Climate change is already costing the U.S. billions
The latest National Climate Assessment may give pause to both the financial sector and homeowners.
Why it matters: The cost of extreme weather events is projected to climb in the near-term and is already at least $150 billion per year in direct damages alone. (The report notes that is a conservative estimate.)
- Billion-dollar disasters are occurring far more frequently now than they did in 1980, the findings show, going from about one every four months to one every three weeks.
- Rising frequency and total costs are related to a booming population and increased expanse of the built environment, as well as climate change.
By the numbers: The situation is already stark.
- Wildfire smoke already reduces earnings by $144 billion per year.
- Inland flooding can reduce housing prices by 4.6% in 100-year floodplains, based on studied estimates.
- Homes projected to be inundated by 1 foot of sea level rise cost 14.7% less than similar homes away from the climate risk, and homes near one recent wildfire are typically valued at 9.3% below safer ones.
What they're saying: "Not only are these direct costs, things like higher medical expenses, higher food prices, insurance premiums, repair costs, infrastructure damage, and so on," said Delavane Diaz, a report co-author.
- "There's also these indirect costs on intangible non market goods like health and wellbeing, ecosystems and biodiversity," she told Axios.