June 24, 2014 | By

New Report Finds Climate Change Poses Significant Economic Risks

The Risky Business Project released a new report that summarizes the findings of an independent assessment of the impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level. Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change to the United States uses climate change projections with empirically-derived estimates of the fiscal impact of those changes on key sectors of the US economy and shows that communities, industries, and properties across the US face profound risks from climate change. The report concludes that the most severe risks can still be avoided through early investments in resilience and through immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming.

The Risky Business Project is a joint, non-partisan initiative of former Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr., former Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg, and Thomas P. Steyer, former senior managing member of Farallon Capital Management.

Risky Business Committee member Gregory Page, former CEO and current chair of the board at Cargill, Inc., discussed the report’s findings in relation to agriculture and food. “The real value of the Risky Business conversation, even in the presence of all kinds of uncertainty, is that it encourages us to think long-term about what actions we can take today that put us in the best position to be prepared for the future,” said Page. “We need to invest in innovative technologies and practices today so that we’re in the best position to be prepared for the future.”

Last month, The Chicago Council released a new report, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate, which found US government action can curb the risks climate change poses to global food security. Building on the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change report and National Climate Assessment, The Chicago Council’s study explains how higher temperatures, changes in rainfall, and natural disasters caused by climate change could undermine food production and put food supplies at risk. In total, climate change could reduce food production growth by 2 percent each decade for the rest of this century.


The Global Food and Agriculture Program aims to inform the development of US policy on global agricultural development and food security by raising awareness and providing resources, information, and policy analysis to the US Administration, Congress, and interested experts and organizations.

The Global Food and Agriculture Program is housed within the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, an independent, nonpartisan organization that provides insight – and influences the public discourse – on critical global issues. The Council on Global Affairs convenes leading global voices and conducts independent research to bring clarity and offer solutions to challenges and opportunities across the globe. The Council is committed to engaging the public and raising global awareness of issues that transcend borders and transform how people, business, and governments engage the world.

Support for the Global Food and Agriculture Program is generously provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


1,000 Days Blog, 1,000 Days

Africa Can End Poverty, World Bank

Agrilinks Blog

Bread Blog, Bread for the World

Can We Feed the World Blog, Agriculture for Impact

Concern Blogs, Concern Worldwide

Institute Insights, Bread for the World Institute

End Poverty in South Asia, World Bank

Global Development Blog, Center for Global Development

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ONE Blog, ONE Campaign

One Acre Fund Blog, One Acre Fund

Overseas Development Institute Blog, Overseas Development Institute

Oxfam America Blog, Oxfam America

Preventing Postharvest Loss, ADM Institute

Sense & Sustainability Blog, Sense & Sustainability

WFP USA Blog, World Food Program USA


| By Roger Thurow

Our New Gordian Knot

Fifty years ago Dr. Norman Borlaug recieved the Nobel Peace Prize for cutting the "Goridan knot" of population and food production. Now the planet faces another seemingly intractable problem: how to nourish the planet while preserving the planet.