Extreme Temperature Diary- Sunday September 25th, 2022/Main Topic: A $23 Trillion Price Tag for the Climate Crisis by 2050

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: A $23 Trillion Price Tag for the Climate Crisis by 2050

Dar Diary. Every so often I will see a group of experts try to put a price tag on the cost of climate change by a certain date. Today I will present findings from Oilprice.com, that basically presents day go day commodity prices for oil and other sources of energy, and with their organization forecasting prices in the future.

What was not written here is the high price of human and animal suffering as a result of inaction and warming already baking into the proverbial cake. What has happened to Pakistanis this year comes to mind from their unprecedented flooding. It’s no wonder that poorer nations are demanding reparations leading into COP27 that will be held in Egypt later this year:

In any case, a high price tag for climate change will spur those in power across the globe for more action, which is a very good thing. Here is that Oilprice.com article:


Climate Change Could Cost The Global Economy $23 Trillion By 2050

By Haley Zaremba – Sep 24, 2022, 2:00 PM CDT

  • Climate change could cost the global economy as much as $23 trillion by 2050.
  • The U.S. federal government alone could spend between $25 billion and $128 billion each year in such areas as coastal disaster relief, flood insurance and crop insurance.
  • A new report from Oxford University found that switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world a whopping $12 trillion US dollars by just 2050.

For decades, we have known that transitioning away from fossil fuels and toward a decarbonized economy was essential to the health of our planet and of future generations. It’s almost impossible to overstate what is at stake if the world continues to burn fossil fuels at a continuous or increasing rate. Experts say that in a business-as-usual scenario, ecological and economic devastation are not just a threat, but an inevitability. So why has the clean energy transition been so slow, piecemeal, and contentious? A huge part of the issue is the simple momentum of the status quo. The world already functions on a carbon-based economy, and turning that entrenched system on its head will cost an enormous amount of time, effort, and investments. Indeed, the initial price tag of redesigning and remaking the world’s energy sector and all of its associated carbon-based supply chains is daunting to say the least, especially for developing nations. It is misguided, however, to think that the clean energy transition will be a costly and overall expensive venture. In fact, it is the only plan that makes any economic sense in the medium or long term. 

A brand new empirically grounded report from Oxford University finds that switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy could save the world a whopping $12 trillion US dollars by just 2050. For years, scientists have been reporting that the renewable revolution will overall save money – lots of money – over a long enough timeline, given the devastating negative externalities of climate change, but that amount has grown larger and larger as the cost of renewable energy technologies has continued to fall. 

The cost of solar energy alone has plummeted by 80% since 2010, and renewables as a whole were the cheapest source of energy in the world in 2020. In fact, renewables have consistently fallen in cost faster than experts have projected, making the renewable revolution even cheaper than anticipated. While renewable energies have not been spared from the soaring prices and supply chain snags that have characterized the energy sector this year, they are also far from the worst perpetrators, and have in many cases been a failsafe for energy security amidst the crisis fueled by Putin’s war in Ukraine. In fact, in the context of the energy crisis in Europe, “new renewable sources, based on contracts outside the market, offer power at under a quarter of current and projected wholesale electricity prices.” 

“Even if you’re a climate denier, you should be on board with what we’re advocating,” Prof Doyne Farmer from the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School told BBC News. Going forward, clean energy is going to continue to be the cheapest option, whether you factor in environmental externalities or not. But when you do factor them in, oh boy is it a no-brainer. Insurance giant Swiss Re calculates that climate change could cost the global economy $23 trillion USD in 2050. An April analysis by the United States Office of Management and Budget calculated that climate change could cost $2 trillion each year for the United States alone by the end of the century. 

Related: What’s Inside Of Biden’s Big Electrification Plan?

The report also found that the federal government “could spend an additional $25 billion to $128 billion each year in such areas as coastal disaster relief, flood insurance and crop insurance.” Just this week, in fact, the Biden administration has pledged that the federal government will cover 100% of the cleanup costs in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona barreled into the U.S. island territory. This is just on the heels of the $12 billion already granted – the largest single inversion ever granted by FEMA – to Puerto Rico to rebuild a more resilient energy infrastructure in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which wiped out the island’s grid exactly five years ago. 

These kinds of climate-driven crises are only going to become more frequent, more powerful, and more costly. For every additional tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted into the atmosphere, the higher the price tag of delaying the clean energy transition. The Oxford report empirically underscores the fact that not only is decarbonization an economic imperative, the faster we do it, the more money we’ll save. The models are clear: time’s a-wastin’.

By Haley Zaremba for Oilprice.com


Contributor since: 05 May 2017

Haley Zaremba is a writer and journalist based in Mexico City. She has extensive experience writing and editing environmental features, travel pieces, local news in the Bay Area, and music/culture reviews.

More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:

Here are some “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks:

The tropics are making big news this week. Here are some recent notes and links from in association with tropical activity:

Here is more climate and weather news from Sunday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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