Here’s Why Leaving the Paris Climate Accord Could End Up Costing You

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The United States has officially left the Paris climate agreement as a yearlong waiting period came to an end on Nov. 4, NPR reported. President Donald Trump originally announced his intention to pull out of the landmark agreement in 2017, and formally notified the United Nations that the U.S. would be leaving last year. Under the agreement, the U.S. had promised to reduce its emissions by about 25% by 2025 compared with 2005 levels in an effort to curb climate change.

In addition to being a blow to the environment, leaving the Paris climate agreement could have repercussions on your wallet. Changing weather patterns can impact how much you pay for insurance, food and utilities, The Skimm reported.

Increasing global surface temperatures increase the possibility of droughts, as well as the possibility of intense storms, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Insurance companies could raise premiums to compensate for increased spending driven by more frequent, severe natural disasters.

Climate change can also threaten the global and domestic food supply, making your groceries more expensive. In the American Midwest, unusually heavy spring rains have made it too wet to plant, resulting in billions of dollars of lost crops, Time reported. Climatic pressures in recent years have also damaged or destroyed millions of acres of citrus and peach orchards in Florida and Georgia, and apple and cherry orchards in Wisconsin and Michigan. Dairy and livestock operations rely on a healthy water supply, so droughts affect supplies of these food items too. If farmers are unable to produce their usual amounts of produce or meat as the weather becomes more unpredictable and water is less available, they may charge more for their goods, leading your grocery bill to increase, The Skimm reported.

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Finally, climate change could lead to higher electricity bills. A study published in Science found that energy costs in Texas could increase by as much as 20% as the effects of climate change from greenhouse gas emissions take hold. That’s because as temperatures increase, the demand for energy rises (think: lots of people turning up the A/C).

If the thought of all these added expenses is making you anxious, don’t panic too much just yet. Former Vice President Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate agreement if he wins the presidential election, so there’s a possibility the U.S. will be back to addressing climate change in January.

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.