Poor and rich face economic loss as world warms

(Eco Business, 23 Aug 2019) Yet another study predicts economic loss as the world gets hotter. And the richer nations will also feel the pain.

By the close of the century, the United States could be more than 10 per cent poorer, thanks to the economic loss that climate change will impose.

There is bad news too for Japan, India and New Zealand, which will also be 10 per cent worse off in a world that could be 3°C hotter than any temperatures experienced since humans began to build cities, civilisations and complex economies.

And the news is even worse for Canada, a northern and Arctic nation that could reasonably have expected some things to improve as the thermometer rose: under a “business as usual” scenario in which nations go on burning fossil fuels at ever increasing rates, the Canadian economy could shrink by 13 per cent.

A new study by the US National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts warns that overall the global economy will shrink by 7 per cent, unless the world’s nations meet the target they set themselves at an historic meeting in Paris in 2015, when they agreed an ambition to keep global warming to no more than 2°C above the levels maintained until the Industrial Revolution.

The factor that tends to govern how bad an economy may be hit is not the global average thermometer rise, but the level of deviation from the historical normal: farmers, business people and government planners tend to bank on more or less foreseeable conditions. But conditions in a hotter world are less predictable.

External link

Eco Business, 23 Aug 2019: Poor and rich face economic loss as world warms