Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Granite Staters

Pappas and Kuster Release Report on the Health and Economic Impacts of Climate Change on Granite Staters

Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) announced a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Reform entitled, “The Urgent Need for Climate Action: Health Benefits for the State of New Hampshire if the United States Meets the Goals of the Paris Agreement.” 

The report details the impacts of climate change that Granite Staters are already seeing and analyzes the public health and economic benefits New Hampshire would see if the U.S. and the global community effectively meet the emissions targets laid out in the Paris Climate Accord. In particular, the report underscores how rejoining the Paris Agreement and taking further strong action to address the climate crisis would protect the health and well-being of Granite Staters.

“This recent report highlights how critical it is to the economic and public health of Granite Staters that the United States re-enter the Paris Climate Accord and take strong action to address climate change,” said Congressman Pappas. “That is why I was so glad to speak with these advocates and discuss how climate action and increasing resilience has so many societal co-benefits, from protecting public health to expanding economic opportunity.”

Rep. Pappas continued, “I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and my colleagues in Congress to raise awareness of the need to re-engage our allies internationally and leaders at the local, state, and federal levels. We must enact commonsense policies that will strengthen our clean energy economy and improve our infrastructure so that we can mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change on New Hampshire’s public health and economy.”

“Here in New Hampshire, we are lucky to have some of the most beautiful land in the world,” said Rep. Kuster. “However, climate change poses a serious threat to not only our environment, but also to our economy, our national security, and our society. In order to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis, we must take immediate, strategic action.”

Rep. Kuster continued, “The time to take action on climate change is now, and I am confident that in the coming year, we will be able to advance critical environmental legislation to curb climate change and help us transition to a clean energy economy. I look forward to my continued work with advocates and stakeholders to preserve and protect our environment.”

“The co-benefits associated with meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement are significant at both local and global scales,” said Dr. Semra Aytur, an epidemiologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. “Locally, increasing temperatures and severe storm events can exacerbate vulnerabilities for those living with existing physical and/or mental health challenges such as cancer, asthma, depression, and substance use disorders. Re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement will align us with international efforts to confront systemic inequities that have been starkly revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Addressing climate change may also help to prevent future pandemics, as a large proportion of emerging global disease threats are associated with climate-related zoonotic diseases.”

“The climate crisis will make health conditions worse for the most vulnerable in our communities,” said Catherine Corkey, the New Hampshire State Director for the Sierra Club. “I am glad Congressman Pappas and Congresswoman Kuster understand that the climate crisis will have health consequences that will vary by race, income, age, and geography. Acknowledging the diversity of impacts will help bring more solutions for everyone in New Hampshire and beyond.

“The climate crisis is a major threat to the health of our communities, including vulnerable communities already experiencing health disparities,” said Tom Irwin, V.P. and Director of Conservation Law Foundation in New Hampshire. “From addressing the health impacts of dirty fossil fuels, to avoiding dangerous heat conditions, action on climate change is essential to securing a healthier future for the people of New Hampshire, and for our future economy.”

“The United States will re-establish its important global climate leadership role on day one of the Biden-Harris Administration by re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement,” said New Hampshire State Director of the League of Conservation Voters Rob Werner.  “The absence of the United States over the past four years on the international stage combined with the rollback of nearly 100 environmental protections here at home have placed the public health of Granite Staters at increased risk.  New Hampshire is part of the global community and increased global efforts to meet the existential threat of climate change will make a positive difference in the lives of our citizens.” 

Both members are co-sponsors of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act, which would require the Trump Administration to remain in the Paris Climate Accord and to develop a public plan for how the United States will meet its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

As a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Pappas secured increased funding for more resilient infrastructure, the creation of a federal grant program that will build bike and pedestrian trails, and measures to clean up our water through the inclusion of $1 billion in funding to implement Pappas’s Clean Water Standards for PFAS Act in the House’s landmark transportation package. 

A longtime advocate for preserving our environment, Kuster unveiled her Clean Energy Agenda in January to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy. Also earlier this year, legislation Kuster helped introduce, the PFAS Action Act of 2019, passed the House and includes Kuster’s Protecting Communities from New PFAS Act, which she introduced in May. Kuster’s bill would prevent new PFAS chemicals from being approved through the EPA’s premanufacture notice system.