Who Cares About Climate Risk? (The real estate sector should…)

When it comes to natural disasters, buildings, once constructed, are much like sitting ducks. But ducks can fly, and buildings cannot (as of yet). Climate events, including for example storms, heatwaves, and floods, thus pose a significant risk to buildings, whether commercial or residential. The recent sequence of superstorms (and subsequent flooding events) in major U.S. cities serves as a tangible reminder (think: New York, Houston, San Juan, PR, etc.). And it’s not just storms and flooding, but also cold spells, heat waves, drought, periods of extended precipitation, tidal flooding. Heat and flooding regularly account for the most weather-related deaths in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service. While such climate events already happen on a frequent basis, there is reason to believe that both the intensity and incidence will increase going forward. The New York City Panel on Climate Change, re-convened in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, projects an increase in the most intense hurricanes and increased precipitation from hurricanes.

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Author: Nils Kok