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Climate change to shrink GDP of all nations alike: study

Aug '19
Pic: University of Cambridge
Pic: University of Cambridge
Virtually all countries–rich or poor, hot or cold–will suffer economically by 2100 if the current trajectory of carbon emissions is maintained, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Cambridge, which suggests 7 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) will disappear by 2100 due to business-as-usual carbon emissions.

That will include over 10 per cent of incomes in both Canada and the United States.

The research published by the UK National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that on an average richer, colder countries would lose as much income to climate change as poorer, hotter nations.

Under a ‘business as usual’ emissions scenario, average global temperatures are projected to rise over four degrees Celsius by the end of the century. This would cause the United States to lose 10.5 per cent of its GDP by 2100, a substantial economic hit, say the researchers.

Canada, which some claim will benefit economically from temperature increase, would lose over 13 per cent of its income by 2100. The research shows that keeping to the Paris Agreement limits the losses of both North American nations to under 2 per cent of GDP.

Japan, India and New Zealand will lose 10 per cent of their income. Switzerland is likely to have an economy that is 12 per cent smaller by 2100. Russia would be shorn of 9 per cent of its GDP, with the United Kingdom down by 4 per cent.

“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 Kamiar Mohaddes, a co-author of the study from Cambridge’s faculty of economics.

Mohaddes worked on the study with Cambridge PhD candidate Ryan Ng, as well as colleagues from the University of Southern California, USA, Johns Hopkins University, USA, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, and the International Monetary Fund.

Using data from 174 countries dating back to 1960, the research team estimated the link between above-the-norm temperatures and income levels.

The scientific consensus suggests that adapting to climate change takes an average of 30 years, as everything from infrastructure to cultural practice slowly adjusts. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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