Challenges to financing resilience
The public and the private sectors often face challenges accessing capital and financing for climate resilience projects and justifying the upfront costs to taxpayers or shareholders. Building resilience, a long-term need, competes for resources with other more immediate objectives, and determining and communicating long-term benefits is challenging.
State and local governments struggle to invest in already needed repairs in infrastructure, while an expected increase of natural disasters and environmental stresses on infrastructure bring into focus a rising cost of maintaining climate-resilient facilities and infrastructure. In some cases, more resilient elements (like green infrastructure and efficient energy systems) can lower maintenance and operating costs for local and state governments, but those savings are realized over time. And the long-term benefits of avoiding disaster costs are challenging to quantify. Some resilience initiatives have nonmonetary benefits like reducing risk to the population or protecting culturally valuable elements like historical buildings or recreational spaces, requiring upfront costs that are unlikely to be recouped.
Businesses face the same impacts as cities and states, with differing challenges. Larger businesses that rely on complex international or geographically diverse supply chains and consumers may need to consider a wide range of impacts in multiple areas.