Climate change may carry huge price tag for California


For the first time, the costs of global warming's projected effects in the nation's largest state have been quantified: About $2.5 trillion of real estate assets in California are at risk from extreme weather events, sea level rise and wildfires, with a projected annual price tag of between $300 million and $3.9 billion, according to a new report, "California Climate Risk and Response," written by UC Berkeley researchers Fredrich Kahrl and David Roland-Holst.

..."Our report makes clear the most expensive thing we can do about climate change is nothing," Roland-Holst said. But he adds, "This is not a Doomsday report...If we make the right investments, we can avert much of the damage in any scenario."

California is also moving to adopt comprehensive regulations to slash its greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below today's level. But that would only put a dent in the trajectory of climate change, unless dramatic measures are undertaken nationwide and across other continents, according to scientists.