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What if New Mexico doesn't address climate change?
Date:2/18/2009

ts for New Mexico households and businesses," said Bob Doppelt, CLI's director, who managed the report. "There will be no business-as-usual economy in New Mexico under a business-as-usual approach to climate change."

"Our assessment shows that climate change will impose many different types of costs on the citizens of New Mexico," Niemi said. "We anticipate health-related costs of almost $421 million, wildfire-related costs of $488 million and energy-related costs of $248 million per year in 2020."

The $3.2 billion price tag for 2020, which researchers say is a purposely conservative understatement, is based on 19 potential costs in 10 categories for which researchers had sufficient data to draw conclusions. Researchers also listed another 19 significant environmental consequences for which they had insufficient information to include in the report.

Per-household costs -- $3,430 for 2020, $5,410 for 2040 and $12,000 for 2080 -- are based on projected population growth and were computed to spell out the cost of inaction on a personal level, not as a recommendation of actual cost-sharing. The totals for the three years translate to 8 percent of median household earnings in 2020, 13 percent in 2040 and 29 percent in 2080.

The report assumes that New Mexico, like many other states and countries, will not pursue "effective actions to rein in emissions of greenhouse gases, logging of native forests, and other factors that drive climate change." The report also considers "the costs households and businesses would incur by continuing with technologies and behaviors that inefficiently use energy, even though more efficient alternatives are available at little or no cost."

"The preservation of water and forests is critical to New Mexico's economy and may be at risk due to climate change. The costs related to health and wildfires, recreation and ecosystem effects are likely significant, and not fully accounted for in this analysis,"
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert

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