Business Report: Cost of climate change

Business Report 10/27/16

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Corporate polluters have encouraged climate change denial because if you admit something is going on, you have to do something, and that will cost money. But BlackRock, an epicenter of stock investment savvy, says investors need to be realistic.

Climate change eventually will spur costly regulations, not to mention the cost of responding to hurricane and tornado damage, and the cost of moving infrastucture before it drowns. Some companies will do better when that happens; others will be worth less than now.

This chart from BlackRock plots a number of different forecasts for temperatures rising. Up here are the more dire forecasts, the middle is the average if nothing more is done, and down here are the expectations for more modest warming if various international agreements are concluded and implemented. The key bit is that even the bottom shows an average temperatures rising a little.

A second chart from BlackRock leaves aside the cost of regulation and focuses entirely on the cost of weather disasters. The number of events is rising, and the cost is rising, especially for the worst events.

Some people are suspicious of what Wall Street says because they care about the bottom line, but their new concern about global warming is noteworthy for being inspired by concern for the bottom line.

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