The Unfunded Mandate of Climate Change

by Fran Sussman

A recent post here on CD&S argued that greater attention should be paid to the literature on economic impacts of climate change in the National Climate Assessment.  That argument has been taken a step further in a report from the Center on American Progress (CAP), coauthored by Fran Sussman (CD&S) with Cathleen Kelly (CAP) and Kate Gordon of The Next Generation (TNG).  The report, Climate Change: An Unfunded Mandate, argues that, by failing to take aggressive action on climate change, Congress is imposing an unfunded mandate on the budgets of state, local, and tribal governments—the costs of repairing and rebuilding infrastructure, treating illness, making institutional change, and preparing for the future by making human systems and infrastructure more resilience to projected climate change. (more…)

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Economics in the National Climate Assessment

by Fran Sussman

The draft National Climate Assessment (NCA)—which became available for review this past January–is the third to be produced since the Global Change Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606) mandated that the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) provide Congress and the President with periodic assessments of trends in global climate and the impacts of global change on natural and human systems in the U.S. Despite providing an impressive review of the literature on the science and physical effects of climate change, the assessment does not—intentionally—take the next step of assessing what we know about projected economic impacts and adaptation costs. (more…)

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