President Obama has taken significant, if limited,
steps to try and curb the US's emissions and tackle climate change.
A new White House report explains why he appears to be acting with
a sense of urgency: "delay is costly".
Yesterday, the White House's Council of Economic
Advisers released a
report suggesting a 10 year delay could increase the cost
of taking climate action by 40 per cent, as the world would have to
take larger steps to curb emissions down the line. Furthermore,
each degree of warming could lead to billions of dollars worth of
additional damage, it says.
Here's three charts from the report showing why the council says
policymakers need to act now.
The more the world warms, the more damaging the
impacts of climate change are likely to be - from more
intense weather events, to diminishing crop yields and species
migration and extinction. All these things have an economic cost,
even if it's sometimes
hard to define.
And the council's study says the costs will rise as the world
warms - as the blue bars on this graph show:
The White House report uses a model by
Yale economist Bill Nordhaus to put a number on the potential
impact of additional warming.