Government report: Climate change will cost US hundreds of billions of dollars in coming decades

A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds the effects of climate change will cost the U.S. hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming decades.

The report says extreme weather and fires have cost the federal government over $350 billion over the last decade, and those costs will only increase going forward. Those projections say premature deaths could cost the health sector up to $161 billion per year starting in 2040. Those costs could increase to $506 billion annually by 2080.

From ABC News:

On a broader scale, the report predicts that combined costs of climate change across health, labor, agriculture and other sectors could make up 0.7 to 2.4 of the country’s GDP by the end of the century. 


To contrast the costs of climate change, the study also provides numbers on how much money the U.S. would save by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The value of “avoided deaths” from poor air quality alone would be $160 billion saved a year by 2050 and that figure goes up to $930 billion a year by 2100. Separately, the report found the U.S. would save $200 billion a year preventing deaths due to extreme temperatures in 49 major cities.

The authors of the report recommend that the government, specifically the White House, “help identify significant climate risks and craft appropriate federal responses.”