Most Economists Now See Climate Change Urgency

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Number of the Day - 74%

That’s the share of economists around the world who now say it’s necessary to take “immediate and drastic” action on climate change, up from 50% in 2015, a recent survey shows.

The Ph.D. economists, polled by New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity in February, came to an “overwhelming consensus that the costs of inaction on climate change are higher than the costs of action, and that immediate, aggressive emissions reductions are economically desirable,” the institute said in a report released last month. The share who said “some” action was needed fell to 24% from 43% in 2015.

President Joe Biden marked Earth Day Thursday by announcing his goal to at least halve the country's greenhouse gas emissions (government and private sector) by 2030, relative to 2005 levels. Earlier this week, the Department of the Treasury unveiled a new “climate hub” focusing on climate-related economic and tax policy, the financial risks associated with climate change, and the financial aspects of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

If the current warming trend continues, by 2025, climate change will cause $1.7 trillion in economic damage each year, according to the median estimate of the economists surveyed by the institute.