Why are we spending more on climate change mitigation than on other environmental problems?
Posted by National Geographic Science on March 23, 2019 09:17:25 The United States spends more than three times as much on climate protection as on all other environmental challenges, according to a new study published in Nature Geoscience.
This is despite the fact that the United States has been among the most affected by the warming trend, as the planet has warmed by more than 2 degrees Celsius over the past century.
Climate change has already been blamed for many of the worst weather disasters, with a 2015 study finding that the U.S. experienced more than 10,000 days of extreme drought.
The study, which is based on more than 1.2 million climate-related studies, also found that the US spends more on water and waste management than any other country in the world.
“The United States is an international leader in the use of clean energy, which has been critical for tackling climate change,” says lead author Joshua Trenberth, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of California, Davis.
“It’s not surprising that the world is spending more to deal with climate change than other countries.”
The study analyzed data from the World Bank, the United Nations Environment Program, and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
It also looked at a range of measures, including how much money the U:s government spends on climate-protection projects and the country’s debt.
“We found that, on average, we spend $5.4 billion per year on mitigation,” Trenbers said.
“That’s on top of the $11.3 billion spent on mitigation per year by the OECD and $8.5 billion by the United Kingdom.”
The United Kingdom has the second-highest amount spent on climate mitigation among the OECD countries, followed by the European Union, Germany, France, and Japan.
“This is the first study to compare the amount of money we are spending on mitigation, the impact of mitigation on climate impacts, and how this compares to other countries,” Terenberth said.
Trenbingh’s team compared the amount spent by the U and its allies on climate adaptation and mitigation to other nations and found that it was roughly equivalent to the amount they spend on health care, education, and defense.
“So in our view, we are well on the way to meeting the United Nations climate goals,” he said.
While the United states has not set any targets for emissions reduction, it has made progress in cutting carbon emissions.
According to a 2016 report by the International Monetary Fund, the country is on track to reduce emissions by about 3.3 percent of its 2000-level emissions by 2030, compared with 2.9 percent by 2030.
However, this may be insufficient, as it will take another two decades for the United Sates to reach its 2050 goal of limiting CO2 emissions to 1.5 percent of total energy consumption.