Report: Climate Change Threatens Georgia's Economy and Environment

July 23, 2008
Emily Diamond-Falk, 202-572-3365,

(Washington, DC – July 23, 2008) –A new report released today details the devastating effects climate change will have on Georgia’s economy and environment. The study was produced by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Center for Integrative Environmental Research (CIER) at the University of Maryland. Environmental Defense Fund helped to finance the research and production of the report.
The report found that climate change will have wide-spread consequences across Georgia, including:
·        Drought. Last year, Georgia experienced an extreme drought costing $1.3 billion in economic damage, much of that stemming from agriculture losses. Researchers predict that if climate change triggers an additional crop shortage of 5%, the economic impacts could cost nearly $110 million annually.
·        Infrastructure. Georgia’s expansive road, rail, and air transportation system is vulnerable to increasing disruptions and damage from extreme weather events brought about by climate change.
·        Coastal Areas: Scientists warn climate change could bring more powerful hurricanes. In 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused $68.8 million in property damage in Georgia, and it is projected that the cumulative cost of sand for protecting Georgia’s coastline from another hurricane could cost as much $1.3 billion by 2100.
The study was part of the report State Economic and Environmental Costs of Climate Change, which examined the impacts of global warming on 12 states around the country. NCSL released the report today during an energy conference at the group’s Legislative Summit in New Orleans. In addition to Georgia, the report looked at how climate change will impact the economy and environment of Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

The overview of the project can be found at:
The Georgia report can be found at:
Individual states have already begun to address the issue of climate change: Six states enacted mandatory greenhouse gas reduction laws; 13 states have set voluntary targets; and 26 states have passed renewable energy portfolio standards.

“This report shows that climate change poses a great risk to Georgia’s infrastructure,” said Jerry Karnas, former Regional Outreach Coordinator for National Wildlife Federation in Georgia and now Florida Climate Project Director at EDF.  “If severe weather impacts Georgia’s transportation system, the entire U.S. would feel the consequences.”
Environmental Defense Fund, a leading national nonprofit organization, represents more than 500,000 members. Since 1967, Environmental Defense Fund has linked science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships to create breakthrough solutions to the most serious environmental problems. For more information, visit