A lot has been made recently out of Pres. Donald Trump’s decision regarding the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement has been an issue ever since it was first signed, and throughout the campaign Trump railed against it claiming that it costs the United States jobs and money.
But how much does the Paris Climate Agreement actually cost? How many jobs does it put at risk? And how much would it cost to exit the deal? Read on for more.
The Paris Climate Agreement was originally signed in early 2018, and included much of the developed world, as well as many developing nations. In fact, 195 different countries agreed to it, although not all have completed ratification. The general premise of the agreement is to ensure temperature stone increase beyond 2?C, as that could have a serious detrimental effect to ecosystems and survival on the planet.
There are a lot of different estimates regarding how much the Paris Climate Agreement costs the United States – and the world, and most of those estimates are at least somewhat political.
The UN environment program estimated that developing countries would need $300 billion per year by 2050 in order to satisfy all the terms of the agreement. Geoffrey Heal, a professor at Columbia University has estimated that the United States would have to pay between $42 billion and $176 billion per year in order to meet its targets.
In Heal’s estimates, the Paris Climate Agreement cost would total to $1.3 – $5 trillion.
However, it’s important to note that some — if not all — of this cost would be offset because it would technically be an investment in infrastructure as opposed to a sunk cost in GDP. In fact, Heal has been a strong promoter of the agreement, saying that it would have a multiplier effect on the economy in an interview with Politifact.
Still, given the political nature of the agreement, there are a lot of wildly different cost estimates. One Danish statistician, for instance, claims that the cost will be $100 trillion or more, while others put the cost in the billions of dollars.
Interestingly, it would also be costly for the US to exit the Paris Climate Agreement at this point. The UN, as well as many corporations, believe that leaving the agreement would mean a major loss of jobs — mostly renewable energy/energy efficiency related jobs.
And of course, there is a significant cost to climate change itself. The NRDC estimates that it could could cost $2 trillion per year if not controlled.