WH: Climate change could cost US $2 trillion a year
In a released report, climate change is expected to consume most of the US government's budget each year by the end of the century.
Flood, fire, and drought caused by climate change might consume a large portion of the US government budget each year by the end of the century, according to the White House in its first-ever report released on Sunday.
The research, commissioned by President Joe Biden in May, estimated that the upper range of climate change's impact on the budget by the end of the century could total 7.1% annual revenue loss, equal to $2 trillion in today's money.
"Climate change threatens communities and sectors across the country, including through floods, drought, extreme heat, wildfires, and hurricanes (affecting) the US economy and the lives of everyday Americans," Candace Vahlsing, an OMB climate and science official, and its chief economist Danny Yagan said in a blog seen by Reuters ahead of publication on Monday. "Future damages could dwarf current damages if greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated."
According to the estimate, the federal government could spend an additional $25 billion to $128 billion each year on things like coastal disaster response, flood, crop, and healthcare insurance, wildfire suppression, and floods at federal sites.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the extreme drought that has seized areas of the United States' West since mid-2020 is projected to persist or intensify this spring.
Floods and hurricanes have caused billions of dollars in damage to US military stations in recent years, including Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska and Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.
According to the OMB, more wildfires could increase federal fire control expenses by $1.55 billion to $9.6 billion each year. As sea levels rise, almost 12,200 federal buildings and infrastructure could be swamped, with replacement costs of nearly $44 billion.
Without regulations and initiatives to decrease the rate of greenhouse gas emissions, global temperatures would climb by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) beyond pre-industrial levels by the end of the century.
The bleak OMB assessment came just hours before the release of a long-awaited United Nations climate science panel report on methods of reducing emissions, a report that some scientists believe may downplay certain potentially disastrous scenarios due to its consensual nature, requiring 195 governments to sign off on it.
Read more: The future socioeconomic threat of wildfires
Biden, a Democrat who campaigned as a climate change advocate when he entered office in January 2021, has been compelled to endorse increased domestic oil drilling and liquefied natural gas exports to Europe as Russia's war in Ukraine drives up energy prices.
The President's "Build Back Better" bill, which included hundreds of billions of dollars in funding to combat climate change and support clean energy, has been stalled in the Senate by Republicans and West Virginia's conservative Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, who founded and owns a private coal brokerage.
In an apparent outreach to Trump, Biden submitted a $5.8 trillion budget plan to Congress late last month, with a focus on deficit reduction. Manchin has stated that he will not support the package because it will increase deficits. In the fiscal year 2023, Biden's budget proposes roughly $45 billion to combat climate change, a nearly 60% increase over the fiscal year 2021.