Economists’ Consensus on Climate Change

Economists’ Consensus on Climate Change Laser Talk

It is known that 97% of climate scientists are convinced, based upon the evidence, that human-caused global warming is happening [1]. Less well known is what economists believe the impacts of greenhouse gases are on the economy.

A study by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law found that 84% of economists believed that global warming presented a clear danger to the US and global economies [2]. Agriculture, Fishing, Insurance and Health Services were among the industries economists predicted would lose the most productivity as a result of climate change. These industries help form the backbone of the American economy, especially in rural America [3].

While 84% of economists agree that climate change negatively impacts the US economy a resounding 98% agreed that a market based solution could achieve significant reduction in carbon emission while spurring development in a new, more efficient, energy industry.

Renewable energy is generally more labor intensive than fossil fuel use and therefore a 25% increase in renewable energy by 2025 is estimated to result in the net creation of 202,000 jobs [4]. With numbers like these it’s no wonder a strong majority of economists support pricing carbon.

  1. “Consensus: 97% of Climate Scientists Agree”. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. June 9, 2015.http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
  2. J Scott Holliday, Jonathan Horne, Jason Schwartz. New York University School of Law. November, 2009.http://policyintegrity.org/publications/detail/economists-and-climate-change/
  3. “Industry Employment and Outlook Projections to 2022”. Bureau of Labor Statistics. December, 2013.http://www.bls.gov/opub/mlr/2013/article/industry-employment-and-output-projections-to-2022-1.htm
  4. “Benefits of Renewable Energy Use”. Union of Concerned Scientists. http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/renewable-energy/public-benefits-of-renewable.html#bf-toc-3