Warmer waters are intensifying hurricanes and augmenting their rainfall. The IPCC has concluded with high confidence that, by mid-century, precipitation changes owing to climate change will mean that less water will be available in already arid parts of the world, including the western United States. By leasing land for one utility-scale wind turbine, for instance, a farmer could earn $3,000 a year. The costs of climate change for the economy and the society will be much higher than the costs of fighting climate change now. Several recent studies show that acting quickly and decisively to address this challenge and shift our economy to Renewable energy has been one of the bright spots of the U.S. economy during these hard times. While we cannot avoid some of these harms, lowering our emissions quickly would give us a chance to diminish them. (PDF) Measuring the Co-Benefits of Climate Change Mitigation The effects of climate change span the physical environment, ecosystems and human societies. No purchase necessary. By continuing, you accept our use of cookies. In a conversation about climate action, he discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing Chile's ambitious plan to tackle climate change -- and explains why the green recovery needs to be powered by both political leaders and citizens alike. Droughts are growing more common and lasting longer. Text STOP to opt out. We need Congress to enact strong legislation without delay. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that, over the next two decades, U.S. farmers and rural landowners could earn $1.2 billion in new income through such steps. Some degree of adaptation may be possible—such as by changing crop types, planting dates, and irrigation and fertilizer practices; investing in livestock cooling systems; and taking advantage of crop insurance programs—but these adaptations, too, will likely come at considerable cost. For example, rising seas threaten coastal barrier reefs, which protect communities from storm surges, and wetlands, which filter impurities from water. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In making investments today that affect future generations’ prospects, we need to think carefully about how we value their welfare compared to our own. Action to sharply reduce our global warming emissions can greatly curtail the costs of climate change, especially over the longer term. Since mitigation, and in a lot of cases, adaptation, will take time to implement and to reduce … Average temperatures in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland are expected to increase more than the global average over the ensuing decades (as much as 3 to 5 degrees Celsius by 2080). While climate change is commonly characterized by extremes in temperature and weather, the northernmost parts of Minnesota and Michigan may actually end up with more moderate temperatures and weather patterns, according to University of Illinois economist David Albouy. To garner those savings, the nation will need to make some up-front investments—in more efficient appliances, vehicles, heating and cooling systems, and production processes, for example. Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our day. While climate change in 100 years may have more dramatic effects, climate change in the next few decades has consequences, too, and for poor farmers struggling now or … Almost a century after the Dust Bowl, the unsolved problem of soil erosion clouds the future of US agriculture. The greatest benefit from climate change comes not from temperature change but from carbon dioxide itself. UCS estimates that investing in cleaner vehicles and a more efficient transportation system could cut our use of petroleum products by 6 million barrels a day— as much oil as we now import from PEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). Here's how. Many co-benefits, such as diminished local air pollution resulting from reduced use of fossil fuels, occur in the short run, are relatively certain to be achieved, and are primarily enjoyed by the country doing the abatement. And while agriculture in some parts of the country could benefit from warmer temperatures in the short run, eventually most areas would see costs. Such cuts in emissions will also reduce the amount of mercury and other heavy metals—by-products of coal-fired power plants—that enter our air, water, and food. I will post rebuttals to the articles that criticised this piece below. Urban areas such as Philadelphia, Chicago, and Indianapolis will likely experience the worst effects. Author links open overlay panel Xiaoguang Yang a 1 Fu Chen b 1 Xiaomao Lin c Zhijuan Liu a Hailin Zhang b Jin Zhao a Kenan Li a Qing Ye a Yong Li a Shuo Lv a Peng Yang d e Wenbin Wu d e Zhengguo Li d e Rattan Lal f Huajun Tang d e. Show more. These payments would equal about $1 billion per year from 2015 to 2020, and $15–$20 billion per year from 2040 to 2050. These stresses have the potential to act as “threat multipliers,” raising the number of failed states. Below are 10 reasons for strong action to promote clean energy and curb climate change. We must halt the loss of biodiversity and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. | Environment | The Guardian It also includes the economic and social changes which stem from living in a warmer world. They are sometimes referred to as "multiple benefits" or "synergies". But we will have to pick up the pace to stay competitive internationally. In general, communities all along North America's Great Lakes will be relatively shielded from climate change as the vast bodies of water should keep the region fairly temperate. It is believed that there have been five ice ages to date with regular warmer intervals. to climate change. The US food system should be providing healthy, sustainable food for everyone. Climate change will harm human health, and successful strategies to mitigate the extent of the change will restrict that harm. At one extreme, it has been estimated that climate change might reduce agricultural productivity so much as to cut the value of agricultural land by almost 20 percent. At the same time, those municipalities aren't as susceptible to rising waters compared to cities near the oceans. Every region in the United States is already experiencing the costly effects of climate change—including coastal areas threatened by rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes; Midwest farmlands facing more crop-damaging heat waves, pests, and flooding; and communities in the West and Southwest experiencing drought and wildfires. Benefit 20 - There are unique spiritual, purpose, meaning, and character-building benefits for individuals and faith communities in dealing with this global warming emergency and forwarding the climate re-stabilization and a global ecological, economic, and political … Learn more. Low-income communities will bear a disproportionate share of the impact of climate change and have fewer resources to cope. Call on Congress to prioritize science-based election reforms. The bill would also provide monthly cash refunds and annual tax credits to low-income individuals. By addressing global warming, we can also help farmers avoid the most severe consequences of climate change. According to the EIA, for example, household energy costs would be less than $10 a month higher in 2020, or less than 33 cents a day, and the total discounted GDP losses from the 2012 to 2030 time period would amount to just 0.2 percent of GDP. Such a “renewable electricity standard” could also stimulate the national as well as local economies by generating $263 billion in new capital investment, $14 billion in income for U.S. farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners, and $12 billion in new local tax revenues. Perhaps no country on Earth stands to gain more from climate change than Canada. Moreover, many animal and plant species that provide us with important medicines and other products—in addition to having intrinsic value—could face extinction. Democracy and science can be powerful partners for the public good—and both are under attack. Officials in Duluth, Minnesota, a city of roughly 86,000 people along the shores of Lake Superior, have even considered the slogan "climate-proof Duluth". Northern Minnesota and Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Union of Concerned Scientists is actively monitoring the coronavirus pandemic and its implications for scientific integrity. How much? Under an unchecked-emissions scenario, many farmers could face more frequent heavy rains and flooding in the spring, which delay planting; expanded ranges of agricultural pests; and rising temperatures, which stress plants and livestock and reduce yields. Marcelo Mena, the former environment minister of Chile, is on a mission to create a zero-emission economy in his country by 2050. Warming temperatures and growing acidification threaten oceans, lakes, and rivers, which sustain our fisheries. Because nature does not charge market prices for these services, we tend to greatly undervalue them. For all these reasons, making swift and deep cuts in our emissions is a smart choice for the United States. A blog on science, politics, and activism. Ice age is the period in which the temperature drops to the extent that life becomes extremely difficult on Earth. The CIRA project quantifies and monetizes the risks of inaction and benefits to the U.S. of global GHG mitigation within six broad sectors (water resources, electricity, infrastructure, health, agriculture and … Additional tourism, greatly expanded growing seasons, reduced infrastructure costs, and increased maritime shipping as the Arctic region's ice cover dwindles are a few of the factors that will contribute to that meteoric rise. Human-caused climate change is one of the threats to sustainability.. Drought and pests threaten forests, which provide lumber. Climate change is fueling wildfires. Sea levels are rising, causing entire islands to disappear and coastal cities to flood. Climate change image copyright Getty Images Emissions from UK peatland could cancel out all carbon reduction achieved through new and existing forests, warns the countryside charity CPRE. A 2009 UCS study found that unleashing the full potential of policies designed to promote efficiency and renewable energy, along with a sharp limit on global warming emissions, would save U.S. households an average of $900 annually by 2030, while businesses would save a total of $126 billion annually. These effects occur directly, due to changes in temperature and precipitation and occurrence of heat waves, floods, droughts, and fires. Urge the Senate to require employers follow science-based protections for workers and their communities. We use cookies to improve your experience. Clean energy investments can help. Drought, extreme weather events, changes in food production, and pandemics caused by climate change could drive resource conflicts and migrations in vulnerable parts of the world. We need to grow a resilient food system from the ground up. Co-benefits are the added benefits we get when we act to control climate change, above and beyond the direct benefits of a more stable climate. The energy choices we make today could make or break our ability to fight climate change. One study has estimated that, if emissions remain unchecked, losses related to just four areas—hurricane damages, energy costs, water costs, and residential costs stemming from sea-level rise—could equal 1.4 percent of GDP by 2025, and 1.9 percent of GDP by 2100. put the nation on a path to cutting emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050 and require significant reductions in the near term as well, be comprehensive, combining a cap on carbon emissions with crucial policies that help us shift to more efficient and cleaner forms of energy and transportation, protect tropical forests and fund adaptation to climate change. Agricultural yields will likely fall in many of the globe's breadbasket regions. If global warming continues unabated, extreme heat waves that now occur once every 20 years are projected to occur about every other year by the end of the century in much of the country. In fact, some areas may actually benefit. The burgeoning clean energy economy could also be an important source of jobs for disadvantaged workers in inner cities and Rust Belt towns. The duration of these benefits is unknown because, under unmitigated climate change, continued sea‐ice loss is expected to eventually have negative demographic and ecological effects on all polar bears. Humanitarian agencies also warn that the world’s poorest people are already bearing the brunt of climate change, and that poorer countries could lose 50 years of development gains if richer nations do nothing. Studies show that it is feasible and affordable. Climate change mitigation yields multiple benefits – or ‘co-benefits’ – in addition to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The potential value of the co-benefits of climate action is large and insufficiently incorporated. Can we prevent them from being used again? Children, the elderly, and the poor are particularly vulnerable to respiratory, cardiovascular, and heat-related illnesses exacerbated by these conditions. Similarly, India is planning to boost solar power from near zero to 20 gigawatts by 2020, part of an ambitious $19 billion, 30-year plan to increase the share of renewables in that country’s energy mix. Independent analyses of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), the energy and climate bill now being considered by Congress—such as by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA)—show that the act’s costs to the U.S. economy would be minimal. Sea levels are rising, causing entire islands to disappear and coastal cities to flood. Droughts are growing more common and lasting longer. In addition, one study found that nearly twice as many people of color as the general population lack access to air conditioning, which could lead to more heat-related illnesses and deaths. Many projections suggest that the low end of that temperature range could be breached by mid-century. Climate change is one of the most devastating problems humanity has ever faced—and the clock is running out. A recent Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) study found that a standard requiring the nation to produce 25 percent of all electricity from renewable sources by 2025 would create nearly 300,000 new U.S. jobs. Land and Sea Ice Loss Ice is an important part of the global climate system because it reflects a large amount of solar radiation while also … anywhere from 30% to over 100% of abatement costs). Each of these effects can significantly raise costs. The future costs and benefits of climate change are uncertain and unevenly distributed. Co-benefits of climate change mitigation as defined in the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are the positive benefits related to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Current global funding for adaptation is a fraction of this figure and access to these funds for developing countries is often lengthy and complex. Text "SCIENCE" to 662266 or sign up online. Climate Action Benefits: Health | Climate Change in the United … Canada. The US continues to keep intercontinental ballistic missiles on high alert—creating the risk of a mistaken nuclear war in response to a false warning. Water availability will be impacted … US electricity infrastructure is aging, inadequate, and vulnerable. This is not some barmy, right-wing fantasy; it … Bringing tropical deforestation to zero will contribute to both. For example, the costs of dealing with the impacts of climate change will disproportionately fall on developing countries, while the financial costs of cutting … There is a big synergy here, because fossil fuels are not only the main source of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, but also the main source of ai… Climate change poses significant risks to humans and the environment. He also made the point that Wolf may be overlooking the benefits of climate change. Investing in a low-carbon society and economy could create up to 1.5 million additional jobs by 2020. Top military officials have warned for years that climate change could have serious ramifications for our nation’s security and increase the stress on our armed forces. Addressing global warming could lessen the threat to these water resources. And these studies exclude or underestimate important mechanisms for containing these costs, such as greater efficiency, and ignore the savings that would come from avoiding many of the costs of climate change itself. Higher temperatures and the associated stagnant air masses, interacting with pollution from vehicles and industry, are also expected to increase the frequency and intensity of conditions conducive to smog formation. The plan says climate change poses risks to public health, endangers permafrost, and increases the likelihood of infections and natural disasters. A warming climate would worsen these conditions, while lowering emissions can lessen their impact on low-income families. Water shortages have wide-ranging consequences. Tell Uber & Lyft to be part of a clean transportation future. They do not include the directbenefits of climate policy arising from a more stable climate. While three-quarters of nations will take hits to their national economies, Canada is projected to see outsized benefits. Why isn’t it? Moreover, with significant freshwater reserves and as much as 4.2 million square kilometers of newly arable farmland, Canada could be the world's new breadbasket fifty years into the future. Could climate change be a good thing? (617) 547-5552. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that ACES would help households with income in the lowest fifth of the U.S. income distribution save $40 each year by 2020. 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge MA 02138, USA Since you can’t change what you don’t understand, this course is designed to equip health and environmental professionals, as well as other changemakers and the public, with critical and usable knowledge to take positive action. 5 This corresponds to 0.2–0.8 per cent of global investment flows, or just 0.06–0.21 per cent of projected global GDP, in 2030. Grappling with climate change requires transforming how we power our economy, and no sector requires more fundamental change than transportation, which accounts for the largest share of US global warming pollution. New plant, land animal, and fish species will also thrive in the region. Climate change has done more good than harm so far and is likely to continue doing so for most of this century. Headline issue. 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge MA 02138, USA, Infographic: Wildfires and Climate Change, Building Equitable, Clean, and Climate-Safe Infrastructure, How Soil Erosion Threatens Food and Farms. Help protect workers from dangerous heat. Msg & data rates may apply. Addressing global warming could help lessen the harm to ecosystems that now provide us with multiple benefits. An important note is that nuclear power and fossil fuel plants that produce electricity rely on vast quantities of water for cooling, while many climate-friendly renewable sources (excluding conventional biofuels) require far less water, leaving more for other purposes and making them better suited to a climate constrained world. These impacts, along with many others, are predicted to sap the world's economy by trillions of dollars over the next thirty years. Several recent studies show that acting quickly and decisively to address this challenge and shift our economy to clean energy will bring significant benefits to the United States—while also helping us avoid some of the worst consequences of unchecked global warming. Poorer populations are more likely to lack health insurance, and in urban areas are disproportionately exposed to ground-level ozone and airborne allergens, increasing the incidence of asthma and other respiratory diseases. 2. But this benefit is a two-edged sword: weeds, many invasive plant species, and insect pests will also thrive in a warmer world. The benefits of the Climate Change Act The Climate Change Act has formalised the UK’s approach to tackling climate change – both on mitigation (reducing emissions) and adaptation (increasing resilience to climate change). China—already the world’s largest producer of solar panels—recently committed to increasing its solar power capacity 15 times over by 2011, aiming for two gigawatts of installed capacity by that year. And water prices could rise not only for farmers but also for industry and homeowners, especially in areas where growing populations are already putting stress on water resources, such as the southwest United States. Finally, because the concentration of pollutants increases when water levels drop, water shortfalls could also lower water quality. The Nordic Region. At the same time, the region's use of electricity is projected to fall the most in Europe as warming winters will reduce the demand for heating. To be most effective, such legislation should. It provides a clear direction of … Make no mistake, human-caused climate change is an urgent global threat, one in which the consequences vastly outweigh the benefits. As Earth's climate changes, here are three regions that could be big winners. According to the Nobel prize–winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if global temperatures rise more than 3˚–5˚F, up to 30 percent of plant and animal species could become extinct. Former environment minister of Chile, is on a global scale is decidedly,! Could create up to 1.5 million additional jobs by 2020 directbenefits of climate policy from! Clean energy and tackle climate change on a mission to create a zero-emission economy in his country by.. We can also help farmers avoid the most urgent issues of our.. 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Necessitate some adaptation, on the whole, the resulting drops in energy bills reductions... U.S. economy during these hard times funds for developing countries is often lengthy and complex problem of soil erosion the. ‘ co-benefits ’ – in addition to having intrinsic value—could face extinction includes the and! Per cent of global investment flows, or just 0.06–0.21 per cent of projected GDP!