WASHINGTON -– One year after President Barack Obama rolled out his climate change action plan, the administration is putting fresh emphasis on its environmental agenda.
The White House plans to host two roundtable discussions this week on the economic threats that climate change poses and the "opportunities to overcome those risks," a White House official said in an email Monday night, which emphasized the potential costs of not addressing planet-warming emissions.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and White House leaders also plan to meet with billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer and former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson on Wednesday to discuss a report they will release this week titled, "Risky Business," which assess the economic costs of climate change. Steyer and Paulson are the co-chairs for the report.
Steyer, a former hedge fund manager turned environmental activist, has pledged to spend $100 million backing political candidates who support action on climate change through his political group, NextGen Climate Action. He has focused much of his political work on opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration is considering for possible approval.
Lew, White House advisers John Podesta and Valerie Jarrett, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Kathryn Sullivan and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate on Tuesday will meet with insurance industry representatives on climate impacts.
Obama himself will address the annual dinner of the League of Conservation Voters on Wednesday night. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell plan to speak earlier Wednesday at an event sponsored by the League of Conservation Voters. The group is the biggest electoral spender among environmental groups.
Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of Obama's speech at Georgetown University, where he unveiled his climate action plan. Since then, the administration has rolled out new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and has announced initiatives that streamline government climate efforts and publicize maps and climate data that show the planet's changes.