Why now is the time for US climate action
The choice is easy between a prosperous, decarbonized future or allowing the economic impact of climate change to disrupt our growth—but getting to net-zero will require coordination, collaboration and upfront financial investment to rapidly transform existing industries into a series of complex, interconnected, emissions-free systems.
If left unchecked, the economic cost of climate change in the United States alone could reach $14.5 trillion by 2070. Our latest report on climate change explores critical areas of US climate action and reveals steps we can take to transition to a prosperous, decarbonized economy.
Acting now will not only save the United States from the economic cost of unchecked climate change, but could also lead to a $3 trillion increase in GDP by 2070. Our analysis shows that achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 isn’t just an aspirational goal—it’s an economic growth imperative.
The United States’ turning point
The United States’ turning point
Learn how addressing climate change today can position the US for prosperity tomorrow.
United States’ highlights
Economic imperative—our turning point
The cost of action and inaction
Acting on climate change is the new economic engine
Definitive and deliberate climate action could deliver a $3 trillion gain to the US economy over the next 50 years to 2070. In 2070 alone, the economic gain amounts to $885 billion.
Unchecked climate change is a costly choice for the US economy
Over the past 50 years, the US has suffered a total of $1.4 trillion in economic losses due to weather, climate, and water hazards—without action, economic losses will continue to grow. While pathways for the climate and economies are never linear, climate science and Deloitte’s analysis show that an increase in global average temperatures could result in economic losses to the US economy of $14.5 trillion (in present-value terms) over the next 50 years.
See the full report to learn how the United States can use this valuable window of opportunity to rapidly decarbonize its economy.
The opportunity and impacts
The US has an opportunity to accelerate
Decarbonization could catalyze transformational growth in the US economyThe US must make bold investments in a new economic and industrial framework founded on a clean energy system. A net-zero economy would give rise to a new mix of technologies and processes spanning industrials, transportation, food, and beyond. By accelerating decarbonization, the US could complete a total industrial revolution in just 30 years, a feat that could deliver net economic gains by the late 2040s.
The shift would require significant acceleration of current efforts and close collaboration between the public and private sectors to retrain workers in high-emissions industries, and support job transitions in some cases. If executed with care, these actions could create jobs and minimize the social impacts that this historic shift could create.
Our analysis indicates that investing in an accelerated decarbonization timeline now will cost far less than if the investments are made later—in terms of the economic impact, the potential climate damage, and the shared gains of transition for all regions across the US.
Time to act—accelerating to zero
Four phases will shape our economic and climatic future
An early managed transition to net zero costs less, supports industry transformation, and creates jobsBy coordinating and sequencing its efforts early and correctly, the United States could deliver a lower-cost transformation that supports those adversely affected in the short term, while providing an economy that benefits all Americans in a low-emissions future.
Deloitte’s modeling provides the contours of how that transition could play out. Four distinct phases of decarbonization emerge from our integrated climate and economic scenario.
In the first net-zero decade, there could be GDP growth across all modeled regions of the US and getting there may be less costly than many people think. Deloitte’s full report shows that a relatively small economic investment could transform the US into a more vibrant, resilient, competitive, and sophisticated economy.
Read the full report to explore the four phases of decarbonization.
Global Turning point reports
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Managing Director, ESG Strategic Growth Offering - Chief Strategy & Commercialization Officerscottcorwin@deloitte.com