Do you believe that climate change is beginning to impact our lives? Many people, businesses included, think so and are beginning to act on this belief; others continue to fail to understand the speed with which our climate is changing, or are skeptical that it is changing at all.
I’ll share two examples to highlight both perspectives: Moody’s Corporation, as an example of the former, and U.S. Representative Lee Zeldin, as an example of the latter.
On July 25, The New York Times reported that Moody’s, the credit rating agency that rates Southampton Town’s bonds, purchased Four Twenty Seven, a risk assessment company that specializes in measuring a range of hazards, including impacts of flooding, hurricanes, heat stress and sea level rise.
Per the Times, Moody’s and other credit rating agencies do not factor in these risks in their assessment of creditworthiness of municipal bonds; however, that is about to change. The Times reports that Jonathan Bailey of Neuberger Berman, an asset management company, welcomes the change: “We look forward to 427’s physical climate risk data being reflected in credit ratings.”
Lucky for us, Southampton Township has been designated a Climate Smart Community. That should mean a lot to Moody’s.
On the same day I read about Moody’s plans to better assess climate risk, I received an email from Congressman Lee Zeldin, wherein he asks the reader to comment on a natural gas pipeline project proposed to be built under New York Bay—an environmentally damaging project that Lee Zeldin appears to support but that has been rejected by the State Department of Environmental Conservation.
Lee Zeldin and other elected officials must step forward and become leaders in the effort to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Finding alternatives to fossil fuels should drive our decisions about energy supply, not urging expensive developments that continue their use.
Lee Zeldin should consult with Southampton Town’s elected officials and ask how Southampton Town achieved designation as a Climate Smart Community, and urge the rest of his district to do the same.
Mike AnthonyWesthamptonMr. Anthony is a former chair of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee—Ed.
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