Climate Science, Risk & Resilience

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

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Science, Risk & Resilience

Position title: Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions

Kathy Blumenfeld has extensive experience in the financial services industry, business, and government. In January 2019, Gov. Tony Evers appointed her secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. She previously served as executive vice president of special operations at TASC–the Total Administrative Services Corporation. At…

Kristofer Canto

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Science, Risk & Resilience

Position title: Enterprise Risk Management Advisor, American Family Insurance

Kristofer Canto joined American Family Insurance in 2017 as a sustainability analyst and was promoted to his current position in May 2021. He leads environmental, social, and governance strategic development and execution on stakeholder engagement,…

Andrea Dutton

Credentials: Moderator, Climate Science & Risk

Position title: Professor of Geoscience, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Andrea Dutton’s main research focuses on establishing the behavior of sea level and polar ice sheets during past warm periods to provide better information about future sea-level rise. Dutton is active in communicating about climate change and sea-level rise to the…

Daniel Vimont

Credentials: Panelist, Climate Science, Risk & Resilience

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

Dan Vimont holds the Ned P. Smith Professorship in Climatology in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department. His research focuses on understanding the causes and consequences of climate variability and change, especially variability that involves ocean/atmosphere interactions. He…