REPORT – CLIMATE CHANGE COSTS U.S. $240 BILLION/YEAR, PLUS $300 BILLION LOSS FROM 2017 STORMS/FIRES

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28 september 2017

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

A new report warns of a high price tag on the impacts of global warming, from storm damage to health costs. But solutions can provide better value, the authors say.


By Stephen Leahy, National Geographic

PUBLISHED September 27, 2017

Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found.

And yet this does not include this past month's three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes. Putting it in perspective, $300 billion is enough money to provide free tuition for the 13.5 million U.S. students enrolled in public colleges and universities for four years.

In the coming decade, economic losses from extreme weather combined with the health costs of air pollution spiral upward to at least $360 billion annually, potentially crippling U.S. economic growth, according to this new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States, published online Thursday by the Universal Ecological Fund.

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain," said Sir Robert Watson, coauthor and director at the U.K's Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.

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