The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Georgia

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Just in the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to roll back at least 95 environmental rules and regulations to the detriment of the environment and Americans’ public health. Moreover, the administration refuses to act to mitigate the effects of climate change—instead loosening requirements for polluters emitting the greenhouse gases that fuel the climate crisis. This dangerous agenda is affecting the lives of Americans across all 50 states.

Between 2017 and 2019, Georgia experienced four tropical cyclones, six severe storms, one winter storm, and one freeze. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Impacts of climate change

Extreme weather

  • The sea level off Georgia’s coast has risen 11 inches since 1950, and forecasts project that by 2031, the sea level will have risen another 6 inches. Georgia is preparing to spend more than $1 billion on solutions for sea level rise.
  • Climate change creates conditions for more frequent and more severe wildfires. This is dangerous for the 6 million Georgia residents, or 48 percent of the state’s population, living in areas of elevated risk of wildfire.

Temperature

  • Georgia currently experiences 20 days of dangerous heat per year. Projections indicate that number will increase by more than fourfold to 90 such days per year by 2050. This endangers the lives of the more than 310,000 people in Georgia who are especially vulnerable to extreme heat.

Impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies

Climate

  • In March 2020, the Trump administration announced its final rule to overturn Obama-era fuel efficiency standards for cars. These weakened fuel standards will lead to higher greenhouse gas and particulate matter emissions and will cost Georgia residents more than $1 billion
  • The Trump administration is attempting to gut climate considerations from major infrastructure projects by eliminating the “cumulative impact” requirement of the National Environmental Policy Act. This is concerning because Georgia’s economy relies heavily on its tourism, agriculture, and outdoor industries—all of which are highly dependent on climate and weather conditions.
    • Travel and tourism: Travel and tourism in Georgia employ more than 470,000 people and in 2018 generated an economic impact of $66 billion.
    • Agriculture: The agriculture industry in Georgia employs nearly 400,000 people, and its annual economic impact is more than $75 billion.
    • Outdoor recreation: The outdoor recreation industry in Georgia generates 238,000 direct jobs and more than $27 billion in consumer spending.

Air quality

  • Mercury emissions in Georgia decreased by more than 80 percent from 2011 to 2017, yet the Trump administration just undermined limits on the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions that are allowed from power plants.

To read the personal stories of Americans affected by climate change and the impacts of the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies in your state, visit OurEnvironment.org.