Paulson to visit White House to talk financial risks of climate change

 

Former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson will discuss the financial risks of climate change in a White House meeting Wednesday with senior administration officials including Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

Paulson, who served as President George W. Bush's Treasury secretary during the financial crisis and helped put together the controversial Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), will visit the White House with Tom Steyer, the billionaire hedge fund operator who is bankrolling several political initiatives surrounding global warming.

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The group will discuss a new report conducted for Steyer's joint initiative by Paulson and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The "Risky Business" report specifically focuses on the financial impact of damage to coastal property and infrastructure from rising sea levels, climate impacts on agricultural production and energy demand, and the impact of higher temperatures on labor productivity and public health.

It concludes that higher sea levels over the next 15 years will cause between $2 billion and $3.5 billion in damage to coastal property along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and Cargill CEO Greg Page are also attending the meeting, which is designed to mark the anniversary of President Obama's climate change plan.

Paulson has long been associated with environmental causes, and he has criticized Republicans who have been skeptical of whether human activity is contributing to global warming. 

On Tuesday, White House advisers John Podesta and Valerie Jarrett, and Lew plan to meet with representatives from the nation's leading re-insurance and insurance companies.

They will discuss the economic ramifications of extreme weather and impacts of climate change.