As international negotiators meet in Cancun this week below are some facts on why we can’t continue to delay action.
The U.S. Is Already Paying Billions for International and Domestic Climate Change-related Disasters.
— $544 million in U.S. government assistance and civilian and military in-kind assistance to Pakistan for flooding since the end of October.
— $10 billion in damages from losses and damages from flooding in Pakistan that the International Monetary Fund says has “led to a sharp deterioration in the economic outlook.
— $132.4 million in aid to Massachusetts which was declared a disaster by FEMA in March from flooding that swept through the Northeast last March.
Inaction Is More Expensive, Meanwhile Business Opportunities Are Lost
— The U.S. is losing out to a more than $2 trillion market to countries like China that is investing more in clean technologies, according to an HSBC report.
— $27 million to $375 million every day from now until 2050 in costs to the economy from failure to act on climate change according to the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law found, excluding environmental costs or costs to public health.
Businesses Are Urging U.S. to Lead on Climate Fund
13 major companies, including eBay Inc., Nike, and Starbucks wrote a letter to President Obama calling on the US to take the lead in creating a global climate change fund. The businesses wrote: “Climate change effects are global. So are our markets and supply chains…effective climate finance abroad will contribute significantly to equitable economic growth at home. It will create employment opportunities, generate demand globally for U.S. technologies and services, and facilitate innovation in multiple sectors.”
— 259 investors, including Deutsche Bank AG are urging policymakers to take action to address global warming now “or face mounting economic disruptions in the next 40 years.”
— 20 percent of global economic output might be lost from climate change by 2050, warns Ceres, a coalition of investors worth $15 trillion in assets.
— 101 resolutions from investors urging 88 U.S. and Canadian companies to address the risks and opportunities climate change poses.
U.S. Investment in Climate Finance is of Vital National Interest
A new report by the Center for American Progress and the Alliance for Climate Protection based on analysis by Climate Advisors and Project Catalyst, outlines the benefits of investments in international climate finance that are of vital national interest for the United States, including:
— “Increased competitiveness with China and other trading partners by U.S. firms, helping them capture a substantially larger share of global clean energy markets—worth $2 trillion annually and rapidly growing
— Reduced risks of climate-related national security threats, including from severe floods or droughts in Pakistan and the Middle East
— Stronger relationships with key strategic allies and major emerging economies, such as Indonesia, India, and Brazil, that will enhance America’s ability to build global coalitions on security and economic policy and advance democratic ideals
— Billions of dollars in reduced climate impacts in the United States, including on U.S. coastal infrastructure and farmers
— Improved energy security and lower energy prices for traditional fuels”
Yet Those Opposed Are Those Most Bankrolled By Big Polluters
Corporate polluter funded Senators are scheming to rid the U.S. of its commitment with other significantly developed countries to invest $30 billion in “fast start” financing to developing countries by 2010. Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), John Barrasso (R-WY), David Vitter (R-LA), and George Voinovich (R-OH) recently wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calling on her to drop an international adaptation fund for the least developed nations. The senators’ ties to Big Polluters are as clear as our growing dependence on dirty fossil fuels that continue to endanger our national and economic security while the planet grows hotter and hotter.
— $5.1 million from the fossil fuel industry in campaign contributions to Sens. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), and Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH).