Foreign Climate Action, a Domestic Windfall

New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity released a study in November 2015 that found the U.S. stood to gain up to $10 trillion by 2050 if other countries act on climate change. The authors of Foreign Action, Domestic Windfall: The U.S. Economy Stands to Gain Trillions from Foreign Climate Action use the social cost of carbon to monetize the benefits to the world and the United States of each ton of avoided carbon emissions, noting that this metric likely underestimates the full benefits that the United State and the world will reap from carbon mitigation.

The report finds that global action on climate change has already brought $200 billion worth of benefits to the U.S. The report’s conclusion is that if efforts to stabilize the world’s temperature rise at 2 degrees C are successful, the non-US contribution to the reductions would redound in direct benefits upwards of $10 trillion to the U.S.  In fact, the report flatly rejects the argument that China and India will ride free on our climate policies if we act first, given how much benefit the U.S. will incur from Chinese and Indian action on climate change. 

Given the ambitious carbon-reduction pledges China and India are making, the U.S. has more than ever before to gain from global climate action, and given the U.S. is the world’s largest economy and a military superpower with trade agreements and massive global investment, it stands to lose economically if climate change is not mitigated.

Related articles U.S. Could Gain Trillions From Global Climate Change Action, Study Finds (Huffington Post); How to profit from global warming (CNN Money)

To download the report, click here