Climate Change

The Costs of Climate Change Are Here Now

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

According to a survey conducted by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the largest companies in the world say climate change is going to cost them nearly a trillion dollars, but these costs are not something that's going to manifest over a long period of time.

Companies who responded to CDP's survey says climate change is going to cost them nearly a trillion dollars in just the next five years.

CDP, which was formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project, said that nearly 7,000 companies including Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), JP Morgan Chase (JPM) and Visa (V) responded to its 2018 survey.

CDP encourages companies and governments to disclose information related to climate change. It's part of a coalition of advocacy groups and investors that have been pushing companies to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Some 215 of the world's largest public companies responded to the group's survey questions on financial risks, identifying $970 billion in potential costs including asset write offs.

The good news, if you want to call it that, is that these same companies have identified trillions in new business opportunities that climate change will create.

The largest firms say demand for clean energy tech from electric vehicles to renewable energy will increase and create opportunities worth more than the cost of climate change itself.

In any case, it's clear that the very high cost of climate change is something that's arriving on our doorstep right now, not decades from now. And the costs are only going to increase as the temperature rises.

With Republicans in control of the White House and the Senate, the economic lure of clean opportunities is the only hope we currently have of stalling climate change. But it should be pointed out that these clean opportunities did not create themselves. The Obama administration shepherded these economic opportunities by subsidizing and promoting clean energy tech long enough to get it off the ground.

  • muselet

    The Obama administration shepherded these economic opportunities by subsidizing and promoting clean energy tech long enough to get it off the ground.

    SOCIALAMISM! THIS CANNOT STAND!

    Rick “Goodhair” Perry (who has, the late and much lamented Molly Ivins never stopped reminding us, really good hair), our—heaven help us—Secretary of Energy, is telling anyone within earshot that fossil fuels are the future. Donald Trump has done everything humanly possible to hamstring production and installation of photovoltaic panels in the US and seems to be deeply confused about climate, weather, and clean air and water (not a joke—read the article). The administration is trying to ease regulation of coal mining.

    Global mean temperature is rising and our current government (the Executive branch and the Senate, at least) believes the appropriate response is to make the world even hotter.

    I won’t say we’re doomed, not just yet, but we’re not far from it.

    –alopecia

    • Draxiar

      We need an environmental president and a global initiative for clean energy.

    • Badgerite

      Oil has FFFF ed up the planet long enough. What happens if they perfect fusion as an energy source. Why the FFF would the world want or need fossil fuels?
      There are scientists all over the world working on these problems. They will solve them. The only question is when and how much the oil industry can keep the technology from commercial use and the public knowledge.

  • Badgerite

    The thing about alternative energy and AOC’s Green New Deal is that it promotes a better, cleaner, more cost efficient and less easily monopolized system of energy. There is no downside to a cleaner planet, is there?