Many billions of dollars of economic benefits could be generated via the implementation of strong international climate policies, according to a new report from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The report argues that lack of action (a projected scenario where atmospheric CO2 levels hit 800 parts per million) would result in up to $180 billion in economic losses via climate change associated droughts and water shortages by 2100, as well as $1.4 billion in associated wildfires, $5 trillion in damages resulting from sea level rise and storm surge flooding, etc. (These may well be underestimations….)
As noted above, though, the report notes that aggressive policies (resulting in atmospheric CO2 levels being limited to ~462 parts per million) could mitigate these figures somewhat — potentially even bringing the $5 trillion figure associated with sea level rise and storm surge down to $810 billion.
Also worth noting is the fact that the (5-years-in-the-making) analysis projects that roughly 12,000 US deaths a year (associated with extreme temperatures) could be prevented via the implementation of aggressive policies.
Commenting on the new report, EPA administrator Gina McCarthy stated: “Will the United States benefit from climate action? Absolutely. The report shows us how costly inaction will be to Americans’ health, our environment and our society.”
Going on: “But more importantly, it helps us understand the magnitude of benefits to a number of sectors of the US with global climate action. We can save tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the United States by the end of this century, but the sooner we act the better off America and future generations of Americans will be.”
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