Issue Date: August 4, 2014
Delay Could Increase Climate Change Costs
Failing to forestall climate change will have serious economic consequences, the White House Council of Economic Advisers reports in an analysis released last week. It examines the impact of allowing global average temperature to climb to 3 °C over preindustrial levels by 2100 instead of constraining this rise to an internationally agreed-to 2 °C. The council estimates that a 3 °C rise would cost the U.S. an additional $150 billion per year, or 0.9% of the nation’s gross domestic product, when compared with a 2 °C increase. In addition, the council estimates that costs of curbing carbon dioxide emissions increase by 40% for every decade that the country fails to do so. The council’s report is based on estimates from 16 previous studies of climate change costs.
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