Assured Guaranty and UrbanFootprint Launching a Climate-Aware Analysis Framework for Public Finance

BY Business Wire | MUNICIPAL | 09/08/22 09:00 AM EDT

Municipal Bond Insights is an advanced, nearly real-time data-centric tool designed to drive critical risk assessment and redefine ESG analysis in public finance

BERKELEY, Calif. & HAMILTON, Bermuda--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- UrbanFootprint, the leading urban intelligence provider, and Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) , a financial services company that is the leading provider of municipal bond insurance and financial guarantees in U.S. and international capital markets, today announce their plans to deliver an industry-leading data-centric approach to ESG analysis for the municipal bond market. Municipal Bond Insights is a purpose-built tool designed to drive seamless evaluation of municipal bond prospects for climate and community vulnerability risk in the interest of minimizing portfolio-wide exposure and risk across an entire sector or large territory, and facilitating ESG analyses.

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As the damaging effects of climate change continue to intensify, public finance investors are increasingly scrutinizing how rising threats such as extreme weather events contribute to risk levels and potential defaults. In 2021 alone, the U.S. suffered a combined $145 billion in damages due to 20 natural disasters. Assured Guaranty (AGO) has been leveraging UrbanFootprint?s data insights for over a year in its financial guaranty business to evaluate municipal bond risk based on climate metrics, to support both single credit and portfolio-wide analysis and is working with UrbanFootprint to further develop UrbanFootprint?s products and make them available to the municipal bond industry.

?Municipal Bond Insights is designed to standardize and streamline ESG risk assessment based on UrbanFootprint?s methodology, which we have used for more than a year to evaluate obligors? climate risks among the thousands of obligors in our portfolio of insured bonds,? said Dominic Frederico, President and CEO of Assured Guaranty (AGO). ?The ability to integrate climate and community vulnerability data will help to ensure that we are prepared to manage risk from these growing threats, and we look forward to communicating the benefits of this product to the many municipal bond professionals we work with every day.?

UrbanFootprint?s Municipal Bond Insights is a dynamic data-driven tool that analyzes climate and community risk and resilience for the public finance industry. By combining current economic, socio-demographic, and community-scale data with climate and natural-hazard data, including risk of fire, flood, heat waves, sea level rise, and storm surge, Municipal Bond Insights provides public finance companies with a deep and actionable understanding of risk into individual assets and across portfolios and helps improve risk-adjusted returns. Municipal Bond Insights provides contemporaneous insights to evaluate, rank and compare opportunities based on a composite, nationwide score of ESG risks for any asset or municipality, measuring the potential impacts of natural disasters and man-made hazards on communities, resources, and infrastructure.

?As climate change continues to accelerate the severity and regularity of extreme weather events, public finance institutions are seeking solutions to include climate and community resilience metrics in risk assessment for their portfolios,? said Joe DiStefano, UrbanFootprint CEO. ?Municipal Bond Insights combines Assured Guaranty?s municipal market expertise with our comprehensive data platform and decades of experience in urban planning and disaster response to bring a unique approach to data-driven ESG analysis.?

Any forward-looking statements made in this press release reflect Assured Guaranty?s current views with respect to future events and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the future development of Municipal Bond Insights and related products, climate change intensification, rising threats such as extreme weather events and their contribution to risk levels and potential defaults, the reaction of municipal investors to such matters, and other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time, and management?s response to these factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which are made as of September 9, 2022. Assured Guaranty (AGO) undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

About UrbanFootprint

UrbanFootprint Builds Resilience. It serves the world's first Urban Intelligence Platform to public and private-sector organizations taking on the urban, climate, and social equity challenges of the 21st century. The UrbanFootprint Platform unifies previously siloed climate, environmental, urban, and socio-economic data across 160 million US land parcels empowering governments, utilities, financial institutions, and urban planners to answer fundamental resource questions?where to invest, where to deploy resources, and where to optimize for risk, return, and resilience. Never Wonder Where with UrbanFootprint. To learn more about UrbanFootprint, please visit: https://urbanfootprint.com/.

About Assured Guaranty (AGO)

Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO) is a publicly traded Bermuda-based holding company. Through its subsidiaries, Assured Guaranty (AGO) provides credit enhancement products to the U.S. and international public finance, infrastructure and structured finance markets, and also provides asset management services. More information on Assured Guaranty (AGO) can be found at: AssuredGuaranty.com.

Source: Assured Guaranty Ltd. (AGO)

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.

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