Climate Change

The Costs of Climate Change Are Here Now

Written by SK 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.