President Barack Obamaâ€™s plan to fightglobal warming will cost Americans $73 billion a year and avoidless than two-tenths of a degree Celsius of projected warming,according to a new report on what it would cost the U.S. to complywith a potential United Nations treaty.
Obama promised to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025. This was meant to get a pledge forChina to peak emissions by 2030 and galvanize support for a U.N.climate treaty. But living up to Obamaâ€™semissions pledge will cost Americans.
â€œIn other words, full achievement of thepresidentâ€™s climate goals will cost more than$73 billion in annual burdens to alleviate less than two-tenths ofone degree of warming,â€ writes Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy for theright-leaning American Action Forum (AAF).
Batkins notes the Obama administration has already imposed $26billion a year worth of regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissionsand other greenhouse gases from vehicles and power plants. Alltold, these 15 rules will cost $230 billion and stop just 0.06degrees Celsius of projected warming.
Obama wants deeper cuts to U.S. CO2 emissions, pushing for thecountry to reduce its emissions by 1.2 billion tons by 2025. Butdeeper cuts will be costly, according to Batkins.
â€œAssuming the cost of eliminating CO2 remainsconstant for the next decade nets the following figures: $11billion in additional annual costs by 2020 and $45.5 billion by2025,â€ Batkins wrote. â€œThe 2025goals are the equivalent of two to three yearsâ€™worth of government-wide regulation.â€
The additional CO2 cuts are projected to reduce future globaltemperature rises by 0.125 degrees Celsius by the end of thecentury. Thatâ€™s another $45 billion a year forlittle more than one-tenth of a degree abatement in warming.
â€œAs the U.S. approaches another round ofclimate negotiations, these figures demonstrate the American peoplehave already shouldered a heavy burden to reduceemissions,â€ Batkins wrote.
The Obama administration, however, argues that the U.S. alonecanâ€™t stop global warming, even admitting thatEnvironmental Protection Agency regulations are meant to stopwarming. The administration argues these regulations are needed toshow the world the U.S. is serious about tackling globalwarming.
â€œIf I can encourage and gain commitments fromthe Chinese to put forward a serious plan to start curbing theirgreenhouse gases, and that then allows us to leverage the entireworld for the conference that will be taking place later this yearin Paris,â€ Obama told VICE News in an interview earlier this year.
So, has the world followed Americaâ€™s lead?Europe and other developed countries have, but China and India— the worldâ€™s first and third largest CO2emitters, respectively — are increasing their emissions asthey ramp up coal production.
In fact, current global warming pledges to the United Nationsarenâ€™t enough to keep warming to 2 degreesCelsius — a temperature goal agreed to by delegates. This, ofcourse, assumes climate models are right about future temperaturerises.
But even the U.N. pledges only â€œhave thecapability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7degrees Celsius by 2100,â€ according to Politico.