Economic Costs Of Climate Inaction

Failure To Act On The Climate Crisis Will Cost The U.S. Economy Trillions Of Dollars

The economic costs of doing nothing to avert the worst impacts of the climate crisis are grave. Climate change could cost the U.S. economy $14.5 trillion and result in a loss of 900,000 jobs annually by 2070. Moreover, addressing climate change damages could cost the federal government $2 trillion annually and reduce GDP by 10% by 2100. By failing to act on the climate crisis by investing in clean energy solutions, the U.S. is foregoing massive economic gains, with reports estimating U.S. decarbonization could produce $3 trillion in economic growth and save trillions in healthcare costs.

  • A 2022 Deloitte report found that inaction on climate change could cost the U.S. economy $14.5 trillion by 2070, equivalent to nearly 4% of GDP or $1.5 trillion in 2070 alone. Over the next 50 years, nearly 900,000 jobs could disappear each year due to climate damage. 
  • According to an April 2022 assessment by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), climate change could cost the U.S. budget $2 trillion a year and reduce GDP by as much as 10% by the end of the century. 
    • The federal government could face an additional $25 billion to $128 billion in annual costs for efforts such as coastal disaster relief, flood and crop insurance, and wildfire suppression.
    • Intensifying wildfires could increase federal fire suppression costs by between $1.55 billion and $9.60 billion each year by 2100, and more frequent hurricanes could drive up annual spending on coastal-disaster response to between $22 billion and $94 billion by 2100.
    • 12,000 federal buildings could be flooded by 10 feet due to rising sea levels, with total replacement costs of more than $43.7 billion.
  • The U.S. is missing out on massive economic growth by failing to act on climate and invest in clean energy solutions. A 2022 report found the U.S. economy could gain $3 trillion if it decarbonizes over the next 50 years, and a second analysis found that a switch to cleaner energy vehicles and power plants would save an estimated 110,000 lives and $1.2 trillion in health costs over the next 30 years.