Thursday, January 30, 2014

Using Insurance Costs to Advance Action on Climate Change

One of the best ways of changing public attitudes on climate change is by letting people bear the real costs of insurance. This argument suggests that higher insurance costs may be the best way to advance action on climate change.

According to a report by Ceres titled, "Inaction on Climate Change: The Cost to Taxpayers," climate change already costs every American taxpayer $300 and going forward the costs will be debilitating. The report further indicates that every dollar spent on prevention saves four dollars in damages.

The Ceres report called for new laws that would remove government insurance subsidies, it further suggests phasing in of premium rates that reflect climate change associated risks. This should also apply to the federal crop insurance programand taxpayer-funded federal and state wildfire protection.

The absence of cheap insurance would auger more responsible behavior and heighten political interest in mitigation.“Continuing to ignore these escalating risks may be more comfortable than confronting the challenges of climate change, but inaction is the far riskier and more expensive path,” the report stated.

© 2014, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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