WARREN WANTS TO FORCE CLIMATE DISCLOSURES

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to require corporations to disclose to the public and investors how much they are contributing to climate change and what risks it causes their businesses.

Warren, seen as a likely presidential candidate in 2020, has largely built her political career on pushing to expand corporate accountability, like her role in launching the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

She proposed the Climate Risk Disclosure Act Friday to raise public awareness of how dependent companies are on fossil fuels and how the effects of climate change could hurt them.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would dictate the exact rules, but Warren’s bill spells out sweeping standards for the disclosures, including companies’ greenhouse gas emissions, their fossil fuel holdings, how climate policies would impact them and how climate effects like rising sea levels could hurt them.

“Climate change is a real and present danger — and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said in a statement.

“Investors need more information about climate-related risks so they can make the right decisions with their money,” she said. “Our bill will use market forces to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy — reducing the odds of an environmental and financial disaster without spending a dime of taxpayer money.”

Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Ed Markey (Mass), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Jeff Merkley (Ore.) co-sponsored the legislation.

Will it pass?: It almost goes without saying that this kind of legislation is unlikely to pass while Republicans control both chambers of Congress and the White House.

Image result for laughingBut that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. As Warren prepares for a potential White House bid, it serves to show how she feels about climate change, and how climate interacts with the financial and economic issues that have been central to her political career.

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