The latest National Climate Assessment highlights the need for local, state, and federal governments to adopt policies to mitigate the effects of climate-driven flooding and sea level rise, according to a policy expert with the National Resources Defense Council.
“In less time than it takes to pay off a 30-year mortgage, U.S. coastlines will see 12-20 inches of sea level rise on average, with areas like the Western Gulf of Mexico facing up to 27 inches by 2050,” writes Rob Moore. To cope with the new reality, governments at all levels need to take two main courses of action.
First, they should move to curtail development in coastal areas and floodplains. They must also “make relocation assistance more timely, equitable, and easier to secure for people who need to move to higher ground.
“Today, states and local governments do not adopt building or zoning codes that take into account how sea-level rise or flooding will affect development in the future. Only about one-third of states and local governments have even adopted building codes that incorporate basic flood resilience features, according to FEMA.”