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Congress Should Hurry to Pass Clean Energy Legislation

Look no further than today to get a glimpse of what the future holds if we continue with business as usual: record temperatures in the United States, Europe, and Canada; wildfires and hurricanes in Russia; and flooding in Pakistan and China. Climate change is here and there’s more to come. Thousands of lives have been lost, and millions of people have been displaced from these recent disasters.

But the economic tolls are also hurting businesses, including those in the United States. That’s why the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which is tasked with making sure that investors are aware of an investment’s risks, has made it clear for the first time that climate change will have a sizeable impact on some businesses’ profits.

The United States is losing out on billions of dollars in clean energy investments by sitting on the sidelines of the clean energy race. Deutsche Bank recently decided to spend the majority of its climate change capital in Europe and China where there are “government policies that provide transparency, longevity and certainty.”

The upshot is that all U.S. companies—those that need to avoid climate disasters, that want investment certainty, and that want to unleash economic growth—stand to gain from a climate bill. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency analysis finds that passing a climate bill will result in fewer emissions and lower the risk of catastrophic climate change. Moreover, the Peterson Institute for International Economics shows that passing a climate bill will stimulate the economy, create jobs, and make businesses healthier.

The bottom line is that U.S. businesses are being affected by climate-related disasters and will face more of them in the future. Congressional delay in passing climate and energy legislation hurts businesses by allowing global warming to go unheeded, and it also creates an unfriendly environment for companies waiting to win in the clean energy race.

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