Mindy Lubber, Ceres CEO; CFO Alex Sink and Lewis
Milford, Clean Energy States' Alliance president.
CFO SINK ANNOUNCES STATE TREASURY REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF
CLIMATE RISK; EXPLORATION OF CLEAN ENERGY FUND FOR FLORIDA
Florida first state Treasury in United States to require climate risk
Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced two new initiatives
designed to help Florida financially prepare for the threat of climate
change, including new disclosure requirements for the state’s Treasury
investment managers and the exploration of the creation of a clean
energy fund for Florida. Additionally, CFO Sink announced her
appointment of Dr. Margaret Lowman of New College of Florida as her
science advisor on climate change.
CFO Sink’s announcements followed Wednesday’s third and final
“Conversations on Climate Change,” a Cabinet-level workshop co-sponsored
by the CFO and Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson. Wednesday’s
workshop, “Climate Change: The Bottom Line,” highlighted the financial
risks and opportunities in climate change for Floridians.
“Florida has 1300 miles of coastline that could be impacted by rising
sea level and millions of taxpayers who depend on us to safeguard their
tax dollars and retirement funds,” said CFO Sink, oversees the
Department of Financial Services, the state’s $20 billion in Treasury
funds and serves on the board of the Florida pension fund, which has
$140 billion in assets. “It is my goal to help prepare Florida’s economy
for the effects of climate change, avoid potential risks and take
advantage of the many financial opportunities.”
New Disclosure Requirements for Treasury Investment Managers—
After urging the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in September
to require public companies to assess and fully disclose their financial
risks from climate change, CFO Sink is directing the state’s Treasury
investment managers to detail their abilities to assess climate risk.
Earlier this month, Bruce Gillander, Director of the Division of
Treasury, met with individual investment managers to ascertain the
incorporation of climate risk—or lack thereof—into their investment
decisions. While some investment managers have begun planning for the
potential impacts of climate risk in their portfolios, other managers
have more work to do and need guidance on how to assess potential
climate-related financial risks when making investment decisions.
Investment managers will be required to report on climate risk as a part
of their semi-annual reviews.
CFO Sink’s goal is to safeguard Floridians’ tax dollars from the risks
posed by climate change and to encourage companies to capture
opportunities related to the changing climate. Climate change can affect
corporations financially in various ways, ranging from physical damage
of facilities and increased costs of regulatory compliance, to
opportunities in global markets for climate-friendly products or
services that emit little or no global warming pollution. As a guide,
CFO Sink is providing Treasury investment managers with the “Global
Framework for Climate Risk Disclosure,” created by several leading
investors and worldwide organizations in October 2006. Additionally, CFO
Sink is asking the Treasury investment managers to join her in
petitioning the SEC to require disclosure of climate risk for public
“As Florida’s fiscal watchdog, I want to ensure that Florida’s tax
dollars are being managed by firms that are aware of threats to our
bottom line—and this includes the financial threats presented by climate
change,” said CFO Sink.
"Climate change will affect companies in a variety of ways, whether from
physical damage to facilities or increased costs to comply with new
regulations. Florida is showing great leadership as the first state
treasury in the U.S. to require its investment fund managers to disclose
how they are assessing these climate risks in their portfolios," said
Mindy S. Lubber, president of Ceres and director of the Investor Network
on Climate Risk (INCR), who spoke at Wednesday's climate change meeting.
Exploring the Creation of a Clean Energy Fund for Florida—After
hearing a presentation by Lewis Milford, the president of Clean Energy
States Alliance, CFO Sink today announced her intention to explore the
creation of a clean energy fund in Florida. The Clean Energy States
Alliance is made up of 18 states including California, New Mexico,
Pennsylvania and New York, which have created clean energy funds or
programs for their states. These clean energy programs have been used to
invest in renewable clean energy resources, such as solar, wind and
biomass, and can be used for consumer education or to provide incentives
and tax credits to citizens taking advantage of more energy-friendly
products, such as hybrid automobiles and solar water heaters. Over the
next several months, CFO Sink will work with the Clean Energy States
Alliance to explore the different funds used around the country and
determine if there is a clean energy fund model best suited to further a
clean energy market in Florida.
“Florida is the first southeastern state to join CESA, and we are
extremely pleased that they are considering a clean energy fund,” said
Milford. “We hope to help Florida become a national clean energy
Dr. Margaret Lowman Appointed as Science Advisor—CFO Sink today
appointed Margaret Lowman, Ph.D. and Director of Environmental
Initiatives at New College of Florida, as her science advisor on matters
relating to climate change. Dr. Lowman has professorships in biology and
environmental studies and was a presenter at CFO Sink’s and Commissioner
Bronson’s first “Conversation on Climate Change” in April 2007. Dr.
Lowman will advise the CFO on the science of climate change.
“I am honored to contribute my 30 years’ experience in professional
science to serve as Science Advisor for Alex Sink, our state Chief
Financial Officer,” said Dr. Lowman. “Florida – now more than ever –
needs both science and economics at the table to map Florida’s future.
As we face challenges such as climate change, water conservation, and
obtaining clean energy, I hope that the integration of science,
economics and policy will insure a healthy and prosperous Florida for
This year, CFO Sink and Commissioner Bronson partnered to host three
climate change workshops, each featuring new topics and national experts
in areas such as: the science of rising sea levels, renewable energy
sources, carbon offset and pricing, the impact of climate change on the
insurance and financial industries and more. The sessions gave elected
officials, business leaders and Floridians the opportunity to understand
how these challenges and potential solutions present opportunities for
the growth of new industries in our state.
By logging onto
www.floridaclimatechange.com, Floridians can learn about climate
change, review the agendas and presentations from past conversations,
watch a Web cast of Wednesday’s workshop and read about initiatives in