Executive Director, Risky Business Project
Vice President and Director, Energy & Climate Program at Next Generation
Kate Gordon leads the Energy & Climate team at Next Generation, developing policies and communications strategies to combat climate change and move the U.S. to a clean energy economy. She also serves as the Executive Director of Risky Business, a joint initiative of Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Office of Hank Paulson, and Next Generation to quantify and publicize the economic risks of climate change.
Kate is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of clean energy and economic development. Prior to joining Next Generation, she was Vice President for Energy and Environment at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington D.C., where she still serves as a senior fellow.
Kate has worked on a variety of economic development and social justice issues for more than 15 years, and is regarded as a leader in the national “green jobs” movement. She has focused on issues related to clean energy manufacturing, regional economic development in clean energy sectors, and American competitiveness. She contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal as one of the paper's "Energy Experts," blogs for the Huffington Post, and writes a weekly update on California energy and climate news for Next Generation.
Prior to joining CAP, Kate was the co-director of the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance), where she still serves on the Board of Directors. Earlier in her career, she was a senior associate at the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and an employment and consumer rights litigator at Trial Lawyers for Public Justice in Oakland. She earned a J.D. and master's degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
A high-level, bi-partisan group of leaders from business, finance, academia, and government released the Risky Business report today. The group is co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, and Tom Steyer, and the Risk Committee membership includes University of Miami President Donna Shalala, former US Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Former US Senator Olympia Snowe, among others.
They are calling on American investors and business leaders to "get in the game" to minimize the risks climate change poses to our businesses, communities, the economy, and our way of life.
On Sunday, Henry Paulson published an opinion piece in the New York Times ahead of the report's launch, titled "The Coming Climate Crash: Lessons for Climate Change in the 2008 Recession."
In it he draws parallels between the 2008 financial crisis and the climate crisis currently unfolding. He writes: "viewing climate change in terms of risk assessment and risk management makes clear to me that taking a cautiously conservative stance — that is, waiting for more information before acting — is actually taking a very radical risk. We’ll never know enough to resolve all of the uncertainties. But we know enough to recognize that we must act now."
He concludes, "We’ve seen and felt the costs of underestimating the financial bubble. Let’s not ignore the climate bubble."
This coalition of highly experienced and credible leaders highlighting climate risk and calling for action from the business and investment communities to support a price on carbon is another important signal of the importance of considering climate and other ESG criteria in the investment process.
A video of the press conference held this morning is available here: