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Stormy Science, Rocky Investments


Climate change is risky business – but how risky is it for business? With temperatures predicted to rise anywhere from one to four degrees this century, droughts, floods and extreme weather present risks that will impact American families, businesses and habitats.

Rebecca Shaw of the Environmental Defense Fund sees a global attitude shift towards adaptation. One example is the wine industry. “As climate shifts, there will be some places where wine grapes are grown today that won't be suitable in the future,” she says. A move north may be imminent, and some growers are already doing that. But as competition for resources heats up between agribusiness, communities and wildlife, sacrifices may be in order.

“We're really going to have to think about what we're going to grow here,” cautions Shaw. “Some crops are going to be less viable because water will be more scarce in the future.”

Later in the program, financial industry experts discuss shifts on Wall Street wrought by climate change. As Lisa Goldberg of Aperio notes, climate change awareness is nothing new. “But in terms of its impact on economic markets, I think that it's just really now coming to the consciousness of mainstream investors.”
 
Recent high-profile divestments have put large-cap fossil fuel companies under Wall Street’s microscope. But is shareholder pressure an effective tool for change? “Just having that conversation publicly is a huge step,” says shareholder advocate Andrew Behar. “I think it’s a real milestone.”
 
Guests - Part I:
Stephen Bennett, Senior Vice President, Verisk Climate
Noah Diffenbaugh, Associate Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University
Rebecca Shaw, Associate Vice President and Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
 
Guests - Part II:
Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow
Lisa Goldberg, Director of Research, Aperio Group; former Director of Research, MSCI
Josh Schein, Senior Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley

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