How climate change could destroy the global economy
No, it’s not Al Gore, it’s Nicholas Stern, formerly of the World Bank, who has authored a comprehensive report on the economics of climate change. Here’s his conclusion:
Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.
In contrast, the costs of action – reducing greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change – can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year.
The investment that takes place in the next 10-20 years will have a profound effect on the climate in the second half of this century and in the next. Our actions now and over the coming decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes.
So prompt and strong action is clearly warranted.
Mark Anderson has everything you need to know about carbon finance, which could be a very important part of bringing carbon emissions down. But nothing significant will be possible without US involvement on a large scale, and there seems to be precious little chance of that in the foreseeable future.
No Responses to “How climate change could destroy the global economy”
Boiled down to this. What we know did happen? What we do not know that did not happen?
Could not a forward looking economist at the world bank back in 1963 have warned us about the dangers of run away population growth (they did), and how much easier it would be to solve this problem then than in 40-years time?
Along with environmental distruction there has also been an increase in productivity. They have somewhat offset one another up to now. But clearly global population is putting certain environmentally sensitive areas of the world at considerable risk, and it is not sustainable. Anything that is not sustainable must someday be reversed or remedied.
” Using the results from formal economic models, the Review estimates that if we don’t act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more.”
I would suggest that any estimate that bases its assumption on something costing 5-20% percent more now and forever is missing a feedback loop?
Populations are already growing at an unsustainable pace, with or without global warming, leading to disaster. And with global warming the human response must be reversed or remedied voluntarily or involuntarily, but it will not go on forever.