Amazon's climate disclosure defies politics as risks grow
Plus, how a century-old law holds back U.S. offshore wind ambitions.
In today’s edition:
— Corporate climate risk disclosure is growing despite political opposition. Just ask Amazon.
— The 100-year-old law that’s dragging at U.S. offshore wind power ambitions
— Scientists say the 1-5 hurricane scale isn’t big enough. Worse storms are coming.
— Turns out it does rain in Southern California. LA’s rainiest day ever.
— New peak oil prediction places demand switch before end of decade
As the rain from the latest atmospheric river pounded the streets of our California neighborhood the past few days, there were precious few signs of activity other than fallen trees, blowing debris, and Amazon delivery drivers. Forget the mailman. The Amazon drivers are the true riders on the storm.
Which is why it was little surprise that Amazon AMZN 0.00%↑ included a section on climate risk in its 2023 annual filing, warning that extreme weather could lead to higher costs and even changing customer demand patterns.
The wording was fairly boilerplate, but significant. Utilities and real estate companies have been warning about the impact from climate change for years, but increasingly in the past few years, large companies outside of those industries are starting to adapt climate change wording. A Harvard study last year found 74% of S&P 500 companies had some sort of climate disclosure in 2022, compared to 40% for the Russell 3000.
Even as regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission struggle with rules requiring some form of disclosure, companies are taking it up themselves to warn of the potential impact to their businesses. As the now common saying goes, climate risk is investment risk.
Expect to see more of these pop up this year, even as politicians argue about the woke nature of sustainable investing. Public companies don’t play that game. They know risk when they see it.
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