in administration doesn’t affect the scientific reality that predicts widespread disruption to companies that do not plan for climate change.
Happy Holidays from Four Twenty Seven
Holiday 2016 Newsletter
We wish you a peaceful and happy holiday season!
In 2017, we wish for hope, ambition, and fortitude to confront the challenges of our times. We are confident the world can keep moving forward to reduce poverty, create a low-carbon resilient economy, and celebrate diversity.
A Market Imperative
December 2016 Newsletter
Climate risk disclosures are more important than ever. In the context of the Trump Presidency and the latest round of cabinet appointments, it may be tempting to dismiss the risk associated with the “Energy Transition” — the rapid transition to a low-carbon economy. It may be tempting to ignore the need to disclose risks from the physical impacts of climate change in a context that promises fewer regulations and a dismissal of climate policy.
Yet, there’s no escaping the science and the reality of climate change, and the Trump administration’s stance on climate change gives even more urgency to both transition and physical risks of climate change.
Climate change and its impacts are not going away, and will likely worsen at an increasing rate if we continue to ignore them. Looking out a few years, these same physical impacts from climate change will eventually force us to transition rapidly away from fossil fuels to stop further degradation of the climate, leading to a ripple effect across the economy as entire value chains relying on fossil fuels, including major energy and transportation systems, will need to adapt – potentially at a high cost. The only question is how fast, and how expensive.
Investing in Climate Resilience
November 2016 Newsletter
The Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment Working Group (GARI) was launched at Paris COP21 in conjunction with the UN Secretary General’s A2R Climate Resilience Initiative. GARI brings together private investors and other stakeholders to focus on the practical intersection of investment and climate adaptation and resilience.
At COP22, GARI and Four Twenty Seven have released “Bridging the Adaptation Gap,” a discussion paper focused on (1) Approaches to Measurement of Physical Climate Risk and (2) Examples of Investment in Climate Adaptation and Resilience.”
Cities Mark the Path to Resilience
Late October 2016 Newsletter
With more than half of the world’s population living in urban areas — a figure expected to increase to two-thirds by the middle of the century — it is no surprise that cities have a critical role to play in global efforts to both mitigate climate change and build resilience. City leaders can often work more nimbly than can state and national officials, developing innovative, localized approaches for reducing emissions, managing water supplies, or protecting communities from climate-related hazards.
There are limits to what cities can do on their own, however. Private companies will greatly benefit from the work that cities are engaged in to increase resilience – whether in the form of safer, more reliable public infrastructure or improved planning and preparation for more frequent extreme weather events. Cities are struggling to fund these efforts and often don’t have the internal capacity to evaluate or develop new financing options. While this creates an obvious opportunity for private companies to step in and step up to advance these projects, financing is just one way that cities and companies can collaborate. CDP’s recent report on cross sector collaboration in cities highlights diverse opportunities for cities to engage with their business communities ranging from knowledge sharing to project implementation to financing. Understanding what is already working in cities around the world is key to moving at the speed and scale required to protect our communities.
At Four Twenty Seven, we also see the value in these partnerships, but seek to further understand their impact, and leverage the specific factors that make them successful. How are cities defining their “ask” when working with private companies? What roles can our business community (both large and small) play in building community resilience? Which of our many “wicked” public policy problems will benefit most from business engagement? Increased cross sector collaboration is not an end in and of itself – but it can be a critical step in the right direction.
As on all fronts of the climate challenge, there is more work to do, but much promise in collaborating to build vibrant communities that are well prepared for the rest of the 21st century and beyond.
The Forgotten Victims of Hurricane Matthew
October 2016 Newsletter
It would be easy to overlook the devastating impacts of Hurricane Matthews. With media and political leaders almost entirely focused on the presidential election, it can be hard to even get basic facts on the extent of the damages along the storm track.
Yet Haiti is going through its worth humanitarian crisis since the 2010 earthquake. Entire villages have been wiped out and many are left with nothing. As is so often the case, the most vulnerable countries are also the most exposed, reminding us that climate change remains a significant obstacle to the eradication of poverty and sustainable economic growth.
Even in the United States, the impacts have been much worse than anticipated, with over a dozen dead in North Carolina and crippling floods, in pattern of extremes becoming increasingly the norm.
Our responsibility in the wake of these events is to keep raising awareness of the need to prepare and adapt to climate impacts, and channel greater funding towards improving infrastructure and social resilience. Hurricanes will come back, and so will floods and heat waves and wildfires. It’s time to invest in resilience.
Four Twenty Seven Founder & CEO Receives 2016 Berkeley Visionary Award
Late September 2016 Newsletter
On Monday, Sept. 26, the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce honored climate risk expert Emilie Mazzacurati, Founder and CEO of Four Twenty Seven, with the 2016 Berkeley Visionary Award.
“The Chamber of Commerce is excited to recognize Emilie Mazzacurati and the team at Four Twenty Seven for their role in making the world a more climate-resilient place. Four Twenty Seven work guiding organizations that need to understand, quantify, and monetize the impacts of climate change on their operations and the communities that surround them is quite unique,” said Chamber of Commerce CEO Polly Armstrong.
Financing Resilience: The Next Challenge
September 2016 Newsletter
Concrete action to prevent and prepare for climate impacts is very much the focus of this week’s newsletter. Our new blog post discusses why a quick entry into force of the Paris Agreement is our collective best shot at reducing emissions, preventing the worst climate impacts, and investing into resilience. Similarly, our new Policy Brief provides a detailed analysis of California’s budget on climate adaptation and resilience, delving into the details of how the state is trying to make good on its policy commitments by providing enough funding and guidance to build resilience.
Business Opportunities in Climate Adaptation
July 2016 Newsletter
The private sector needs to pay more attention to climate adaptation. Too often, companies see climate adaptation as a responsibility that befalls exclusively to national and local governments, and governments themselves don’t always know how to engage the private sector in adaptation efforts. Yet a growing number of thought-leaders in the public and private sector now view business engagement into adaptation effort as critical to social and economic welfare.
Client Alert: What Brexit Means for Climate
June 2016 Newsletter
The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union bears important consequences for global climate policy. Our team published a concise summary on The Huffington Post blog, discussing key expected impacts on the political process surrounding the Paris agreement as well as potential economic and financial implications.
All Hands on Deck! The Global Impacts of Droughts and Extreme Heat
May 2016 Newsletter
Better data. More efficient technology. New sources of financing. The recipe to address global impacts of climate change — such as drought, the focus of this month’s newsletter — is very much the same as in the U.S. But the needs are more pressing, and the ingredients even harder to find.
As Four Twenty Seven CEO Emilie Mazzacurati writes from the ProAdapt conference in Cartagena, Colombia, she can’t help but notice how the discourse on the private sector has changed in the past years. Many government agencies, donors, and NGOs now beat the drums of private sector resilience – for its own sake, and also as a critical provider of products and services to support community adaptation efforts.
Such products and services are still nascent, but she is confident this clear signal will help grow the market and spur innovation and investments.
“Fellow entrepreneurs and business folks: our ingenuity and resources are needed to build climate resilience,” Mazzacurati said.
Building Coastal Resilience
Late April 2016 Newsletter
Sea level rise and floods pose critical threats to the well-being and prosperity of coastal communities. Cities like San Francisco are taking concrete steps to understand impacts on their population, looking not just at infrastructure but also at community welfare. The San Francisco Flood Vulnerability visualization tool we developed for the San Francisco Department of Public Health will support community outreach and communication to help raise awareness of the health impacts from floods.
As communities innovate to develop lasting solutions and embrace nature-based solutions, sharing lessons learned through efforts like the Rockefeller 100 Cities is ever more critical to grow our collective knowledge. We’re proud to work with our partners on developing solutions that help to pave the way for more informed planning and more effective response.
A Turning Point: Using Climate Science For Adaptation
April 2016 Newsletter
The regulatory landscape of climate risk disclosure is evolving rapidly. The SEC just ruled in favor of shareholder efforts to promote more transparency on climate risk in ExxonMobil’s financial disclosures, while the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures published its first report last week.
Corporations and investors will be well advised to stay current on legal and policy changes related to climate change risks, and to deepen their understanding of climate change science and its impacts on their business. Our research and publications serve to inform our clients of critical policy and scientific developments – as you will see from this week’s issue, climate science is changing almost as fast as the regulatory environment.
Corporate Leadership and Climate Resilience
March 2016 Newsletter
Climate risk is high on the corporate agenda, but most corporations and investors are yet to to incorporate climate change into their enterprise risk management and strategic processes.
Our research shows critical climate impacts can be efficiently identified thanks to our proprietary hotspot screening methodology. Quantifying risk is essential to business resilience, and showing a good command of climate risk in financial disclosure is critical to keeping investor confidence.
Business leaders know they can stay ahead by leveraging climate data into their business analytics – we’re proud to help them innovate and become more resilient.
Climate and Health
February 2016 Newsletter
Climate change has major impacts on human health. From heat waves to floods, from poor air quality to the spread of vector-borne disease like Zika, many climate hazards translate directly into measurable negative effects on human quality of life.
Our team has been working with key healthcare actors to help them identify how climate change could affect their ability to serve their patients and communities and better prepare. Learn more on how we help solve some of humanity’s most pressing challenges in this month’s newsletter on the nexus of climate and human health.
Local Governments Building Resilience
January 2016 Newsletter
Happy New Year! 2016 already feels well under way, with multiple projects and initiatives on the agenda, with exciting upcoming events and strategies to build climate resilience. This year will see many regional adaptation forums take place around the country, including the much anticipated return of the California Adaptation Forum.
In this edition of our newsletter, we highlight key initiatives and new ideas to finance local resilience solutions. 2016 will be an important year for resilience financing — expect a lot of innovation and groundbreaking initiatives as cities lead the way!
From Data to Action: Climate Adaptation in 2015
Late December 2015 Newsletter
What a glorious way to end the year! I’m confident the Paris agreement will be seen as a turning point for global climate policy. Yet I’m also well aware of the challenges that remain ahead of us — 1.5 ̊ or 2 ̊ C of climate change will still bring momentous change to the world as we know it, and these aggressive targets are a clear acknowledgement that climate change is already under way.Building resilience remains a critical priority for all of us.
We’re proud of what we accomplished in 2015, in particular award-winning products on climate and human health and or thought-leadership reports and presentations on climate data and business resilience. We’re also grateful for how much recognition has come for the need for climate adaptation locally and globally – and are ready to tackle the challenge for 2016!
COP21: The Business Case for Responsible Corporate Adaptation
December 2015 Newsletter
The atmosphere in Paris mid-way through the negotiations is cautiously optimistic. While most of the hard lifting is yet to be done, negotiators and observers seem reasonably satisfied with how far along things are.
In this hopeful context, we are proud to contribute an exciting new report on The Business Case for Responsible Corporate Adaptation, written for Caring for Climate. We hope you find inspiring examples of how business can be part of the solution, and useful guidance for policymakers to support community-minded corporate adaptation
Sea Level Rise: The Tragedy of the Horizon
November 2015 Newsletter
Sea-level rise is one of the most complex impacts of climate change to understand. Not so much the mechanics of it, but the sheer implications of what rising seas will mean for our society and our land. We feature this week a selection of tools and studies that help further our collective understanding and are meant to inspire action.
Ready for Climate War Games?
October 2015 Newsletter
It’s that time of the year: a slew of exciting climate and sustainability conferences around the country. We’re committed to sharing the highlights from our travel on our blog, The Resilience Sandbox. Read Emilie’s post on Climate Week NYC: the Quest for Wisdom, listen to the audiocast of her presentation, and share your thoughts with us.