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

said Kristine Grimsrud, a member of the steering committee of CLI's Program on Economics and professor of economics at the University of New Mexico. "Thus, the losses to the New Mexico economy are likely even higher since many known costs have not yet been quantified."

"While emphasis has been placed on the impact of programs to mitigate greenhouse gases, estimating the impact of maintaining the status quo has been over looked. This report provides a first step in filling that gap," said Janie Chermak, also a member of the program's steering committee and professor of economics at the University of New Mexico. "While different groups may quibble over the 'right' estimates or numbers, this report surely shows that the costs of maintaining the status quo are not trivial."

Projected total annual costs of business as usual in New Mexico for 2020 ($3.2 billion), 2040 ($6.3 billion) and 2080 ($18.4 billion) are based on:

  • Increased energy-related costs: $248 million (2020); $647 million (2040); and $2.6 billion (2080)
  • Reduced trout populations: $38 million; $46 million; and $61 million
  • Reduced food and agricultural production: $73 million; $129 million; and $382 million
  • Increased health-related costs: $421 million; $759 million; and $1.6 billion
  • Lost recreation opportunities: $286 million; $563 million; and $812 million
  • Increased wild-land fire costs: $488 million; $1 billion; and $2.2 billion
  • Increased flood and storm damages: $88 million; $181 million; and $435 million
  • Reduced stream flows: $8 million; $11 million; and $21 million
  • Inefficient consumption of energy: $1.3 billion; $2.4 billion; and $8.3 billion
  • Increased health costs from coal-fired emissions: $275 million; $527 million; and $1.9 billion

Some of the categories are broken down into more specific components in the report.

Complete sources for data collection and analyses are detailed in the
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Contact: Jim Barlow
jebarlow@uoregon.edu
541-346-3481
University of Oregon
Source:Eurekalert

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