Acting on climate change can avert tens of thousands of premature deaths and save billions on electricity and infrastructure costs by the end of the century, according to a report released by the White House today.
The White House is aggressively pushing the message that action on climate change can produce economic and public health benefits, doing so amid attacks from the right that the regulations are too costly and will produce minimal benefits. House Republicans this week will hold two votes on bills that would scale back or block emission rules on power plants.
According to the report — prepared by the EPA's Climate Change Impacts and Risk Analysis program in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and other scientific partners — scaling back the climate plan would have impacts across myriad sectors, from transportation to agriculture. For example, the report predicts that anywhere from 720 to 2,200 bridges would become structurally deficient as a result of extreme weather and storms by 2100.
The report also predicts that implementing President Obama's climate action plan and reaching a global deal would avert 57,000 deaths from poor air quality and another 12,000 deaths from extreme temperatures by the end of the century.