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The Cost of Climate Change: What We'll Pay If Global Warming Continues Unchecked

Report commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council

Author(s): Ackerman, F. ; Stanton, E.A.
Year: 2008


This study of the costs of inaction for the U.S. economy presents a detailed analysis of four major categories of climate costs and comprehensive modeling of climate impacts on the economy as a whole.

In a business-as-usual climate future, it estimates, by 2100, annual hurricane damages will grow to $422 billion; real estate losses due to sea-level rise, to $360 billion; energy costs, to $141 billion (due to rising demand); and water costs, to $950 billion. Altogether, those costs add up to almost $1.9 trillion in today's dollars, or 1.8 percent of the projected U.S. GDP, or 3.6 percent if all economic and non-economic costs are factored in.

The report concludes with three policy recommendations: Impose caps on emissions; promote investment in energy efficiency; and accelerate the development of clean energy technologies.

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