A major report by the Trump administration shows that climate change is already affecting the United States and could cost the country “hundreds of billions of dollars” annually by 2050.
Deadly wildfires, increasingly debilitating hurricanes and heat waves are among the destructive effects of climate change on the US, says the report released by the federal government on Friday.
"By the middle of this century, annual losses in the United States due to climate change could reach hundreds of billions of dollars," according to the latest edition of the National Climate Assessment.
"Without substantial and sustained global mitigation and regional adaptation efforts, climate change is expected to cause growing losses to American infrastructure and property and impede the rate of economic growth over this century," it adds.
Compiled by more than 300 scientists, the report also shows that the impacts of climate change overseas will “increasingly affect our trade and economy, including import and export prices and US businesses with overseas operations and supply chains."
The new report comes after the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, which started more than two weeks ago, has left at least 84 people dead. As many as 560 are still unaccounted for now that the so-called Camp Fire has been 95 percent contained across 154,000 acres.
President Donald Trump, who traveled to the affected areas last week, said that his opinion about climate change had not changed.
"No, no, I have a strong opinion," Trump told reporters in Paradise, California, when asked whether what he saw had changed his view.
“I want a great climate. We are going to have that and we are going to have forests that are very safe,” he added
Last year, Trump abandoned the Paris Climate Agreement, which calls for holding the ongoing rise in global average temperature to “well below 2 °C above preindustrial levels,” while “pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C.”
On Wednesday, Trump again expressed his doubts about climate change, using the especially cold Thanksgiving forecast as an example.
"Brutal and Extended Cold Blast could shatter ALL RECORDS - Whatever happened to Global Warming?" the president tweeted.