Businesses can still avoid the most severe risks from climate change through early investments in resilience and immediate action to reduce the pollution that causes global warming, according to a report by the Risky Business Project.
The report, Risky Business: The Economic Risks of Climate Change in the United States, summarizes findings of an independent assessment of the economic impact of climate change at the county, state, and regional level, and shows that communities, industries and properties across the US face significant and widespread risks from climate change.
The Risky Business Project is a joint, non-partisan initiative of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, billionaire Tom Steyer and George W. Bush-era Treasury secretary Henry Paulson.
The report shows that two of the primary impacts of climate change — extreme heat and sea level rise — will disproportionately affect certain regions of the US, and pose highly variable risks across the nation. In the US Gulf Coast, Northeast, and Southeast, for example, sea level rise and increased damage from storm surge are likely to lead to an additional $2 to $3.5 billion in property losses each year by 2030, with escalating costs in future decades. In interior states in the Midwest and Southwest, extreme heat will threaten human health, reduce labor productivity and strain electricity grids.
Conversely, in northern latitudes such as North Dakota and Montana, winter temperatures will likely rise, reducing frost events and cold-related deaths, and lengthening the growing season for some crops.