Letter, 11/21: Bankers, too, worried about climate

Letter, 11/21: Bankers, too, worried about climate

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A farmer holds a piece of drought- and heat-stricken corn while chopping it down for feed in Nashville, Ill. Scientists have connected man-made climate change to extreme weather, including deadly heat waves, droughts and flood-inducing downpours.

When the Federal Reserve Bank starts warning its peers about the risks of climate change, it might be time for our government to take action.

Executive Vice President Kevin Stiroh points to dramatic increases in loss ($500 billion in direct losses over the past five years) due to climate and weather-related events.

He is concerned about the “physical risk that disrupts business, destroys capital and interrupts economic activity.” Risk management is a tool banks and insurance companies use every day when insuring a person or business or deciding on business or personal loans.

Stiroh said, “Supervisors (of banks and insurance companies, I presume) should focus on the risks that emerge along the path decided by the public at large and their elected governments.” The Federal Reserve can’t make policy, but they are sending out a clarion call for federal action.

We need our senators, Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry to acknowledge his advice and protect our citizens and economy by supporting policy to address climate change.

There is a market-based carbon pricing bill in the House, Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act (EICDA), which will lower carbon emissions by 40% in 12 years by making fossil fuel companies pay the true cost of polluting.

Instead of taking the fees paid by the fossil fuel companies and growing government, EICDA sends the money back to Americans in the form of a dividend check. Conservative economists agree that this market based approach will spur business innovation, increase jobs and grow our economy.

Can we invest in America while stopping climate change? Yes, and the time to do it is now.

Moni Usasz, Lincoln

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