Changes are already occurring to New England’s climate, including warmer winters, reduced snowfall, increased rainfall, rising sea level, and more severe weather events that increase the risk of flooding. These changes are projected to grow in severity and could include other impacts such as a decrease in the abundance of sugar maples, stresses on our fisheries, more widespread occurrence of insect-borne diseases, and an increase in heat-related illnesses. To address this issue, New Hampshire has initiated the development and implementation of efforts to address the causes and the impacts of climate change.
In order for New Hampshire to address the causes of climate change, the state will need to develop plentiful sources of renewable energy and use energy more efficiently in both buildings and vehicles. In addition, there will need to be a greater emphasis on integrating land use and transportation planning in order to reduce the number of miles traveled on our roads each year. Even as energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and integrated planning increase across the state, we must also adapt to the changes in climate that we are already experiencing. This will include moving at risk populations and critical infrastructure out of harm’s way, avoiding further development in risk prone areas, protecting those areas and populations that can not be moved, and developing the capacity to recover from impacts that can not be avoided or deflected.
The actions taken by the state to curb the greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change now will, in almost all instances, have co-benefits, including the creation of new economic opportunities and jobs, the reduction of energy costs, and protection of natural resources and man-made infrastructure. Such action follows a “no-regrets” approach based on the principle that what’s good for the environment will also be good for the economy.
Below is a list of on-line resources for information and activities specifically related to climate change/global warming in New Hampshire. Additional groups or organizations may be actively concerned with climate change, but may not have a dedicated web page on the subject. If your New Hampshire group has on-line climate change information and you would like to be listed here, please contact [email protected].