Headwaters Economics and Great Lakes RISA team release report on using economics to support climate adaptation

Headwaters Economics and Great Lakes RISA team release report on using economics to support climate adaptation

Funded by CPO’s Great Lakes RISA team, Headwaters Economics released a new report describing how to use economics to build support for climate adaptation. A growing number of local governments are taking steps toward climate adaptation, mostly through the development of climate adaptation plans. However, the rate and pace of adaptation action has significantly lagged behind planning, especially in mid- and small-sized municipalities where resources are often limited and local politics may further delay action. The prevalence of response rather than proactive action is further exacerbated by the disproportionate level of federal disaster funding available for disaster response rather than planning and mitigation. Local governments face an increasingly urgent need to adapt to a changing climate in ways that reflect their unique environmental, social, and economic conditions, all on a balanced budget and with limited federal support. Headwaters Economics researched and reported strategies, methods, and case studies of cities that have used economic data and methods to advance climate adaptation programs.

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather. In 2017, the United States experienced a record-tying 16 climate- and weather-related disasters where overall costs reached or exceeded $1 billion. Combined, these events claimed 362 lives, and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted, costing more than $306 billion. Businesses, policy leaders, resource managers and citizens are increasingly asking for information to help them address such challenges.

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