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While there is growing discussion of the alternatives and costs of addressing climate impacts through mitigation and adaptation, CIER has assessed the unexamined costs of inaction including the potential economic impacts of climate change in The US Economic Impacts of Climate Change and the Costs of Inaction and many state studies.

An international collaborative research project with the Norwegian Research Consortium, Linking the Global Energy Environment to Local Investment Decisions (LinkS), is combining climate research with regional energy system design in a cross-national comparative study. The project is developing an integrated decision support framework for more sustainable energy infrastructure.

Our researchers have also performed groundbreaking research on the impacts of climate change on metropolitan infrastructure, namely in Boston with the CLIMB project “Climate's Long-term Impacts on Metro Boston," and in the cities of Hamilton and Wellington in New Zealand under the CLINZI project: “Climate's Long-term Impacts on New Zealand Infrastructure” (pdf).

CIER researchers contributed a Chapter 4, Impacts of Climate Change on Urban Areas, to the 2011 United Nations Global Report on Human Settlements: Cities and Climate Change. The research identifies cities around the world most vulnerable to climate change.

International research, in support of OECD efforts, on City Competitiveness and Climate Change considers issues of both GHG mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In a collaboration with universities in Germany, CIER researchers are conducting dynamic modeling and research with Nordwest 2050, a study to form climate adaptation strategies for critical industries in Northwest Germany, including energy, agriculture and transportation. A related project is being designed for Maryland, which shares similar geography and industries with Northwest Germany.

A pilot study, with support from NOAA, has focused on environmental justice implications of climate change on the Eastern Shore. The project was conducted in collaboration with faculty at the Department of Geography and Anthropology, utilizing data provided by UMD’s Earth Systems Science Interdisciplinary Center (ESSIC) and in conjunction with an urban area study by the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

CIER is also examining the health impacts of climate change, utilizing econometric models and data from urban cities.