Reducing climate risks for coastal communities

This co-written article by Donna Shalala and Olympia Snowe is trying to remove the political stigmatism of left v. right and get coalesced around the cause to prepare for the coming changes. We at support this:

The risk to the overall economy from coastal climate impacts is substantial because coastal counties account for almost 50 percent of gross domestic product. Coastal areas are also the fastest growing and most densely populated regions of the country, accounting for 27 percent of national property by value, with more than half of all residential building permits issued since 1980. As a result, the value of insurable properties in coastal counties tops $14 trillion.

A relatively stable sea level over the past several centuries enabled this development, all of which, from the height of quays to the lowest elevation of houses, to the proximity to the coast of power stations and refineries, has been undertaken on the assumption that such stability will be sustained. That assumption is now being proven false. The local effects of sea level rise could put more and more development along the nation’s coastlines at risk.

This is one of the reasons we have joined the Risky Business initiative with Hank Paulson, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer, Robert Rubin, George Shultz and other business leaders, to better assess and protect against the huge economic risks that climate change represents to American business and our economy, especially along our coastlines. A new report that our group released this week, “Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States’’ finds that if we continue on our current emissions path, by 2050 between $66 billion and $106 billion worth of existing coastal property will likely be below sea level nationwide, growing to $238 to $507 billion by 2100. Moreover, there is a 1-in-20 chance that by the end of this century more than $701 billion worth of existing coastal property will be below sea level, and that average annual losses from hurricanes and other coastal storms along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico will grow by more than $42 billion due just to sea-level rise alone.

To read the article click here

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