Environmental Defense Fund

David Boraks / WFAE

A new report says global warming, rising sea levels and other effects of climate change will bring billions of dollars in short-term costs to North Carolina's economy and public health in the years ahead.

The report for the Environmental Defense Fund tallies potential costs of climate change over the next 20 to 30 years in eight areas, including real estate, health and safety, tourism and various industrial sectors.

The state's utility consumer advocate and other groups are opposing Duke Energy's agreement earlier this month to limit a planned $7.8 billion electric grid modernization program.  The North Carolina Utilities Commission Public Staff, the environmental group NC WARN, and the Carolina Utility Customers Association say the program would result in unacceptably higher rates.