DPCC Report: The Cost of Inaction on the Climate Crisis

September 21, 2021

New DPCC Report Highlights the Price of Extreme Weather Events, Loss of Life and the Ever-Increasing Costs of Recovery

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and DPCC Vice Chair Cory Booker (D-NJ) released a report detailing the cost of inaction on the climate crisis. The frequency of billion-dollar weather disasters has more than quadrupled since the 1980s, as has the cost – a direct result of the climate crisis. Over just the last 15 years, the total cost of these disasters tops $1 trillion. The report can be found here.

American taxpayers are paying an exorbitant amount of money responding to natural disasters made increasingly more destructive by the climate crisis. Senate Democrats are committed to combatting the root source – greenhouse gas pollution – and preparing our infrastructure for new climate realities.

“Because of the climate crisis, natural disasters are becoming more destructive, more dangerous and more expensive. Last year, the United States set an awful record: We had 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in a single year. No state has gone untouched. The cost of inaction is immense, and we must pass the Build Back Better Budget to address this crisis,” said Senator Stabenow.

“This year, we are once again seeing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis,” said Majority Leader Schumer. “From California to Louisiana, to my home state of New York, Americans are experiencing destructive once-in-a-century storms and weather events, which are also costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year. That’s why we must pass the Build Back Better bill to tackle the root cause of climate change, reduce carbon pollution, make our infrastructure more resilient, and create green jobs of the future.”

“Earlier this month, New Jersey experienced devastating flooding and historic rainfall caused by the remnants of Hurricane Ida,” said Senator Booker. “As this report shows, these extreme weather events are increasing in intensity and more frequently impacting communities across the country, leading to billions of dollars in damage and the tragic loss of life. The cost of inaction is too high - we urgently need to pass comprehensive legislation that tackles the climate crisis and enhances the resiliency of our nation’s infrastructure to future natural disasters.”

The report highlights key data such as:

  • 2020 set a new record with 22 separate billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in a single year.
  • These disasters have more than quadrupled in both total cost and frequency since the 1980s.
  • Over the last 5 years, the U.S. has spent an average of $126 billion per year in damages on billion-dollar disaster events, shattering records along the way.
  • No state has gone unscathed by these disasters, which are getting more frequent, more severe, and more costly.

The full report can be found here.

###