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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FSOC directs regulators to take measures to mitigate climate-related financial risks

Federal Issues FSOC Climate-Related Financial Risks Department of Treasury SEC Federal Reserve OCC FHFA Biden Dodd-Frank Bank Regulatory

Federal Issues

On October 21, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) released a new report in response to President Biden’s May executive order, which directed financial regulators to take steps to mitigate climate-related risk related to the financial system. The Report on Climate-Related Financial Risk (see also FSOC’s fact sheet) identified more than 30 specific recommendations for member agencies, including that members should: (i) expand capacity and efforts “to define, identify, measure, monitor, assess, and report on climate-related financial risks and their effects on financial stability,” including through “investments in staffing, training, expertise, data, analytic and modeling methodologies, and monitoring”; (ii) promptly conduct an internal inventory of currently available data and develop plans for acquiring necessary additional data to fill climate-related data and methodological gaps; (iii) review existing public disclosure requirements and consider updating public reporting requirements in a way that would build on the work of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures; and (iv) continue to assess and mitigate climate-related risks to financial stability, including through scenario analysis, and evaluate whether revised or new regulations or guidance is necessary to clarify expectations for regulated or supervised institutions. The report also called for enhanced coordination across member agencies, and said a Climate-related Financial Risk Committee will be formed to “identify priority areas for assessing and mitigating climate-related risks to the financial system and serve as a coordinating body to share information, facilitate the development of common approaches and standards, and foster communication across FSOC members.” A Climate-related Financial Risk Advisory Committee will also be formed to help gather information and analysis from stakeholders on climate-related financial risks. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that FSOC has a responsibility under the Dodd-Frank Act “to respond to emerging threats to the stability of the United States financial system” and to “ensure the resilience of the financial system to the future impacts of climate change.”

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