April 3, 2013

NY State Warns Climate Change Could Affect Bonds

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the administration of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has started to caution investors that climate change poses a long-term risk to the state's finances.

The warning, which is now appearing in the state's bond offerings, comes as Mr. Cuomo, continues to urge that public officials come to grips with the frequency of extreme weather and to declare that climate change is a reality. 

A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo said he believed New York was the first state to caution investors about climate change. The caution, which cites Hurricane Sandy and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee, is included alongside warnings about other risks like potential cuts in federal spending, unresolved labor negotiations and litigation against the state.
"The state determined that observed effects of climate change, such as rising sea levels, and potential effects of climate change, such as the frequency and intensity of storms, presented economic and financial risks to the state," the spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, said on Tuesday.

Mr. Azzopardi added, "The extreme weather events of the last two years highlighted real and potential costs from extreme weather events, including the need to harden the state's infrastructure and improve disaster preparedness, both of which have been a priority of the governor."
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