Rishi Sunak grilled by activist over climate change
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A study by a team of researchers at University College London (UCL) has revealed that the previous economic modelling continually underestimated the size of the task at hand. The team of international scientists identified that earlier analysis in this area has ignored important risks that which has led to dramatic underestimations of the actual cost of global warming. They hope that making more accurate projections will help governments to take action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions now. Most current models have focused on short-term damage which do not take into account the long-lasting impacts of climate change.
However, there is plenty of evidence that shows that this is in fact the case.
Extreme weather events like wildfires and heatwaves, storms and severe flooding – which have been increasing in frequency in recent years – are highly likely to create a long-lasting impact on economic stability because as they affect health, savings and labour productivity.
But the study authors at UCL come up with fresh predictions by updating one of three climate-economy models used to set the carbon price for national policymaking, and they then used it to examine the impact of year-to-year climate variations and the speed of economic recovery after climate events.
Results from the modelling showed that global GDP could be up to 37 percent lower by 2100 than it would be without the impacts of global warming, when taking the effects of climate change on economic growth into account.
Without taking into account the lasting damages, which tend to be excluded from most predictions, GDP would be around six percent lower.
This means the impacts on growth may increase the economic impact of climate change six times higher than originally thought.
But there is still a lot of unknown information about how climate change will affect economic growth in the future, particularly in the long term.
There is also still a lot to be understood about how countries can prevent too much economic damage from occurring and how they can adapt.
The researchers also predicted that depending on how much growth economic growth is impacted, the economic costs of global warming this century could be up to 51 percent of global GDP.
Study co-author Dr Chris Brierley (UCL Geography) said: “We don’t yet know exactly how much effect climate change will have on long-term economic growth — but it’s unlikely to be zero, as most economic models have assumed.
“Climate change makes detrimental events like the recent heatwave in North America and the floods in Europe much more likely.
“If we stop assuming that economies recover from such events within months, the costs of warming look much higher than usually stated.
“We still need a better understanding of how climate alters economic growth, but even in the presence of small long-term effects, cutting emissions becomes much more urgent.”
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The study was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
Experts also agree that if the climate crisis is not addressed, the consequences will be felt more devastatingly than just financial.
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently raised a “code red” alarm for humanity.
The landmark study warns of increasingly extreme heatwaves, droughts and flooding, and a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.
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