Newsletter: Climate Commitments

Four Twenty Seven, an affiliate of Moody's, sends a monthly newsletter highlighting recent developments in climate risk and resilience. 

In Focus: Climate Commitments

Climate Summit Commitments

The leaders of 40 nations and key private sector participants who joined Biden's Climate Summit last week, made new emissions reductions targets or recommitted to existing promises. The US, Canada, Brazil, Japan and other countries made ambitious new commitments. While change comes when commitments are followed by tangible action, these have the potential to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, with implications for businesses and investors, including significant opportunities.

Financial Sector Action on Climate Change

Meanwhile, financial regulators around the world continue to issue guidance and expectations around climate risk. Last week the EU published the climate adaptation and mitigation portion of its Sustainable Finance Taxonomy and investors will be expected to disclose in line with the taxonomy starting next year. The EU also published a draft legislative proposal for a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive, which would replace the Non-Financial Reporting Directive and greatly expand the number of companies mandated to report on a range of environmental factors, including climate. New Zealand is considering passing a bill that would mandate climate risk disclosure for banks, insurers and investors by 2023. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority issued a public consultation on its draft guidance for financial institutions to manage the risks of climate change.

Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, announced the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) last week, bringing together several industry-led net zero initiatives focused on supporting the transition to net zero emissions by 2050. Participating groups include the new Net Zero Banking Alliance, the Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative and the Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance. The Net Zero Insurance Alliance is expected to launch soon and will also join GFANZ. There are over 160 participating firms, which commit to science-based targets, addressing all emission scopes, issuing transparent disclosures and setting 2030 interim targets. 

The American Jobs Plan

Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure proposal places climate change and environmental justice in the center. The plan's wide-ranging elements include funding to grow the electric vehicle market in the US and to improve the nation's aging water and electricity infrastructure. There are provisions for affordable housing and a distinct focus on jobs training to support a just transition to a low-carbon economy. The plan aims to remove fossil fuel subsidies and mandate that the companies help pay to cleanup toxic sites. As crumbling infrastructure and polluting facilities are often in low-income communities and communities of color, these items would contribute to fostering environmental justice. Likewise, the plan allocates funding specifically to communities of color and frontline communities, and includes provisions to increase wages for in-home care workers who are often women of color, and for broadband internet development which is particularly needed in Black and Latino communities.

Moody's Analytics assessed the macroeconomic implications of the plan, saying it "provides a meaningful boost to the nation's long-term economic growth."
Banks and Climate Stress Tests

Moody's Webinar - Climate Stress Tests: What You Need to Know

As numbers of regulators begin to roll out climate stress tests and climate risks continue to grow, understanding how to undertake informative climate stress tests is becoming increasingly essential. Join us for a live, interactive panel discussion on climate scenarios and stress testing on Thursday May 6, at  3pm BST / 10am ET / 7am PT.

Key Discussion Points:
  • How are central banks incorporating climate stress testing into financial supervisory requirements?
  • What are the different types of scenarios needed for assessing climate risk?
  • What are the key building blocks for climate stress testing? How do they fit together?
  • Carmelo Salleo, Head of Division, Stress Test Modelling Division, European Central Bank
  • Emilie Mazzacurati, Global Head of Moody's Climate Solutions, Moody's ESG Solutions
  • Burcu Guner, Senior Director-Risk & Finance SME, Moody's Analytics
  • Rahul Ghosh, Managing Director-Outreach & Research, Moody's ESG Solutions (moderator)
Register Here

Moody's Investors Service: Climate Risk for Banks

Moody's Investors Service report, Climate change to force further business model transformation for banks, outlines ways in which carbon transition and physical climate risk will influence banks' risk assessment requirements and present new costs and credits risks for banks. The analysis covers the forthcoming stress testing requirements, discussing their credit implications. 
BIS Resources on Climate Risk for Banks
The Bank for International Settlements released two reports on climate risk, focusing on transmission channels of climate risk to banks and methodologies to measure climate-related financial risks. The report on transmission channels finds that climate risks affects banks through the traditional financial risk categories including market risk, liquidity risk and
operational risk. It underscores the ways in which the impacts of climate risk depend on geography, sector and the economic and financial system and emphasizes the need for more research on how climate risk translates into different types of financial risk. 

The report on measurement tools underscore the needs for granular, forward-looking data on climate-related financial risks, which includes new climate data tools in addition to improved information on counterparty locations. It discusses the early emphasis on risk assessment for near-term transition risk and the need to expand assessments and scenario analysis to include a range of physical climate hazards. The report highlights the increased research focus on translating climate risks into traditional financial risk metrics, noting that much progress to date has focused on credit risk, with market and liquidity risk at even earlier stages. 
Real Assets Exposed to Physical Climate Risk

Moody's Investors Service Adds Climate Data to RMBS Presale Reports

Moody's Investors Service presale and new issues reports for residential mortgage backed securitizations rated out of the US or Europe, now include Four Twenty Seven's physical climate risk scores as an appendix. "While these climate risk scores are not specifically incorporated in our ratings analysis, we believe these additional disclosures will be of great value to market participants," says London-based Moody's Investors Service Senior Vice President Anthony Parry in the press release.

Moody's Investors Service: Climate Hazards Threaten US Seaports

This Moody's Investors Service analysis, Intensifying climate events risk disruptions to seaport operations across the US, leverages Four Twenty Seven's physical climate risk data to assess the exposure of ports to climate hazards including floods, heat stress, hurricanes, sea level rise, water stress and wildfires. It highlights that landlord ports typically have more fixed revenues than port operators, which can reduce the short-term impacts of extreme events. In addition to significant exposure to storms and flooding, West Coast ports often face risks from wildfires, with implications for supply chains and transportation infrastructure. Similarly, while less damaging for the ports themselves, heat stress and water stress can affect agriculture exports, in turn affecting a port's business. Register for free to read the analysis.
Increasing Global Wildfire Potential 

Four Twenty Seven's Peer-Reviewed Research on Wildfire Potential Under Climate Change

2020 was a devastating wildfire year and this year is gearing up to just as hot and dry in many regions. This is a global trend exacerbated by climate change. Four Twenty Seven's article, A global assessment of wildfire potential under climate change utilizing Keetch-Byram drought index and land cover classifications, published in Environmental Research Communications, explores the effects of climate change on global wildfire potential. It shows that by 2040, regions like the American West, Australia and the Amazon will be drier and hotter for much longer than historical averages, experiencing more than 60 additional days of high wildfire potential per year.  

This article provides the detailed methodology behind Four Twenty Seven's publication, Climate Change and Wildfires: Projecting Future Wildfire Potential, which discusses key findings including regional trends and hotspots.

Current Drought & Wildfire Potential in the Western US

Drought contributes to conditions that are conducive to wildfires and also presents significant health and economic risks. In California, farmers are questioning the viability of their businesses and many families are facing depleted and contaminated wells. The snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is at 28% of normal, dry conditions are expected to persist through June and the summer is expected to have higher than average temperatures. This all suggests that a dangerous fire season is on the horizon. As the state continues to face these costly climate-driven events, California launched a Climate-Related Risk Disclosure Advisory Group earlier this month, to support the development of a climate risk disclosure standard.

Other Western states are also enduring damaging droughts, with North and South Dakota entirely in drought conditions and parts of Texas, Iowa and Colorado all experiencing drought impacts. Last week the White House launched an Interagency Working Group to focus on addressing the drought conditions in the West and their dire implications for farmers, Tribes and other communities.
Upcoming Events

Join the team online at these upcoming events and check our Events page for updates:

  • May 6 Moody's Webinar on Climate Stress Tests: What You Need to Know: Founder & CEO and Global Head of Moody's Climate Solutions, Emilie Mazzacurati, will present on the drivers behind emerging stress testing requirements. See more details above.
  • May 25 Moody's Investors Service Emerging Markets Summit 2021: Associate Director, Research, John Naviaux, will present on sovereign physical climate risk.
  • Jun 2-4 Green Swan 2021: Emilie Mazzacurati will present during the session on climate-related risks data and accounting. Invitation only. 
  • Jun 22 – Ideas + Action 2021: Sustainability and Resilience: Emilie Mazzacurati will present on the economic implications of climate risk. 
  • Jul 23 – Environmental Business Council of New England Annual Climate Summit: Director, Global Client Services, Lindsay Ross, will present on physical climate risks.
  • Sept 22 2021 CARE Sustainability Conference: Director, Communications, Natalie Ambrosio Preudhomme will present on financial climate risk analytics during the panel "Implementation Issues."
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