3.8 Economy

The more we delay, the more we will pay. Climate change is accelerating and human activities are the principal cause, as documented in a series of authoritative scientific reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The effects are already widespread, costly and consequential — to agriculture, water resources, human health, and ecosystems on land and in the oceans. Climate change poses sweeping risks for economic stability and the security of nations.
Ban Ki-moon Secretary-General, United Nations: Now Is the Time to Act on Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most pervasive and threatening issues of our time, with far-reaching impacts in the twenty-first century.
Climate change is expected to have unprecedented implications on where people can settle, grow food, build cities, and rely on functioning ecosystems for the services they provide. In many places, temperature changes and sea-level rise are already putting ecosystems under stress and affecting human well-being. Climate Change UNEP, (2021)   UNEP topics 

World Resources Institute (2021) The economic costs of climate change are estimated to be 2-10% of global GDP by the end of this century. The impacts of ecosystem degradation affect communities and economies globally. Low-income countries and regions — often those least responsible for causing the problems — will feel the consequences most acutely. Climate change alone is expected to cause 32-132 million people to fall into poverty by 2030.  Meanwhile, the growth opportunities of better environmental management are hiding in plain sight. Research shows that strong climate action could yield at least $26 trillion in benefits globally through 2030, as well as boost jobs and income and improve health.
The global economy and human well-being depend on the availability of natural resources and healthy ecosystems, as well as fair distribution of the benefits they provide. Yet the costs of unsustainable resource use continue to rise, threatening lives and livelihoods around the world.

Mitigation- taking strong action to reduce emissions – must be viewed as an investment, a cost incurred now and in the coming decades to avoid the risks of very severe consequences in the future. If these investments are made wisely, the costs will be manageable, and there will be a wide range of opportunities for growth and development along the way”. Stern, M. (2006) Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change

The task of promoting human development, ending poverty, increasing global prosperity, and reducing global inequality will be very challenging in a 2°C world, but in a 4°C world there is serious doubt whether this can be achieved at all. Immediate steps are needed to help countries adapt to the climate impacts being felt today and the unavoidable consequences of a rapidly warming world. The benefits of strong, early action on climate change — action that follows clean, low carbon pathways and avoids locking in unsustainable growth strategies — far outweigh the costs.  Turn down the heat – World Bank Nov 2014

“The financial costs linked to climate change represent the biggest threat to the global economy, according to Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz”

What are the risks – how much do they cost?  Munich re

Climate change, poverty, and inequality are the defining issues of our age. The World Bank Group is the biggest multilateral funder of climate investments in developing countries. And we intend to go further in helping countries reduce poverty and rise to the challenges of climate change.(2021)

We need to get rid of fossil fuel subsidies now:  End Fossil Fuel Subsidies Now and Start Carbon Tax, Urges World Bank Chief
Jim Yong Kim, WB president, 2015

Corporate responsibility:
Climate change is one of the greatest risks facing humankind this century. Through a part of its core business, the insurance industry is directly affected and therefore assumes a leading role in devising solutions for climate protection and adaptation to the inevitable changes. Munich re

Climate change on the rocks:  losses from drought/subsidence, inundation, and storms in France could almost double until 2040 Munich re

We’re on the Cusp of One of the Greatest Inflationary Periods in History. It’s Only Just Begun, and It’s Going to Get a Whole Lot Worse  (2021)

Guardian (2015)  World Bank rejects energy industry notion that coal can cure poverty


Read more:  Heat waves, floods, lack of water, sea level rise and extreme weather have devastating effects on economy


Home Chapter 3 3. Impacts
3.1 More water vapor
3.2 Sea level rise
3.3 Polar sea ice
3.4 Air pollution
3.5 Acidification
3.6 Health
3.7 Extreme weather
3.8 Economy
3.9 Refugees and conflicts
3.10 Glaciers
3.11 Tipping points
3.12 Biodiversity
3.13 Water
Chapter 4 4. Ecosystems