(Reuters) – Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a government report issued on Friday that the White House called inaccurate.
The congressionally mandated report, written with the help of more than a dozen U.S. government agencies and departments, outlined the projected impact of global warming on every corner of American society in a dire warning that is at odds with the Trump administration’s pro-fossil-fuels agenda.
“With continued growth in emissions at historic rates, annual losses in some economic sectors are projected to reach hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century – more than the current gross domestic product (GDP) of many U.S. states,” the report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II, said.
Global warming would disproportionately hurt the poor, broadly undermine human health, damage infrastructure, limit the availability of water, alter coastlines, and boost costs in industries from farming, to fisheries and energy production, the report said.
But it added that projections of further damage could change if greenhouse gas emissions are sharply curbed, even though many of the impacts of climate change – including more frequent and more powerful storms, droughts and flooding – are already under way. “Future risks from climate change depend primarily on decisions made today,” it said.
The report supplements a study issued last year that concluded humans are the main driver of global warming and warned of catastrophic effects to the planet.