A delay in curbing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse-gas emissions could lead to a 40% increase in costs associated with climate change per decade delayed, according to a July 29 report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
The White House also projects $150 billion in damage per year to the U.S. economy in 10 years if no action is taken.
Both estimates are contingent on a projected 3°C increase over pre-industrial temperatures.
The report’s data was gathered from 16 different studies of more than 100 pairs of observations, according to Jason Furman, the council's chairman, who claims its conclusions are conservative compared to some numbers extracted from the studies.
From this information, the council recommends immediate action be taken by those contributing to the output of CO2 and methane, namely agriculture and utilities.
“It’s clear that not taking action has far greater costs in the future,” said Furman.
The report claims the current price of carbon energy doesn’t reflect the total environmental cost created by using the energy.
The White House also revealed new economic and research partnerships with agriculture and tech companies, such as Amazon, Monsanto and IBM, to insulate domestic and global agriculture against climate change.
This information on climate change comes as leverage in President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative, in which he has stressed the importance of private contributions to addressing climate change.
With this administrative push for advancing renewable industry also comes opportunity to upgrade and build more efficient structures, according to Jaimie Henn, director of communications for 350, an environmental advocacy group.
“Climate poses a huge opportunity for people in the construction industry,” Henn said. “The opportunity to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, to retrofit our building stock, is a huge one in terms of creating jobs.”