What Are the Economic Impacts of Climate Change?

March 19, 2018

How might climate change impact the economy over the long term? Some potential impacts include increased mortality, higher demand for electricity and reduced yields for certain crops.

At a recent Dialogue with the Fed presentation, William Emmons, lead economist with the St. Louis Fed’s Center for Household Financial Stability, highlighted research1 that identified geographic “winners and losers” on a county-by-county level across the United States. Looking out to the year 2090, the findings showed that the St. Louis region could expect a significant impact on its economic activity, Emmons said.

“And if you zoom in and look at our region, [the researchers’] estimates are that we could lose the economic equivalent of 5 to 10 percent of GDP as a result of these effects,” he said, noting that impacts would be gradual.

Notes and References

1 Hsiang, Solomon; Kopp, Robert; Jina, Amir; Rising, James; et al. “Estimating Economic Damage from Climate Change in the United States.” Science, June 30, 2017, Vol. 356, Issue 6345, pp. 1362-69.

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