Credit downgrades imminent for cities unprepared for climate impacts, study says

JENNIFER DORROH / CLIMATE LIABILITY NEWS – Many U.S. coastal communities, unprepared for flooding and other effects of global warming-driven sea level rise, are heading toward an imminent downgrade of their credit unless they act quickly, a new report says.

The report warns that federal subsidies for rebuilding flooded properties, coupled with the rollback of standards for that rebuilding, create the illusion that cities and towns can continue to ignore flood risks without financial consequences. But a reckoning is coming, says “Credit Downgrade Threat as a Non-regulatory Driver for Flood Risk Mitigation and Sea Level Rise Adaptation,” a white paper published last month by the University of Pennsylvania Scholarly Commons.

The absence of clear market or government warnings about imminent risks of climate change is leading many communities to squander what could be their last chance at affordable credit to fund resilient infrastructure projects, the report says …

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