Hampshire Alums Inside the Biden-Harris White House Collaborate on New Climate Change Policy Initiatives

President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) have joined forces and established an Interagency Technical Working Group (ITWG) to evaluate the economic impact of climate change on the country and propose policy solutions. Hampshire alums Heather Boushey 88F, a CEA member, and Candace Vahlsing 01F, the associate director for climate, energy, environment, and science at the OMB, are core members of the agencies collaborating on this initiative.

Economist Boushey is working to examine the economic risks of climate change and develop new tools to guide the Federal government. In a blog post for The White House that Boushey co-authored with Noah Kaufman and Jeffery Zhang, she emphasized the need to “better capture the full range of climate threats and their potential to cause cascading damages throughout the economy,” and the importance of deepening our understanding of “transition risks and the policy measures that can enable U.S. workers and firms to thrive in an increasingly clean economy.”

As climate change accelerates, there’s no question that we’re facing increased risks to public health, the environment, and the economy. In a related April blog post that Vahlsing co-authored for The White House with economist Danny Yagan, she writes, “climate change threatens communities and sectors across the country, including through floods, drought, extreme heat, wildfires, and hurricanes that affect the U.S. economy and the lives of everyday Americans.”

The ITWG outlined how they would address the economic risks of climate change in a white paper titled, Climate-Related Macroeconomic Risks and Opportunities. The paper examines the macroeconomic implications of climate change, acknowledging the fiscal risks and identifying the relevant research, methodologies, and resources that can be utilized to inform and guide effective future policy. This work is, by nature, ever-evolving, and the Climate-Macro ITWG will continue to develop quantitative tools, create and evaluate resources, and usher in change-making policy.

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