Why Climate Change Must Be a Fed Priority

August 26, 2021

The Fed can and must address climate-related financial risk.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

The Fed’s Climate Responsibility

The climate crisis poses grave threats to the economy and to financial stability.

“But . . . what should the United States’ economist-in-chief do about it?” Neil Irwin asks in the New York Times.

A lot more.

So far, the Federal Reserve under current Chair Jerome Powell has done little to address climate-related risk—inaction that will hinder necessary economic transformation and destabilize our financial system

“The next Fed chair should adopt a dramatically different approach to climate than Powell has exhibited,” Roosevelt’s David Arkush and Kristina Karlsson write in a blog post.

“In particular, the Fed should recognize that the climate crisis threatens the goals of its monetary policy mission, stable prices, and full employment.” 

Read on for nine actions the Fed can take to combat the climate crisis.


2021 Four Freedoms Awards

The Roosevelt Institute is pleased to announce that this year’s Four Freedoms Awards will honor those who embody racial justice through their work and legacies. 

The 2021 Four Freedoms Awards recipients are:

  • Freedom of Speech and Expression: New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones
  • Freedom of Worship: Senator Raphael Warnock
  • Freedom from Want: Economic justice advocate Deepak Bhargava
  • Freedom from Fear: Immigrant rights leaders Sixta Leon Barrita, Rubiela Correa, Sonia Perez, and Maria Isabel Sierra
  • Freedom Medal: Civil rights activist Fred T. Korematsu (given posthumously, and accepted by his daughter, Dr. Karen Korematsu)

“As both an Asian American and President and CEO of the Roosevelt Institute, I could not be prouder that we as an organization are reckoning with the Roosevelt Administration’s incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II by honoring Mr. Korematsu,” said Roosevelt President and CEO Felicia Wong. “As we continue our fight for a just economy and a multiracial democracy, it’s important to learn from the past so we can grow in the future.”

Learn more and join us for a series of virtual award ceremonies in October.


Congratulations to Liz Shuler, the New AFL-CIO President

The Roosevelt Institute congratulates Liz Shuler on her appointment as president of the AFL-CIO. As we face challenges to the very core of our democracy and our values as a nation, Shuler is on the front lines. In fighting for good jobs and fair wages, and defending access to affordable health care and retirement security, Shuler demonstrates the breadth of what it means to devote one’s life to public service and civic duty. 

Shuler succeeds the late Richard Trumka, whose recent passing we mourn along with the entire labor movement. 

Earlier this year, we honored Shuler at our Distinguished Public Service Awards (DPSA). Learn more about Shuler’s commitment to public service, and watch an excerpt of the 2021 DPSA ceremony.

What We’re Reading

The Climate Crisis Is Worse for Women. Here’s Why.New York Times

Corporate America’s $50 Billion PromiseWashington Post

Recent Unemployment Cuts Made People Poorer without Increasing Employment [feat. Roosevelt’s Suresh Naidu]Jacobin Magazine

How Not to Create JobsNew York Times

The States Making Voting Easier – Bloomberg CityLab