Risky Business Project - Economic Risks of Climate Change to the U.S.

Launched in October 2013, Risky Business is a year-long effort to quantify and publicize the economic risks the United States faces from the impacts of a changing climate. Risky Business is a joint initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Office of Hank Paulson, and Next Generation. Additional support for Risky Business was provided by the Skoll Global Threats Fund.

The Risky Business initiative includes two core components:

  • An independent risk assessment combining existing data on the current and potential impacts of climate change with original research that will quantify potential future costs.
  • An engagement effort targeting the economic sectors most at risk from a changing climate, beginning the process of helping leaders from across these sectors prepare a measured response to the risks they face. The engagement will be led by a risk committee composed of top national and regional leaders from across the American economic and political spectrum.

The management team investigated the economic risk factors by region and by sector with a goal of arming decision-makers with information that quantifies climate change risk and allows educated risk tolerance decisions.

The format for the analysis follows the blueprint used by New York City in its PlaNYC initiative. Following Hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg announced the Special Initiative for Rebuilding and Resiliency ("SIRR") to evaluate how to rebuild the city to be more resilient in the face of climate change-related weather events. The lessons from PlaNYC and the SIRR served as a starting point for Risky Business's national climate change risk management initiative.

The Initiative's assessment  ‘Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change to the United States’ (June 24, 2014) estimates the impact of projected changes in temperature, precipitation, sea levels, and storm activity on the U.S. economy. 


Publication Date: October 2013

Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Assessment


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