Politics Climate gentrification and affordable housing policies
How Amy Coney Barrett Could Alter the Future of the U.S.'s Climate Change Policy
A conservative Supreme Court could take aim at existing climate change measures while also stopping federal agencies from creating new ones.The future of the Court will also shape the future of U.S. climate policy. A Supreme Court remade in the vision of the right could take aim at existing climate change measures—and the legal justifications underpinning them—while also impeding the ability of federal government agencies to implement new ones. At the heart of the issue is the role of federal agencies and their ability to regulate, an area known as administrative law. In the U.S.
Climate change is here to stay. Global mean temperatures have already risen more than 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and sea levels have risenin the last 25 years alone. Coastal communities are seeing increased storm surge, king tides and flooding. For example, Miami's Virginia Key experienced a floods in 2019.
Withof the world living near the coast and sea level rise unlikely to abate in the near term, coastal communities across the world are adapting and becoming more resilient through coastal infrastructure investments. These efforts include deploying sea walls, elevating roads, improving drainage and installing pumping stations. The city of Miami Beach has already allocated to infrastructure to protect against sea level rise, and Miami-Dade County devoted of the fiscal year 2020-2021 budget to resilience investments. How can coastal communities become more resilient while at same time ensuring that disadvantaged communities are not disparately impacted by sea level rise? We advocate a two-pronged approach combining private partnerships to increase resilience investments, combined with zoning and regulatory changes to increase affordability.
Climate change doesn't cause wildfires, but here's why it's making them worse
The consequences climate scientists have long been warning about are coming to fruition in the increased intensity of natural disasters around the globe. The consequences climate scientists have long been warning about are coming to fruition in the increased intensity of natural disasters around the globe, recently in the form of devastating wildfires that ravaged the western states and enshrouded areas not plagued with flames under hazes of smoke.
Coastal communities are finding a sudden need for expensive resilience infrastructure. Funds for these projects are scarce, which means that wealthier municipalities often make larger investments. For example, Hialeah and Miami Beach are both in Miami-Dade County. The total amount of tax-payer-funded adaptation, however, is about 12 times larger in Miami Beach. This is not necessarily a bad policy, since Miami Beach has more valuable property at risk and is closer to the ocean. Indeed, prioritizing Miami Beach may be the best route if the public is looking to minimize total economic losses due to climate risk. The problem with this strategy is that low income areas are left less protected. Trading off affordable housing against excessive vulnerability to flood risk is a position that no one should be in. How can local municipalities increase resilience investments in underserved neighborhoods?
How Ritchie Torres won a battle for the Bronx in the heat of the pandemic
Ritchie Torres has a clear path to Washington, but getting to this point has not been an easy ride. The 32-year-old city councilman is set to head to Congress to represent a South Bronx district where nearly a third of residents live below the poverty line. Torres, an openly gay, Afro-Latino product of public housing, says the issues facing a community that was already struggling before the outbreak drove unemployment over 20 percent are personal. And while his diverse roots and unabashed progressivism would seem to fit Torres firmly among the wave of young people of color who have won House seats in recent years, he has also faced friendly fire from his fellow liberals.
One approach is to hope for aid from the federal government. Unfortunately, federal planners usually fail to see the urgency of local issues and tend to rely on massive infrastructure solutions from the. Such solutions often do not adequately protect the environment and fail to account for the effect of projects on individual neighborhoods. In our view, a better idea is to use funding mechanisms, such as and bonds, which offer lower interest rates for resilience investments if the infrastructure also promotes a healthy environment. This sort of approach is a fertile ground for partnerships with businesses seeking to implement sustainability initiatives that focus on resilience, and with nonprofit organizations. One example is the , an organization actively promoting local resilience to climate change. This bottom-up approach allows municipalities to leverage additional resources and share best practices.
COVID-19 and climate change are a perfect storm for violent conflict
Governments need to deliver a unified response based on an understanding of how the impacts of climate and COVID-19 are combining to create heightened risks of conflict .The pandemic has affected both rich and poor countries alike, but for those already struggling with poverty, COVID-19 is creating new risks of instability. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, severe movement restrictions during the pandemic have combined with existing food insecurity that was already at record levels due to droughts, flooding and pest infestation.
Local communities must also address a second problem caused by sea level rise: changes in affordable housing.shows that sea level rise induces a process whereby low-lying properties lose value relative to properties at higher elevations. This effect is problematic. Property values rise as relatively wealthy buyers chase a small number of less vulnerable properties, and property values fall in high risk areas due to higher insurance costs and the threat of disruptions due to flooding and storm surge. Low income residents are then displaced and concentrated in vulnerable neighborhoods, resulting in climate gentrification.
Resilience infrastructure investments protect coastal residents, but they can also exacerbate climate gentrification. As wealthier residents leave low-lying areas, the tax base shrinks, making resilience investments less affordable. This can create a feedback loop where resilience investments cause even more wealthy residents to leave for newly protected areas, leaving under-funded and vulnerable communities with an even lower tax base. There is also another consequence; oursuggests that a resilience investment in a low-income community can make the area more desirable, raising rents to the point where low income households are priced out. This contributes to the gentrification problem when it changes the historical character and makeup of a neighborhood.
Michigan liberal pushes 'Green New Deal' climate agenda to unseat centrist Republican Fred Upton
Jon Hoadley, a 37-year-old liberal, is pushing an agenda to confront climate change aggressively as a wedge issue to defeat longtime Republican incumbent Rep. Fred Upton in a purple district of southwest Michigan. © Provided by Washington Examiner Hoadley’s embrace of the progressive "Green New Deal" might seem like a risk to score an upset in a district, Michigan’s 6th, bordering Indiana, and which President Trump flipped in 2016 after it backed former President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. The race is rated lean Republican by the Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball.
The solution is to combine resilience investments with policies that promote affordable housing. But not all policies are effective at solving this problem! For example, urban areas with affordable housing issues often enact. However, that rent control reduces the supply of rental housing, which actually ends up driving up long-run rental costs. Landlords also cut back on in response to rent control, a problem that is likely severe when properties are subject to frequent flooding. Removing zoning restrictions limiting housing density is the . Removal of zoning restrictions increases the supply of high elevation housing, which limits price increases, dislocation of low-income residents and gentrification. New buildings are also subject to updated building codes, which include more protections against environmental hazards. Municipalities can also promote increasing the supply of affordable housing in other ways, such as streamlining , which reduces the cost of new housing and ultimately rental costs.
Coastal communities are facing an unprecedented challenge. Sea level rise and climate change are resulting in flooding, hurricanes, saltwater intrusion, spread of tropical diseases, reef damage and a host of other problems. If decision makers are to take this problem seriously, they need to acknowledge both the different sources of climate risk, as well as the incentives that different policies create in a market setting. The bottom line is that a more sustainable path of coastal urban development tackles the key sources behind vulnerability and access to affordable housing.
Given sea level rise projections over the next decades, little room for error exists. However, we are positive that by constructing coastal resilience infrastructure in vulnerable areas, while simultaneously reducing zoning restrictions, coastal cities can achieve their goal of not only adapting, but thriving, in response to these pressing environmental challenges.
David L. Kelly is a professor of economics and academic director of the, Miami Herbert Business School at University of Miami.
Renato Molina is an assistant professor of economics at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Miami Herbert Business School at University of Miami.
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Environmentalists sound alarm over Barrett's climate change comments | Energy regulators signal support for carbon pricing in electricity markets| Methane emissions up in 2020 amid turbulent year for oil and gas .
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