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#Science

EPA’s new report says inaction on climate change would cost billions

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a new report containing comprehensive analysis of the economic, health and environmental benefits of actions on climate change revealing that the US will gain significantly from global climate action.

The peer-reviewed report, “Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action,” examines how future impacts and damages of climate change across a number of sectors in the United States can be avoided or reduced with global action.

The report compares two future scenarios: a future with significant global action on climate change, where global warming has been limited to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and a future with no action on climate change (where global temperatures rise 9 degrees Fahrenheit).

The report then quantifies the differences in health, infrastructure and ecosystem impacts under the two scenarios, producing estimates of the costs of inaction and the benefits of reducing global GHG emissions.

“Will the United States benefit from climate action? Absolutely. This report shows us how costly inaction will be to Americans’ health, our environment and our society. But more importantly, it helps us understand the magnitude of benefits to a number of sectors of the U.S. with global climate action,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “We can save tens of thousands of American lives, and hundreds of billions of dollars, annually in the United States by the end of this century, but the sooner we act, the better off America and future generations of Americans will be.”