TIME climate change

Climate Change Report Warns of Economic Tidal Wave in U.S.

Climate Change And Global Pollution To Be Discussed At Copenhagen Summit
The coal fueled Ferrybridge power station as it generates electricity on November 17, 2009 in Ferrybridge, United Kingdom. Christopher Furlong—Getty Images

Study backed by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg warns that rising seas and extreme heat could cost billions in lost property, crops and labor productivity

Rising seas and extreme weather could lead to billions of dollars in economic losses, according to a new climate change report that strives to reframe the debate in economic terms.

The study was commissioned by the Risky Business Project, a research organization chaired by a bipartisan panel of former officials, including ex-Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and hedge-fund billionaire turned climate change advocate Tom Steyer.

The study estimates that climate change will have a disparate impact across different regions and industries. Rising seas could swallow up an estimated $66 to $106 billion worth of coastal properties by 2050, the report estimates. Rising temperatures, particularly in the South, Southwest and Midwest, could reduce the productivity of outdoor workers by 3 percent. Absent a change in crops, yields could decline by 14 percent.

“We still live in a single integrated national economy,” Kate Gordon, Executive Director of the Risky Business Project, said in a statement, “so just because it’s not hot where you are, doesn’t mean you won’t feel the heat of climate change.”

 

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