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Financial Decision making in a Climate changing environment

Abstract: The negative impacts of climate change on the environment, resulting in economic, health and public safety challenges, are significant enough to factor into a state’s and municipality’s credit rating process. The data around global temperature increases, rising sea levels, and acidification are consistently trending towards more extreme weather events known as climate shocks. While it is impossible to attribute any one event to climate change specifically, the 2017 hurricane known as Hurricane Harvey was described as a 1,000-year flood. Harris County, in Texas, sustained significant damage from the major flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey and, two years later, continues to rebuild a stronger, more resilient community. With extreme weather events, or climate shocks, becoming more common, there has been an increased interest in resiliency and sustainability from state and local governments, motivated by the environmental and economic benefits. In this session we will discuss the impacts of climate change on state/municipality credit ratings, the importance of resiliency and sustainability and an example of how a local county is addressing their resiliency and sustainability needs from a financial perspective after an extreme weather event.   


  • Gera McGuire: Senior Vice President, Moody's Investors Services
  • Amy Perez: Director of Financial Management, Harris County Budget Management
  • Tim Farkas: Director - Finance, Ameresco
  • Chad Nobles: Senior Account Executive, Ameresco

Duration: 50 minutes

Originally Aired: GFOAT Virtual Fall Conference

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