The New York Times discusses how the Coronavirus Could Raise Cities’ Risk for Climate Disasters.
The economic toll of the coronavirus is forcing cities and states to redirect money away from projects that provide climate resilience, in a shift that threatens to tackle one crisis at the expense of another.
Officials in San Francisco, Miami Beach and New York City have said they are likely to delay climate-related projects like sea walls because of the virus, which has slashed tax revenue and increased demands for emergency services, housing and other immediate needs. Washington State has cut funding for resilience projects, and people who work on climate adaptation in other cities and states said they worried about similar cuts.
The delays, which officials described as a necessary response to the fiscal straits that many cities are experiencing, come as the cost of natural disasters continue to rise. That threat remains every bit as urgent as it was before the pandemic, experts warned, even if climate change is not in the forefront of the public’s attention.