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This resource was written to develop a comprehensive, objective, consistent fact base to quantify climate risks in the U.S. Gulf Coast and inform economically sensible approaches for addressing this risk. Some of the risks posed by climate change in the area include:
• Gulf Coast energy assets are $800 billion today and a key engine for the economy, making up 90% of industrial assets;
• Growth is occurring disproportionately in some of the most at-risk areas
• Regardless of climate change, the Gulf Coast faces increasing risk. Parts of Louisiana are subsiding rapidly, and will sink by 1 foot by 2050;
• With climate change we should expect a Katrina/Rita-type year occurring once every lifetime by 2030;
• Louisiana faces significant risk, with ~12 % of capital investment being “locked in” towards rebuilding each year. 4
• Regardless of climate change, the region will face more risk. Asset growth and subsidence will increase loss by ~30% over the next 20 years.
• Cumulative losses due to climate events over the next 20 years may be ~$370 billion -enough to reconstruct New Orleans buildings 6 times over, or ~700 superdomes.
• The Netherlands builds protection to a 1/10,000 year event; as opposed to less than a 1/100 yr event in the Gulf Coast.
The key climate hazards examined in this resource are wind-related damage, gradual sea level rise, and storm surge.
By Sandy Van Sant
This is primarily a report detailing how climate change will affect the Gulf Coast structurally and impact energy assets. It is not really a tool for local public health and does not address health impacts.