Summing up Climate Change’s economic consequences

Climate change is a long-term problem and its effects are very pervasive, very diverse, wrote Prof. Richard S. J. Tol in 2009. As the 21st UN Conference on Climate (COP21) approaches, it seemed relevant to sum up what could be the “fast becoming unbearable financial cost” UNSG Ban Ki-Moon warned about in September 2014. Due to its “very long-run implications,” the consequences of climate change damages for economic growth will increase over time, “leading to a global GDP loss of 0.7% to 2.5% by 2060,” an OECD report assessed.

Diana Liverman, Director of the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment, and Amy Glasmeier, a MIT Professor of economic geography, took the $65 billion worth of losses Hurricane Sandy as an example of how climate change “will have a huge and varied global economic impact,” not only locally but across the whole economic environment from “supply chains” to “consumer behaviors, regional economies, and downstream jobs.”

The most expensive thing about Climate Change will be to do nothing, the Union of Concerned Scientists affirmed, listing damage to property and infrastructure, lost productivity, mass migration and security threats as serious consequences for the economy. Stressing on the severe impacts Climate Change could have on the economy of a country like Canada, the David Suzuki Foundation underlined that addressing the issuewill (however) bring many economic benefits.”