IMAGE: RINGO CHIU/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
Americans in their 20s and 30s could lose trillions of dollars in potential lifetime earnings as climate change disrupts the global economy and weakens U.S. productivity, according to a new report by NextGen Climate said.
If countries fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the amount and pace of global warming, a 21-year-old college graduate today could lose $126,000 in lifetime wages and $187,000 in long-term savings and investments, the report found.
This would outrank the lost income due to student debt or wage stagnation.
As an entire generation, U.S. millennials — all75.4 million of them — could lose nearly $8.8 trillion in lifetime income without climate action, NextGen said. Those losses could keep climbing for the children of millennials and beyond.
“Global warming may very well be the biggest threat over the lifetime of a single generation,” Tom Steyer, the billionaire liberal climate activist and founding president of NextGen, told reporters Monday on a press call.