Developing Climate Risk Disclosure Practices for the State of California


Publish Date:
September, 2021
  • Alicia Seiger, Thomas C. Heller, Developing Climate Risk Disclosure Practices for the State of California, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, September 2021.
Related Organization(s):


Called to serve by Governor Newsom as a follow-up to Executive Order N-19-19, the California Climate Risk Disclosure Advisory Group, Co-Chaired by Alicia Seiger, was comprised of 20 global leaders with deep expertise in state and local government, infrastructure, economics, finance, accounting, banking, business, insurance, and investment portfolio management. The report offers over 45 recommendations to help the state better account for climate risks and opportunities impacting its $262 general operating budget and the combined $1 trillion in AUM across the state’s biggest pensions. It serves as a roadmap for other states and asset owners in the face of climate-related physical and transition risks, and is groundbreaking in its reach, specificity and ambition.

Other Highlights:

  • The advisory group worked in consultation with a roughly 20 person state steering committee made up of leaders from the state’s constitutional agencies and offices as well as the 3 biggest pensions (CalPERS, CalSTRS and UC Regents.)
  • The recommendations for factoring climate risk into the state’s direct expenditures are particularly relevant in anticipation of the Federal government’s push for massive new infrastructure spending.
  • With regard to financial portfolios, the recommendations offer a level of specificity and ambition that goes beyond existing TCFD guidance for climate disclosure while remaining consistent with national and international best practice.
  • The recommendations, along with the report’s explanatory narratives regarding data, frameworks and methodologies, can help investors prepare for much anticipated rulemaking by the SEC and navigate the rapidly advancing international frontier, led by the IFRS, TCFD and Value Reporting Foundation (formerly SASB and IIRC.)
  • The report may also serve as model for the Federal Government, which is in the midst of a similar exercise in response to Biden’s May 20, 2021 Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risks.
  • As states, countries, businesses and investors Race to Zero in the lead-up to COP26, disclosure has emerged as a primary tool for enabling fulfillment of Net Zero pledges. The report details how best to practice disclosure, the ways in which disclosure needs to evolve, and how it fits into a comprehensive suite of climate policies.

Full list of Advisory Group Members

  • Marla Bleavins, Deputy Executive Director & Chief Financial Officer, Port of Los Angeles
  • Kathleen L Brown, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP Partner (Former State Treasurer)
  • Chris Costello, Director, Environmental Market Solutions Lab at UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School
  • Dr. Craig Davies, Associate Director for Green Economy and Climate Action, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Jib Ellison, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Blu Skye
  • Nili Gilbert, Board Member and Chair of the Investment Committee, David Rockefeller Fund
  • Janine Guillot, Chief Executive Officer, Value Reporting Foundation
  • Thomas Heller, Faculty Director, Stanford Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance
  • Dan Iancu, Associate Professor of Operations, Information and Technology, Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB)
  • Scott Jacobs, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Generate Capital
  • Dave Jones, Director, Climate Risk Initiative at UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment (CLEE)
  • Mary Obasi, Global Climate Risk Executive in Global Risk Management, Bank of America
  • Tim Profeta, Director, Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University
  • Carlos Sanchez, Director of Climate Resilience Investment, Willis Towers Watson
  • Lynn Schenk, Director, Business and Environment Initiative at Harvard Business School
  • Alicia Seiger, Managing Director, Stanford University Sustainable Finance Initiative
  • The Rev. Kirsten Spalding, Senior Program Director, Ceres
  • Laura D’Andrea Tyson, Distinguished Professor, Haas School of Business of the University of California Berkeley
  • Marilyn Waite, Program Officer in Environment, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Bill Weil, Program Strategist, Tempest Advisors