The U.S. economy faces losses that may run into the hundreds of billions of dollars this century as the changing climate erodes coasts and threatens agriculture, according to a report today by a bipartisan group of political and financial leaders.
The report from the Risky Business Project urges businesses and industrial companies to curb carbon emissions in an effort to slow global warming. The initiative was spearheaded by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and billionaire investor Tom Steyer.
The group’s findings echo those of scientists, the United Nations and environmental groups, which have been issuing similar warnings with increasing urgency. Those warnings sometimes fall on deaf ears in Washington, where a significant number of elected leaders dispute the notion that the planet is warming.
The risks posed by climate change are “much more perverse and cruel than they were in the financial crisis,” Paulson said at an event in New York today. “We’re hoping that business will unite and be more active in pressing for policy change from the federal government.” Paulson was treasury secretary during the 2008 financial crisis.