Published: January 20, 2020

Miami’s plan to survive impacts of climate change: figure out a way to pay for it

The city’s new comprehensive plan includes concrete ways to adapt to sea level rise — like planting mangroves along the waterfront and raising sea walls — and to cut down on emissions, including plans to swap out city cars for electric vehicles. It also considers a touchy subject, the possibility of abandoning certain parts of the city to rising seas.

But much of the Miami Forever Climate Ready strategy focuses on how to cover projects expected to be extraordinarily expensive while climate change is expected to shift the financial ground cities rely on to pay the bills. Lower property values and higher insurance costs could mean less revenue and potentially make issuing bonds more costly.

“Now is the time, while Miami’s economy is still growing, to turn this climate challenge into an opportunity,” the report reads.

The strategy has the city considering taxing waterfront areas to pay for protection from hurricane storm surge and sea level rise, hiking impact fees on new development and starting a city fund for future resilience efforts, like Surfside recently did. It also asks the city to help residents figure out how to pay to adapt their property, either by pointing them toward federal or private market options or creating a city-owned revolving loan fund.

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Source: Miami Herald

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