CFO Sink: Florida Treasury Joins Investor Network on Climate Risk
Tara Klimek or Brannon Jordan
State Joins Network of Financial Leaders Managing More than $3.7 Trillion in Assets
TALLAHASSEE– Fresh off the heels of hosting the first in a series of “Conversations on Climate Change,” Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that as the state treasurer, she will join the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a national network of investors focused on the business impacts of climate change. CFO Sink is the first Florida-based institutional investor to join the three-year-old organization, which now includes more than 50 public and private institutional investors managing more than $3.7 trillion in assets that focus on the future financial risks and investment opportunities posed by climate change.
“As the State Treasurer managing more than $20 billion in Floridians’ tax dollars, my first priority is safeguarding the people’s money,” said CFO Sink, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. “Joining the Investor Network on Climate Risk will keep our state prepared for the potential risks that climate change can pose to our investments.”
INCR was launched at the first Institutional Investor Summit on Climate Risk at the United Nations in November 2003 with 10 investors managing $600 billion in assets— and since has grown five-fold. Florida joins a dozen other states that are INCR members through their state treasuries or pension funds, including: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
Ceres President Mindy Lubber, whose organization coordinates INCR, applauded today's announcement by Florida's top financial official. “Whether from extreme weather events, regulatory changes or growing demand for renewable energy, climate change is a serious business issue facing all investors,” Lubber said. “We are pleased that CFO Sink is taking a proactive approach to better understand the risks and opportunities that climate change means for investors such as Florida's Treasury. Today’s announcement is a big step forward for INCR, which will benefit enormously from CFO Sink’s investment expertise and Florida’s prominence in the asset management industry.”
INCR members participate in educational forums, engage policymakers and interact with companies to protect the long-term health of their investments from climate-related impacts, including emerging carbon-reducing regulations, ecosystem and weather changes and growing global demand for climate-friendly technologies. To learn more about INCR, visit their website at www.incr.com
“Florida has the opportunity to be a national leader in the effort to create innovative solutions to our energy challenges,” said Ken Locklin, Director, Finance & Investment at the Clean Energy Group and a panelist at the first climate change conversation. “It’s wonderful for Florida’s taxpayers that the Governor and Cabinet are cognizant of both the potential risks and opportunities that climate change presents.”
Upon learning that the risk and insurance industries are re-evaluating the state’s risks in light of new reports about the potential impact of climate change, CFO Sink has launched an effort to prepare Floridians for the possible future implications of climate change. To date her efforts have included partnering with Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson to host the first in a series of “Conversations on Climate Change” and launching a new climate change website. For more information on climate change, please visit our website at www.floridaclimatechange.com
Ceres, which coordinates INCR, is a leading coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations working with companies to address environmental and social challenges such as global climate change. For more information, visit http://www.ceres.org
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.