Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) releases new report on sea level rise

In December 2019, the California Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released a new report entitled "Preparing for Rising Seas: How the State Can Help Local Coastal Adaptation Efforts". The report acknowledges that the State has a vested interest in protecting California's coastline, but places most of the responsibility for sea level rise preparation on local governments, as most coastal property is owned either privately or by local governments. Despite this, most coastal communities are only in the early stages of planning for sea level rise, while delaying will result in lost opportunities and higher costs.

As financial markets, corporate boards, and insurance companies have already begun to realize, ignoring climate risks is more costly in the long-run than grappling with them. As the Financial Times recently reported, the financial sector is rapidly beginning to take climate risks seriously. Several central banks are incorporating climate stress tests for banks and insurers into their modeling, while better metrics are steadily becoming available that allow financial markets to price climate risks on a consistent basis across markets.  

BARC believes in the importance of establishing a regional risk-management framework for flooding and sea level rise, as well as other hazards. An important part of this framework is doing the analysis necessary to decide on the level of protection needed based on value of assets in specific locations. We also need to lay out the full range of strategies that can be employed to reduce risk.

Read the full LAO report here