A new report estimates the cost of mitigating the effects of climate change could rise by as much as 40% if action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is delayed 10 years — immediately outweighing any potential savings of a delay. The White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. President Barack Obama’s source for advice on economic policy, compared over 100 actions on climate change laid out in 16 studies to extract the average cost of delayed efforts. Released Tuesday, the findings suggests policymakers should immediately confront carbon emissions as a form of “climate insurance.
Rebecca Leber adds:
Putting numbers to the cost of inaction takes aim directly at a classic Republican rebuttal—that it’s better to wait for the so-called “unsettled science” to settle on exact timing and magnitude of global warming’s consequences. “If anything, we understate the cost of delay,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors Jason Furman told reporters on a press call Monday.