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Climate Crisis Could Trim 10.5 Percent of GDP in 80 Years, Says New Study

Politics

Statue of liberty under attack illustration. Global warming, democracy and crisis concept.

TeamDAF / Getty Images Plus

The climate crisis is getting costly. Some of the world's largest companies expect to take over one trillion in losses due to climate change. Insurers are increasingly jittery and the world's largest firm has warned that the cost of premiums may soon be unaffordable for most people. Historic flooding has wiped out farmers in the Midwest.


Now, a new report, warns that the climate crisis will trigger massive global economic losses if greenhouse gas emissions are not drastically curtailed within the next few decades, as the Washington Post reported.

The working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that no country in the world will be spared from the effects of the climate crisis and not a single country will see an economic benefit from it.

The study looked at 174 countries over 54 years and found that economic output is negatively effective by persistent changes. If global warming goes unchecked, the constant changes will reduce the world's gross domestic product (GDP) 7.2 percent by the year 2100. However, if the world were to adhere to the Paris climate agreement and keep temperatures from rising too much, the economic loss would be down to 1.07 percent by 2100.

The worst-off nations will be tropical countries short on economic and medical resources.

Industrialized nations will be hit hard if temperatures continue to rise at their current rate and are four degrees Celsius higher than preindustrial times by 2100, as they are predicted to be, the U.S. will lose 10.5 percent of its GDP.

"What our study suggests is that climate change is costly for all countries under the business as usual scenario (no matter whether they are hot or cold, rich or poor), and the United States will be one of the countries that will suffer the most (reflecting sharp increases in U.S. average temperatures by 2100)," said study co-author Kamiar Mohaddes, an economist at the University of Cambridge in the UK, via email to the Washington Post.

While Republicans have said the U.S. can innovate and manage its way around the climate crisis, the researchers were not convinced. They did not see any historical precedent that suggests a speedy adaptation will mitigate economic losses."

Overall, while climate change adaptation could reduce these negative long-run growth effects, it is highly unlikely to offset them entirely," the report said, which Politico reported. "The evidence appears to suggest that (at least for now) adaptation has had limited impact in dampening the negative effects of climate change in the United States."

Japan, India and New Zealand will lose 10 per cent of their income, the researchers said. And Canada would lose over 13 per cent of its income by 2100, as LiveMint reported.

"Canada is warming up twice as fast as rest of the world. There are risks to its physical infrastructure, coastal and northern communities, human health and wellness, ecosystems and fisheries -- all of which has a cost," said Mohaddes, as LiveMint reported.

"The UK recently had its hottest day on record. Train tracks buckled, roads melted, and thousands were stranded because it was out of the norm. Such events take an economic toll, and will only become more frequent and severe without policies to address the threats of climate change."

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