Story at a glance

  • The economic effects of climate change could more than double the damage to the world’s richest countries than the financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • G-7 economies contracted by more than 4 percent due to the pandemic, according to the outlet.
  • “The world stands to lose close to 10% of total economic value by mid-century if climate change stays on the currently-anticipated trajectory, and the Paris Agreement and 2050 net-zero emissions targets are not met,” researchers wrote in their findings.

The economic effects of climate change could cause more than double the damage to the world’s richest countries than the coronavirus pandemic.

New research from Oxfam and the Swiss Re Institute suggests that the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world’s largest industrialized economies could decrease by 8.5 percent per year — about $5 trillion — within the next three decades if the global temperatures rise between 3 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, Group of Seven (G-7) economies contracted by more than 4 percent due to the pandemic, The Guardian reported

“The world stands to lose close to 10% of total economic value by mid-century if climate change stays on the currently-anticipated trajectory, and the Paris Agreement and 2050 net-zero emissions targets are not met,” researchers wrote in their findings


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The firm's forecast factored in extreme weather-related issues, the effects of rising temperatures on agricultural production, and health and heat stress. Haegeli told The Guardian  that the emission’s commitments made by companies world-wide are still not enough to curb the damage.  

Jerome Haegeli, chief economist of the insurance firm Swiss Re, the group responsible for the modeling, said climate change presents the ultimate risk to global economies. 

“Climate change is the long-term number one risk to the global economy, and staying where we are is not an option – we need more progress by the G7,” Haegeli said, according to the Guardian. “That means not just obligations on cutting CO2 but helping developing countries too, that’s super-important.”

The G-7 summit is slated to begin Friday, where the country's leaders will discuss an array of issues expected to include climate change and the pandemic. 


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Published on Jun 07, 2021