Climate change may cost US hundreds of billions a year

Change in climate will lead to disruptions in many areas of life, exacerbating challenges to prosperity, report says

Climate change may cost US hundreds of billions a year

Climate change could cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars every year by 2050 unless drastic measures are taken to reduce carbon emissions, said a report released Friday.

The National Climate Assessment, compiled by a number of government agencies, looked at the impact climate change would have not just on the economy but all sectors of American society.

It found that damage to the economy could be massive.

"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 U.S. states," the report said.

The report also noted that the change in climate has caused extreme weather along with changes in average climate conditions and that "future climate change is expected to further disrupt many areas of life, exacerbating existing challenges to prosperity".

While the impact that climate change can have on one sector can be devastating, it can also impact other sectors at the same time.

"The full extent of climate change risks to interconnected systems, many of which span regional and national boundaries, is often greater than the sum of risks to individual sectors," the report said. 

The issue of climate change is at odds with U.S. President Donald Trump's agenda as he continuously strives to rewrite pro-environment policies.

In June 2017, Trump announced the U.S. was pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord, an international agreement working towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In October of this year, he accused climate change scientists of having a “political agenda”, saying that while he thinks the climate is changing, he does not believe it is manmade.

Last week, Trump also announced his plan to appoint Andrew Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist, as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

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