Significant Investments Needed to Protect LA County Residents From Climate Hazards

A new study estimates that LA County must invest billions of dollars before 2040 to protect residents from extreme heat, increasing precipitation, worsening wildfires, rising sea levels, and climate-induced public health threats.

1 minute read

April 17, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Clement Lau


Nighttime view of wildfire in Los Angeles hills.

La Tuna wildfire burning on Verdugo Mountain near Burbank in 2017. | trekandphoto / Adobe Stock

With climate-driven disasters in Southern California getting more intense each year, it is more important than ever for communities to invest in a wide range of climate adaptation and resilience projects and measures. As reported by Hayley Smith of the LA Times, a recently released new study offers estimated costs of preparing for and adapting to 14 different climate impacts on municipal, county, state, and federal governments in Los Angeles County.

According to the report by The Center for Climate Integrity, the most costly adaptation categories are related to precipitation and heat, including an estimated $4.3 billion for improved stormwater management, $2.5 billion for cool pavement investments, and $1.4 billion for tree canopies to combat urban heat islands. Other costs include wildfire mitigation, coastal defense and infrastructure protection, building upgrades for cooling and air conditioning, and responses to vector-borne diseases.

The study estimates that municipal, county, state, and federal governments will need to expend at least $12.5 billion through 2040, more than $9 billion of which will be incurred by municipal governments. The total cost equates to about $780 million annually to protect communities in L.A. County from extreme heat, changing precipitation, wildfires, rising sea levels, and climate-induced public health threats.

Thursday, April 4, 2024 in Los Angeles Times

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