Department of Labor Proposal Would Help Safeguard Americans’ Financial Futures from Climate Change Risk

Statement of EDF Director of Climate Risk Strategies Michael Panfil – October 13, 2021

October 13, 2021
Sharyn Stein, 202-905-5718,

“Today, the Department of Labor issued a proposed rule making clear that retirement plan managers can integrate risks posed by climate change alongside other risks in 401(k) investment ​decisions.

“Climate change presents a serious and growing threat to our financial system. Experts and governmental entities are increasingly reaching this same conclusion, from last month’s New York Federal Reserve Bank report to recent efforts by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Today’s proposal would give retirement plan managers the ability to make the best possible decisions for their clients after taking all risks into consideration – including the risks posed by climate change.

“Better-informed investment decision making, reflective of climate risks, is a good and critical step to protecting Americans’ financial health. We encourage the Department of Labor to swiftly finalize this proposal and urge the Biden administration to take every possible step to protect the resiliency of our nation’s financial sector.”

- Michael Panfil, Director of Climate Risk Strategies, Environmental Defense Fund

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