Climate change will cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars

3rd December 2018 by Emma Goring

Climate change will cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, according to a government report rejected by the White House.

The White House has called the report – which was ordered by congress and written with the help of more than a dozen US government agencies and departments – inaccurate.

The report outlined the projected impact of global warming on every aspect of American society.

The findings pose a dire warning that is in contrast to the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.

“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many US states,” the report states.

The report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, found global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, and alter coastlines.

It would also increase costs in industries such as farming and fishing, as well as energy production.

It found that climate change is already impacting the planet, including more frequent and more powerful storms, droughts and flooding .

The report also stated that predicted damage could change if emissions are sharply cut.

Since taking power, President Donald Trump has been rolling back his predecessor’s environmental and climate protections in order to maximise the production of domestic fossil fuels.

Mr Trump has also announced the US will withdraw from the 2015 Paris Deal in which nearly 200 nations agreed to combat climate change. He said the deal hurt US economy.

Earlier this month, the president showed his scepticism of climate change in a tweet that suggests Mr Trump links global warming solely to warm weather.

He wrote: “Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS – Whatever happened to Global Warming?”.

In response to the report, White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters said it was “largely based on the most extreme scenario, which contradicts long-established trends by assuming that… there would be limited technology and innovation, and a rapidly expanding population”.

This report supplements a study last year which found humans are the main driver of global warming and issues a stark warning of the impact if changes are not made.

Thirteen government departments and agencies, from the Agriculture Department to NASA, were part of the committee that compiled the new report.