The United Nations Paris agreement to stop dangerous global warming could cost $12.1 trillion over the next 25 years, according to calculations performed by environmental activists.
“The required expenditure averages about $484 billion a year over the period,” calculated Bloomberg New Energy Finance with the assistance of the environmentalist nonprofit Ceres.
That’s almost as much money the U.S. federal government spent on defense in 2015, according to 2015 spending numbers from the bipartisan Committee For Responsible Federal Budget. The required annual spending is almost 3.7 times more than the $131.57 billion China spent on its military in 2014.
Bloomberg’s estimates are likely low, as they exclude costly energy efficiency measures. The amount spent to meet global carbon dioxide emissions reduction goals could be as high as $16.5 trillion between now and 2030, when energy efficiency measures are included, according to projections from the International Energy Agency. To put these numbers in perspective, the U.S. government is just under $19 trillion in debt and only produced $17.4 trillion in gross domestic product in 2014.