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State treasurer says climate change could hurt state economy

State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp (Photo: Maryland State Archives)

Climate change negatively affects supply chains — reducing productivity and causing a rise in production costs — and ought to be a serious concern among businesses in Maryland.

That was the message delivered by state Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, who participated in a conference call detailing a report released by advocacy groups Ceres, Oxfam America and Bethesda-based business Calvert Investments. The companies commissioned a report that details the importance of businesses disclosing physical climate risks to investors.

As one of many examples, the report cites Baltimore-based Under Armour‘s expectation that its 2012 net revenues will “come in at the low-end of its long-term growth target.” The lesser growth rate is due to the sports apparel company selling less gear than expected during an unseasonably warm winter.

The report says the apparel, agriculture, food and beverage, tourism, oil and gas, electric power, mining and insurance sectors are all impacted by climate change.

Kopp said she was glad the report made clear “how vulnerable we are to the effects of global warning,” especially in Maryland, where farming is the state’s largest commercial industry.

The state is especially vulnerable to sea level rise, she said, which is also important when considering it in context of the the tourism industry.

“Tourism’s important to our economy,” Kopp said. “We rely … on the shoreline to bring people to the Atlantic shore and the [Chesapeake] Bay.”

Read the full report here.