The threads of the local, national, and international economic fabric are closely woven together – what we do on a local level can create ripples in the global economy. That’s why it’s imperative that we understand the risks climate change poses to the economy at all levels, and do what we can to control greenhouse gas emissions close to home.
In recent years, major economic players and leaders of multinational businesses have routinely cited failure to address climate change as a significant risk to their operations and supply chains. Natural disasters and extreme weather events caused by climate change can cause major disruptions, and the impacts are distributed throughout our increasingly connected economy.
Locally, municipal bonds that are used to finance capital projects and improvements to infrastructure can be harder to come by if a county or city does not take action to address climate concerns. In Fairfax County, where we enjoy a Triple-A bond rating from all three national ratings agencies, failure to tackle climate change risks could significantly reduce our collective creditworthiness over time. This would make it more expensive for our community to finance large-scale community projects.
For the individual consumer, these larger economic concerns may pale in comparison to the prospect of paying more on a weekly basis at the grocery store. Agriculture is the economic sector most impacted by climate change. For every degree Celsius our global thermostat climbs, crop yields will decline by five to 15 percent. As supply declines and demand remains the same or increases with time, prices on grocery store shelves will go up.
Just like paying down a credit card balance promptly can help you avoid spiraling debt, reducing our collective carbon footprint can help prevent an escalating problem that becomes harder and harder to fix the more time goes by. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations of Fairfax County residents to take climate action today.
This is why we are in the midst of developing the first-ever Community-wide Energy and Climate Action Plan, or CECAP. The CECAP is unique in that it is being developed by the community, for the community, with input from dozens of organizational, business, and civic leaders, as well as individual residents. The CECAP will outline greenhouse gas reduction goals for the community and will include recommended strategies and actions community members can take on a voluntary basis to help achieve the goals. County residents interested in helping to implement the plan can email email@example.com for more information.