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State Legislatures: Climate Change Threatens State Economies « The Washington Independent

Jul 31, 2020
My previous postreports on a UC Berkeley study showing how California’s environmental policies have boosted that state’s economy.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, in conjunction with the University of Maryland and the Center for Integrative Environmental Research, is releasing reports that also show that economic and environmental interests are aligning in other states.
The studies lay out the rising economic costs of global warming on states’ agriculture, water resources, public health, tourism, transportation, forestry and infrastructure. In some states, cutting greenhouse gas emissions has reduced these costs and fostered economic growth.
The conference recommends that all states pursue tougher environmental regulations because a state’s economy is invariably linked to the economies of its neighbors.
Among the states featured in the new reports are North Carolina, Tennessee, North Dakota and Pennsylvania (pdf here). (Cost-analysis reports for Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Ohio were released in July at the conference’s Legislative Summit in New Orleans.)
As in California, energy-efficiency policies are the most cost-effective options for states seeking to reduce greenhouse gases, according to the reports. Minnesota, for instance, saw a return of $3 in economic gains for every dollar spent on its energy-efficiency programs. Other states are considering legislation that would require new buildings to meet certain efficiency standards, while renovations of existing ones would have to meet green standards. You can read the cost reports for 12 states here.
The policy recommendations of the National Conference of State Legislatures will probably encounter some resistance from industry forces. But if California’s example shows anything, it’s that industry can benefit from tougher environmental protections.
Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna is a writer and storyteller with a wide range of interests. He graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies. Paolo enjoys writing about celebrity culture, gaming, visual arts, and events. He has a keen eye for trends in popular culture and an enthusiasm for exploring new ideas. Paolo's writing aims to inform and entertain while providing fresh perspectives on the topics that interest him most. In his free time, he loves to travel, watch films, read books, and socialize with friends.
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