Image text reads, "La Follette Forum: Climate Policy"

Climate Science, Risk & Resilience

Illustration of the earth with a thermometer.

Marquee Theater
2:30 – 3:45 p.m.  |  Breakout Session 3A

The effects of climate change — heat waves, wildfires, droughts, storms, and flooding — are already being felt around the world, and expected to worsen. This panel covered the latest science on climate impacts in Wisconsin and policy actions to prepare for them.

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Key Takeaways

  • Financial institutions and corporations can be the risk bearers for society when it comes to finding new climate-smart technology, making technological changes, and changing fuel sources. 
  • The insurance industry is attempting to understand potential impacts over time of climate change on consumers, companies, and regulatory agencies. This will help them  make risk judgments and ensure they can handle many climate scenarios. 
  • Financial institutions focus on quantifying physical risks (floods, fires, droughts, heatwaves, and so on) and indirect physical risks (supply chain issues). Lenders, financial institutions, and insurance companies are seeking to quantify these physical risks. 
  • Multiple climate scenarios must be studied at the same time. Global pandemics, bush fires, forest fires, supply chain issues, all have diverse impacts on the climate and on the financial sector. Climate and risk modeling must take into account the fact that multiple risks can occur.


Kathy Blumenfeld

Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Kristofer Canto

Enterprise Risk Management Advisor, American Family Insurance

Daniel Vimont

Professor of Climatology in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department / Director, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research at the University of Wisconsin – Madison


Andrea Dutton

Professor of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison