Climate change is generating major economic problems in the United States, the Biden administration said in an annual report published this week. The assumptions that higher-income countries like the U.S. would safely weather the risks associated with global warming, and that those risks would be clear cut, have proven to be false, administration economists wrote. A “wide array of risks” are currently impacting the “well-being of American communities,” the White House Council of Economic Advisers wrote in its report, particularly low-income and minority neighborhoods.

Heat, flooding, wildfires, and diseases that spread from animals to humans threaten public health and health care systems, the report warns. Trillions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure like bridges, roads, and, crucially, homes, are susceptible to flooding, posing massive problems for America’s insurance industry and federal mortgage lenders. And the cost of responding to disasters such as hurricanes and drought, which have totalled hundreds of billions of dollars in some recent years, are putting a strain on local and state governments, as well as the federal government.

Those economic risks, and their unequal toll, require the government to reassess how it spends public money, from the federal to the local level.

The Economic Report of the President isn’t a binding plan, nor does it contain concrete policy proposals. Rather, it points at how the president and his cadre of economists are thinking about the biggest issues of the day. But the report is a significant document nonetheless — it offers clues about the flavor of legislation President Joe Biden is likely to try to push his party toward writing and passing over the course of 2023 and the executive actions the president may take. And it offers yet another stark warning about the dangerous direction in which climate change is taking the nation. The economic report was published on the same day as a major United Nations report that said the world is at risk of seriously overshooting its climate targets and condemning future generations to irreparable harm.

Read the full article about climate change causing economic problems by Zoya Teirstein at Grist.