Oped of the Day: PG&E Bankruptcy is a Wake-up Call on Financial Risks of Climate Change – Michael Bloomberg (Los Angeles Times)
During the bitter cold snap that hit much of the United States last week, President Trump tweeted a plea to global warming: “Please come back fast, we need you!” The next morning, the largest electricity provider in America’s most populous state filed for bankruptcy because of global warming.
If the president’s cluelessness doesn’t ring alarm bells in statehouses and boardrooms around the country, the bankruptcy of Pacific Gas & Electric should. According to the company, it could no longer afford the increasing liability costs of wildfires fueled by the hotter, drier weather that climate change is bringing to California.
Although they may not know it yet, many Californians are going to feel the effects of PG&E’s bankruptcy. For instance, the state’s pension system, CalPERS, owns tens of millions of dollars in PG&E stock. Still worse, PG&E provides a crucial public service for which Californians might now have to pay more.
There’s a saying I’ve always believed in: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If companies don’t measure the financial risks they face from climate change, they can’t reduce their exposure to those risks, at least not effectively.
We are flying blind when it comes to the serious economic costs we face from climate change. This lack of transparency is a market failure that’s holding back actions that would reduce emissions, mitigate risks and lead to more investment in clean energy.
Climate change is the mother of all material risks.
Over the last few years, I have chaired an international effort called the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures. We created a set of recommendations to help companies measure and disclose information about how climate change could affect their facilities, their supply chains, their labor force, their delivery of products and services and other essential operations.
Better data and more transparent markets can prevent a lot of unnecessary damage to our economic and financial health. And they can help the U.S. step up the fight against climate change, without waiting for the president to get a clue.
Hot on the Bloomberg:
Jeff Bezos’ Stunning Blackmail Charge Intensifies Proxy War with President Trump (Bloomberg)
In a surprising move that lit up social media feeds worldwide, Bezos published explicit email exchanges and descriptions of the photos, saying he would rather be embarrassed than extorted. Read the post for yourself here.
Venezuela Impact: JPMorgan Is Thrust Into Middle of Venezuela’s Debt Dispute (Bloomberg)
Angela Merkel’s Finance Minister at Bloomberg London today:
-German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz Says EU Stands by Ireland in Brexit Impasse (Bloomberg)
-Scholz Signals Support for `National Champion’ Bank (Bloomberg)
SEC Today: Elad Roisman to Lead SEC Efforts to Improve Proxy Changes and Update Infrastructure (Bloomberg Law)
Florida Today: Orlando Among Cities Taking the Lead on Climate Change – Michael Bloomberg (Orlando Sentinel)
As the 2020 presidential campaign begins to get underway, I believe that every candidate should be held accountable for putting forward an ambitious and achievable agenda for fighting climate change. And whether or not I decide to run, I will work to ensure that climate pollution is front-and-center during the 2020 campaign.
How Companies are Elevating Women (Fast Company)
Women leaders are rarely visible to those outside their companies, despite their high profile within the organization. That’s why Bloomberg started a completely different program aimed at getting more women in front of the general public. In Bloomberg’s “New Voices” initiative, its news team provides intensive one-on-one media training for top women executives in finance and business with the goal of getting the women TV-ready for interviews on Bloomberg TV and other outside outlets. This program is being expanded from New York, London, Toronto, and Hong Kong to Sydney, Mumbai, Dubai, and San Francisco.
Update Your iPhone Software Today: Apple Releases Software Fix for FaceTime Eavesdropping Flaw (Bloomberg)
And finally, we’ve lost a legend: “Big John” Dingell, the longest serving member of Congress has passed away. I got to watch his brilliance up close in my first job, younger generations have since his retirement enjoyed him online, as Megan Sheekey added “he was the only reason worth staying on Twitter.”
Best of late night.
“Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson claimed yesterday that he was the first choice this year to host the Academy Awards before Kevin Hart. Unfortunately, he also did questionable things in his past” (while showing a picture of The Rock in the movie “Baywatch”)
— Seth Meyers
“A woman running a marathon in Thailand reportedly found a lost puppy during the race, and continued to carry the dog while running the remaining 19 miles. It sounds nice until you realize she just carried the puppy 19 miles further away from home.”
— Seth Meyers
“According to new research, eye contact is not needed in order to have an enjoyable conversation. ‘Yeah we know!’ texted millenials.”
— Seth Meyers
For more best of late night from the New York Times, click here.