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GAO: Climate change already costing US billions in losses

WASHINGTON DC — A non-partisan federal watchdog says climate change is already costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year. And those costs are expected to rise as devastating storms, floods, wildfires and droughts become more frequent in the coming decades.

A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year’s wildfires and three major hurricanes, expected to be among the most costly in the nation’s history.

The report predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget busting $35 billion a year by 2050.