- The OMB analysis found that the climate crisis could cost the United States $2 trillion a year by the end of the century.
- President Biden’s 2023 budget is expected to invest a total of $44.9 billion to “address the climate crisis.”
- A recent UN climate report warned of the dangers of rising global temperatures.
The climate crisis could cost the US government $2 trillion each year — an annual loss of federal revenue of 7.1% — by the end of the century, the White House said in an assessment released Monday.
“The fiscal risk of climate change is immense,” wrote Candace Vahlsing, associate director of the Office of Management and Budget for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Science, and Danny Yagan, chief economist of the ‘OMB, in a White House Briefing Room blog.
“Climate change threatens communities and sectors across the country, including floods, droughts, extreme heat, wildfires and hurricanes that affect the American economy and the lives of ordinary Americans,” said Vahlsing and Yagan. They added that the federal government often acts as “an insurer of last resort” and that the growing crisis “will add new pressures on the federal budget and taxpayers.”
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Beyond the $2 trillion annual cost, the OMB also found that the federal government could spend an additional $25 billion to $128 billion each year on coastal disaster relief, flood insurance, crop insurance, health care insurance, wildfire and flood suppression at federal facilities. For example, more than 12,195 federal buildings “could be flooded below three meters of sea level elevation” with a total replacement cost of $43.7 billion, Vahlsing and Yagan said.
The OMB analysis follows President Joe Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2023, released last week. Biden’s budget is expected to invest a total of $44.9 billion “to address the climate crisis,” an increase of $16.7 billion, or about 60%, from fiscal year 2021.
Biden also briefly touched on climate change efforts during his first State of the Union address last month – promising, for example, to “build a nationwide network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.” and begin replacing lead pipes “so that every child, every American, has clean water to drink at home and at school.”
Also in the federal budget:Biden budget calls for income tax on wealthiest Americans and more police spending in 2023
Also on Monday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report warning of the dangers of rising levels of global warming – noting that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could be “out of reach” if deep cuts in emissions across all sectors are not taken immediately.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the IPCC report showed “a litany of unfulfilled climate promises” by governments and companies around the world. Guterres said.
In the 2015 Paris Agreement, governments agreed to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. Temperatures have risen more than 1.1 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times.
“It’s now or never if we want to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit). Without immediate and deep emission reductions across all sectors, this will be impossible,” said IPCC Co-Chair Jim Skea. “This report shows how acting now can move us towards a fairer and more sustainable world.”
‘It’s now or never’:UN climate report shows world on ‘path to an unlivable world’
Contribute: The Associated Press