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Who Should Pay for Climate Adaptation? Public Attitudes and the Financing of Flood Protection in Florida

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An investigation of public support for coastal adaptation options and public finance options in Florida evaluated stakeholder judgments and how they changed through a participatory engagement process. The study found that public finance mechanisms that imposed fiscal burdens on those who directly benefit from hazard reduction were rated as more acceptable than others. Significantly, visualisations and data on local economic damage and return on investment of potential adaptation options further increased acceptability ratings. The question of whether a development fee for adaptation or any other public purpose supported by private funds is a legal issue that depends on a test called the rational nexus. One concern of this article is to explore options for such fees to cover adaptation to climate change. This raises issues about the potential conflict with the community-wide and intergenerational nature of long-term adaptation. We also explore the relevance of environmental attitudes using the 'new environmental paradigm' (NEP) scale and political party affiliation. Results have implications for infrastructure improvements that require public approval for financing.
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Keywords: Participation; adaptation; climate change; environmental attitudes; public finance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2018

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2018) of 1.933. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.493.
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