Project Report:
Fossil Fuel Risk Bonds – a multi-state strategy
Purpose
- Investigates the causes of economic imbalances.
- Investigates causes tending to destroy or impair the free-market system.
- Explores and develops market-based solutions.

Summary

With generous support from the Alex C. Walker Foundation in 2021, CSE and its partners succeeded in leveraging detailed assessments of the economic and physical risks of fossil fuel infrastructure in King County Washington, Multnomah County, Oregon and the City of Portland as well as legislation in both states to begin the process of shifting those risks away from taxpayers and onto fossil fuel corporations in line with the international ‘polluter pays’ principle. A renewed commitment from the Walker Foundation in 2022 will help CSE and its partners participate in the various decision-making processes jumpstarted by our successful efforts last year to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with law, best available science and economics, and result in the maximum amount of financial responsibility now shouldered by taxpayers shifted back to the owners of fossil fuel infrastructure.

Purpose

The economic rationale behind fossil fuel risk bond programs is simple. Every year, the fossil fuel industry externalizes trillions of dollars in economic damages onto the backs of taxpayers. These costs manifest in the form of climate disasters, fossil fuel infrastructure disasters, and the costs of interventions needed to both mitigate and adapt to climate change. According to the UN’s most recent analyses, the cost of achieving climate stability has been priced out between $1.6 trillion and $3.8 trillion per year and is rising every year we delay bold climate action. Lord Stern famously said that this represents the greatest market failure that the world has seen. Fossil fuel risk bond programs are one policy tool governments at every level can use to correct this market failure and force the fossil fuel industry to internalize the gargantuan costs it is passing on to the rest of the world.

Scope

Since 2019, CSE scored major national, regional and local victories on its Fossil Fuel Risk Bond Program. In 2021, CSE and its partners succeeded in leveraging detailed assessments of the economic and physical risks of fossil fuel infrastructure in King County WA, Multnomah County, OR and the City of Portland as well as legislation in both states to begin the process of shifting those risks away from taxpayers and onto fossil fuel corporations in line with the international ‘polluter pays’ principle. We are continuing to work in Illinois with our partner SOIL to replicate these successes. Members of Congress have also taken interest in this policy. We now have a draft federal FFRB bill and are working with Congressman Jamie Raskin’s team to garner widespread support for this legislation on Capitol Hill. The scope of CSE’s activities in 2022 will include work in all of these places, but with an emphasis on the decision-making processes jumpstarted by our work in Oregon and Washington.

Amount Approved
$30,000.00 on 6/29/2022 (Check sent: 7/19/2022)



Address
1016 Madison Street
Port Townsend, WA 98368


Phone
(360) 344-2080
(510) 384-5724
(360) 344-2080

Contacts


Dr. John Talberth
President and Senior Economist, Center for Sustainable Economy

Posted 3/23/2022 12:43 PM
Updated   7/31/2022 2:06 PM

  • Nonprofit


 
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