Wall Street pros' eye-opening warning about climate change

Henry Paulson
Peter Kramer | NBC | Getty Images

A small but elite group of former financial executives have issued a stern warning on the economic costs of climate change in an effort to get the business community and others to take action.

"Our economy is vulnerable to an overwhelming number of risks from climate change," former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson said in a statement announcing his new "Risky Business " report Tuesday.

"These risks include the potential for significant federal budget liabilities, since many businesses and property owners turn to the federal government as the insurer of last resort. But if we act immediately, we can still avoid most of the worst impacts of climate change and significantly reduce the odds of catastrophic outcomes—but the investments we're making today will determine our economic future."