Over the next 70 years, every state in the U.S. is expected to experience increasing temperatures, according to a new report on the economic facts of climate change, co-authored by Northwestern University professor Diane Schanzenbach, director of The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.
The report, a joint effort by The Hamilton Project and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, outlines 12 significant economic truths related to energy and climate change, laying the groundwork for potential policy solutions.
Among the findings:
- The U.S. possess ample affordable energy
- Much of the U.S. infrastructure is vulnerable to climate change
- The prices we pay for fossil fuels do not reflect their social costs
- Public investment in energy research and design remains well below 1970s and 1980s levels
- Investments in climate adaptation would greatly lower the burden of climate change
“Given the immense threat that climate change represents, it is crucial that policy makers implement efficient solutions that minimize climate damages from our use of energy,” the authors wrote.
Schanzenbach, currently on leave, is a professor of human development and social policy in the School of Education and Social Policy. She is also a faculty fellow at Northwestern's Institute for Policy Research.