White House Warns Climate Change Could Cost US Trillions

On Monday, the White House said that floods, drought, wildfires, and hurricanes exacerbated by climate change could cost the US federal budget around $2 trillion each year by the end of the century.

The analysis comes from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), responsible for administering the federal budget. It also warned that the US government may need to spend an additional $25 billion to $128 billion per year in areas including flood insurance, coastal disaster relief, and crop insurance.

The fiscal risk of climate change is immense,” Candace Vahlsing, the OMB’s associate director for climate and chief economist Danny Yagan, wrote in a White House blog post

The need for urgent action is why the President called on Congress in the State of the Union and through the Budget to advance legislation that decreases energy prices, combats climate change, and grows the clean economy.”

The White House’s warning was published on the same day as the United Nations’ climate report which warns that the fight against climate change must come “now or never”. It stated that limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels will require greenhouse gas emissions to peak before 2025 and be reduced by 43% by 2030.

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