Climate Change

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

A new report warns of a high price tag on the impacts of global warming, from storm damage to health costs.

Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, according to the new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States. 

And yet this does not include this past month’s three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes. Putting it in perspective, $300 billion is enough money to provide free tuition for the 13.5 million U.S. students enrolled in public colleges and universities for four years. Those economic losses from extreme weather combined with the health costs of air pollution are expected to spiral upward to at least $360 billion annually, potentially crippling U.S. economic growth. However, the U.S. can mitigate these damaging costs by taking strong action to reduce carbon emissions.

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