Framing Climate Action as an Insurance Policy Against Future Costs

Rebecca Leber: “We’re seeing a smart change in how to talk about global warming … The White House is reframing it in language that most people should understandthe economy.”

“The White House Council of Economic Advisers’ new report on Tuesday describes climate change in these terms, showing exactly why inaction is bad policy. For every decade the U.S. waits to enact climate policy, the report finds the net cost rises 40 percent, with costs rising substantially over time.”

“And if we do wait too long, and global temperatures exceed 2 degrees Celsius warming to 3 degrees or 4 degrees warming, the Gross Domestic Product is going to take a hit … For the U.S., that would mean about $150 billion lost each year.”

WH climate report

“All this helps frame climate action as taking out insurance today against the worst of global warming’s impacts, just like a responsible homeowner would buy insurance. Putting numbers to the cost of inaction takes aim directly at a classic Republican rebuttalthat it’s better to wait for the so-called ‘unsettled science’ to settle on exact timing and magnitude of global warming’s consequences.”

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