PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A new study by the Center for Climate Integrity is breaking down how much the climate crisis could cost Pennsylvanians.
The study predicts local municipalities will need to spend at least $15.4 billion by 2040 to protect residents from extreme heat and rain events. That money would go towards increasing road maintenance, protecting against landslides, upgrading air conditioning in schools and increasing storm drain capacity.
The study said Pittsburgh will face $520 million in adaptation costs.
“This data is real data. It can’t be denied,” said Joe Minott, executive director of the Clean Air Council. “Water and heat slowly destroys infrastructures like roads and what have you. They’ve gone through sort of a whole series of damages that are caused by extreme climate change.”
Minott said the costs will come down to the taxpayers unless local municipalities take legal action against those responsible for the pollution.
According to the study, major oil and gas corporations are to blame for the climate crisis.
“The Center for Climate Integrity empowers communities and elected officials with the knowledge and tools they need to hold oil and gas corporations accountable for the massive costs of climate change,” said the Center for Climate Integrity.
“Should it be taxpayers like you and I that have to pay for these billions of dollars in just keeping the infrastructure going, or should it go to the people or the corporations that sort of caused the harm in the first place? Minott said.
Minott said so far, no municipality in Pennsylvania has filed a lawsuit but believes some are moving in that direction.
KDKA-TV reached out to the city of Pittsburgh to learn about plans. A spokesperson for Mayor Ed Gainey sent this statement:
“We’re reviewing the study ourselves about the impact climate change will have on our city. We’re doing a lot of work already to address what’s happening in our area due to climate change especially how it may be responsible for more land slides in our area through the Walls and Slopes Unit within the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure. We’re working with the federal government to secure more funds to address climate change in the city. Addressing climate changes to protect residents, their home and businesses and the environment is one of the goals this administration is constantly working towards.”
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