22 May 2013 — While US politicians are still engaged in heated debate over whether climate change exists, climate disruption cost US taxpayers close to $100 billion in 2012.
The National Resources Defense Council recently released a report, Who Pays for Climate Change?, which found that federal government spending on droughts, storms, floods and forest fires was $96 billion in 2012 – more than was spent on education, health or transportation. And certainly more than has been allocated to adapt to or mitigate climate change.
The insurance industry estimated 2012 was the second most costly year on record for climate-related disasters, with $139 billion in damages. Only 25 percent of this was covered by private insurance, however.
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