Global warming freezing world economy

2012-10-18 20:57

New York - Climate change caused by global warming is freezing the world economy and already leading to the deaths of millions every year, a report commissioned by 20 of the world's most vulnerable countries said on Wednesday.

Climate Vulnerability Monitor: a guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet says global warming will not only lead to environmental catastrophe, but is choking the international economy.

Key findings include estimates that carbon-intensive economies and associated climate change are responsible for five million deaths a year, 90% of them related to air pollution.

"Failure to act on climate change already costs the world economy 1.6% of global GDP amounting to $1.2 trillion in forgone prosperity a year," said the report, produced by the Dara research centre and released at the Asia Society in New York.

Unprecedented harm

In addition, "rapidly escalating temperatures and carbon-related pollution will double costs to 3.2% of world GDP by 2030".

According to the report, "unprecedented harm" is being inflicted on humanity.

However, tackling climate change's causes would bring "significant economic benefits for world, major economies and poor nations alike", the report said.

Former Costa Rican president Jose Maria Figueres said at the presentation that there is a "fantastic" opportunity in steering away from carbon-intensive economies.

"There's a tremendous amount of opportunity in terms of development around the world as we reinvent everything," he said. "This is where the future is."

Anything less, he said, is "in some ways similar to rearranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic".

Everyone affected

The report says that while poorer countries face the steepest economic damage in terms of GDP losses, big countries will not be spared.

"In less than 20 years China will incur the greatest share of all losses at over $1.2 trillion. The US economy will be held back by more 2% of GDP; India, over 5% of its GDP," the report said.

It said these projected losses "dwarf the modest costs" of addressing climate change.

The climate forum's chairperson, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said weather pattern changes would be especially devastating for her crowded country.

"One degree Celsius rise in temperature is associated with 10% productivity loss in farming," she said at the New York launch of the report. "For us, it means losing about four million metric tons of food grain, amounting to about $2.5bn. That is about2% of our GDP.

"Adding up the damages to property and other losses, we are faced with a total loss of about three to 4% of GDP."


A sea level rise of a meter, she said, would inundate a fifth of the low-lying territory, displacing nearly 30 million people. "The scenario would be just as horrifying for small island developing states like Maldives, Kiribati and Tuvalu," she said.

Maldives President Mohamed Waheed called his country "ground zero for observing the impact of changing climate", but said the dramatic threat to the islands' future will eventually come to seemingly safe countries.

"It's only a matter of time before every nation has to step in our shoes."

Jeremy Hobbs, executive director of the aid agency Oxfam International, called the report "another reminder that climate change's most savage impact is hunger and poverty".

"The economic and social costs of political inaction of unchecked climate change are staggering," he said. "Behind the statistics are the stories of real families and communities, for whom climate change means putting children to bed with empty stomachs."

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Mohamed Mijarul Quayes told the forum in New York that radical change from carbon-heavy economies is the only way forward.
"There's no plan B, because there's no planet B," he said.

  • johann.enslin.9 - 2012-10-18 21:35


      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-19 08:51

      Meme, you talking about the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change?

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-19 08:56

      Also, were there any response regarding the Copenhagen Climate Challenge?

      tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-19 09:19

      Aahhh Wiki, how convenient.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-19 12:20

      Paulthebok: Live in your world of fake conspiracies mate, ignorance is bliss isnt it? Simple physics: If you increase greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere by burning oil, coal and gas, then youre changing the chemistry of the atmosphere. An energy imbalance is caused which destabilises the climate. You can run from this simple fact but you cant hide.

  • Sizwe Mkhaliphi - 2012-10-18 22:22

    The temperature has been changing since the beginning of time. Stop with this nonsense. we hv better things to worry about

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-19 12:23

      @Sizwe: In the past, the temperature changed over many thousands of years, giving life time to evolve. Currently, it is changing in a matter of decades.

      douglas.hollis.7 - 2012-11-19 14:00

      For what it's worth, Michael Mann's 'hockey stick' graph has been thoroughly vindicated, time and time again, using independent methods. His work is now officially beyond reproach. Google it if you will.

  • craig.king.7505 - 2012-10-19 07:30

    I read the DARA report and it is speculative nonsense. If, may, could etc. and not one fact in the whole thing. Another bunch of charlatans hoping for fame and fortune off of a scam. Aren't you just sick of this nonsense? The climate changes, always has always will and our presence or absence won't change that.

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-19 11:38

      Craig: Perhaps you should write a letter to the most prestigious scientific orginizations in the world and tell them they are wrong.

      paulthebok - 2012-10-19 11:52

      @Meme Is it not a fact that the Scientist who first came up with Global Warming was also the same man who was predicting a Global Ice Age in the late 70's ? He got that wrong , so why should he be right now?

      paulthebok - 2012-10-19 11:57

      @Ernst Are you trying to tell us Scientists never get it wrong , if so , how come the father of Global warming is also the father of the Ice Age we should be in right now?

      ernst.j.joubert - 2012-10-19 12:18

      Paulthebok: You regurgitate the same old skeptic arguments that have been debunked numerous times. In the 1970's, the MAJORITY of climate science papers predicted WARMING. Technology has progressed since the 1970's. Scientific methods have become much more accurate. The number of climate science papers (published recently)that predict an ice age are 0.

  • tommy.jones.754918 - 2012-10-19 08:08

    Let's scare them, then take their money.

      paulthebok - 2012-10-19 11:49

      @meme But you always say that that's what religion does , scare them and then take their money .

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