Rich country economies will shrink twice as much as they did in the Covid-19 crisis if they fail to address rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to research.
The G7 countries, the world’s largest industrialized economies, will lose 8.5% of GDP a year, or nearly $ 5 trillion wiped from their economies, within 30 years if temperatures rise 2.6 ° C , as is likely to happen based on government and policy promises around the world, in accordance with Oxfam and Swiss Re Institute research.
The economies of the G7 nations contracted by about 4.2% on average in the coronavirus pandemic, and economic losses from the climate crisis by 2050 would be roughly on the scale of suffering a similar crisis twice a year, according to the investigation. The UK economy would lose 6.5% annually by 2050 under current policies and projections, compared to 2.4% if the targets of the Paris climate agreement are met.
Other nations will be much more affected, including India, whose economy will contract by a quarter due to a 2.6 ° C rise in temperature, while Australia will suffer a 12.5% loss in production and South Korea it will lose almost a tenth of its economic potential. .
The leaders of the G7 countries (UK, US, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy) and the EU will meet in Cornwall on Friday to discuss the global economy, Covid-19 vaccines, taxes on business and climate. crisis.
Insurance firm Swiss Re’s model took into account the anticipated direct impacts of climate collapse, including extreme weather events such as droughts and floods, as well as effects on agricultural productivity, health, and heat stress.
Jerome Haegeli, Group Chief Economist at Swiss Re, said: “Climate change is the number one long-term risk to the global economy and staying where we are is not an option; we need more progress from the G7. That means not only obligations on CO reductiontwo but helping developing countries too, that’s very important. “
He said vaccines for Covid-19 were also a key way to help developing countries, as their economies were hit hard by the pandemic and they would need help to recover on a green path, rather than powering fossil fuels.
The insurer found that governments’ policies and promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions were still inadequate to meet the targets of the Paris agreement. In addition to hosting the G7 summit, the UK will host major UN climate talks, called Cop26, this November in Glasgow.
Ahead of Cop26, the UK calls on all countries to come up with stricter commitments on carbon to meet the Paris targets of limiting global warming to well below 2 ° C, and preferably no more than 1, 5 ° C, above pre-industrial levels. The lower bound is increasingly in jeopardy, as greenhouse gas emissions are forecast to rise dramatically this year, in the second-highest jump on record, due to the rebound in the Covid-19 recession and increased use. of coal.
Danny Sriskandarajah, Executive Director of Oxfam GB, said: “The climate crisis is already devastating lives in the poorest countries, but the world’s most developed economies are not immune. The UK government has a once in a generation chance to lead the world towards a safer and more livable planet for all of us.
“It should strain all diplomatic nerves to ensure the strongest possible outcome at the G7 and Cop26, and lead by example by turning promises into action and reversing counterproductive decisions like the Cumbria coal mine proposal and aid cuts. Exterior”.
The record of the Boris Johnson government has come under close scrutiny in the run-up to the G7 and Cop26 meetings. Top climate diplomacy figures have said the prime minister must “control” the UN talks to ensure their success, while disputes over a proposed new coal mine, the decision to cut foreign aid by 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP, and issues such as new North Sea oil and gas licenses, scrapping of green housing concessions and incentives for electric vehicles, and airport expansion have undermined green government credentials.
Foreign aid has been the tipping point for many, described as a diplomatic disaster as the success of Cop26 depends in part on the UK persuading other wealthy nations at the G7 summit to come up with much higher pledges of financial assistance. for the developing world. help poor countries reduce their emissions and cope with the impacts of climate collapse.
Dozens of conservative rebels plan to try to force the government to back down on aid cuts in a key vote on Monday. The dispute and the rise in Covid cases from new variants of the virus threaten to overshadow what Johnson had hoped would be an uplifting gathering to celebrate the success of vaccines and lay the groundwork for a successful Cop26 in Glasgow this November.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism