The latest National Climate Assessment (NCA) report, which the US government is legally obligated to publish every four years, came out last week. It paints a bleak picture: Unless steps are taken globally to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the costs to the US by the end of the century will be hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of lives lost annually.

The Donald Trump administration has made it clear that it doesn’t consider climate change a threat by pulling out of the Paris climate agreement last year. Just a few days before the report, the US president had tweeted that the unusually cold weather in the north-east of the US gave the lie to fears about global warming.

But by continuing to emphasize the climate change threat, reports like NCA or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change boost sub-national initiatives in the US such as the United States Climate Alliance—a bipartisan coalition of state governors who have committed to the Paris agreement goals. This is critical given the centrality of the US to tackling the global problem.

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