Last week, the EPA recently released a report entitled: Climate Change in the United States: Benefit of Global Action, on June 22nd, 2015. This peer-reviewed report presents two different scenarios based on scientific reports and analysis: One scenario presents the economic, health and other socio-economic damage under the “business as usual” case. The other scenario presents the relative benefits resulting from global agreements to cut greenhouse gas emission and the resulting benefits.
The numbers are striking. The report finds that we can avoid over 70,000 premature deaths and over $100 billion in avoided damages by the end of the century.2 The business as usual case highlights certain less obvious impacts by the turn of the century such as “[in] some areas, more than 50% of bridges are projected to be vulnerable as a result of unmitigated climate change”2 and the collapse of the Hawaiian coral reefs, along with other ecosystems.
As Gina McCarthy, EPA’s Administrator, commented on the report, “This [climate change] isn’t just about polar bears. This is about their [the public’s] lives. This is about their kids’ future. This is about the economic future of the United States.”1
2. EPA. 2015. Climate Change in the United States: Benefits of Global Action. United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Atmospheric Programs, EPA 430-R-15-001.