A new report from the National Institute of Building Sciences has found that climate mitigation funding can save huge sums of money. $6 can be saved in future disaster costs for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. Designing new buildings that exceed current building codes can save $4 for every $1 spent.
Climate change is a very costly business. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2017 was the most expensive year on record for weather and climate disasters. There were 16 climate-related events in 2017 with losses exceeding $1 billion. Total costs were around $306 billion, eclipsing the record losses in 2005 by $100 billion.
But as a new report from the National Institute of Building Sciences demonstrates, funding mitigation measures can save huge sums of money: $6 in future disaster costs for every $1 spent on hazard mitigation. What’s more, designing new buildings that exceed the provisions of model building codes developed by the International Code Council (ICC) can save $4 for every $1 spent.
The savings extend to human life, too. Implementing these two sets of mitigation strategies would prevent 600 deaths, 1 million non-fatal injuries and 4,000 cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the long term.
Designing new buildings that exceed current building codes would also result in 87,000 new long-term jobs and a 1 per cent increase in the use of domestically produced construction material.
The study was restricted to mitigation strategies and effects in the U.S.
The report examined various mitigation strategies including adding hurricane shutters or tornado safe rooms to improve wind resistance, strengthening structural and non-structural components to protect against earthquakes, and replacing flood-prone buildings.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Mark C. Olsen