Weather events such as hurricanes and tornadoes are still largely considered “acts of God.” But as climate scientists warn of increasingly severe flooding, drought and other disasters, companies have begun to worry about the risks climate change could pose to Texas’ economy.
The Port of Houston houses a large number of the state’s oil refineries, and many other businesses are based in the region – in harm’s way when hurricanes and floods strike the coast. Leaders in many area industries are looking for ways to ensure their future, both physically and financially.
Jesse Thompson is a senior business economist at the Houston branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He wrote about the concerns that Texas’ leading energy companies have over climate change’s impact in the Dallas Fed’s quarterly publication, Southwest Economy.
“I think really what you’re looking at is longer term,” Thompson says. “If these types of events do in point of fact, ratchet up the way they are expected to, over time, you would see businesses populations really respond to that incentive and moving to higher ground or maybe choosing not to relocate to the state at all or to the Houston region at all.”
What you’ll hear in this segment:
– What worries business leaders about climate change impacts
– How climate change is expected to impact the Houston region, specifically
– What measures Texas businesses in the region are taking to protect themselves against natural disasters