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News Link • Climate Change

Moody's Warns Cities to Address Climate Risks or Face Downgrades

• bloomberg.com By Christopher Flavelle

Coastal communities from Maine to California have been put on notice from one of the top credit rating agencies: Start preparing for climate change or risk losing access to cheap credit.

In a report to its clients Tuesday,

Moody's Investors Service Inc. explained how it incorporates climate change into its credit ratings for state and local bonds. If cities and states don't deal with risks from surging seas or intense storms, they are at greater risk of default.

"What we want people to realize is: If you're exposed, we know that. We're going to ask questions about what you're doing to mitigate that exposure," Lenny Jones, a managing director at Moody's, said in a phone interview. "That's taken into your credit ratings."

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