Monday, January 24

Climate Crisis Will Shrink G7 Economies Twice More Than Covid-19, Research Finds | Climate change

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.

Fast guide

Pressure on UK as Cop26 approaches


Pressure on UK as Cop26 approaches

Activists and climate experts have been increasingly concerned about a series of government actions that appear to be out of step with the government’s commitment to net zero emissions, ahead of hosting the vital UN climate talks, called Cop26. , this November in Glasgow. As host and chair of the talks, the UK will have to unite the disputed nations to agree to slash emissions over the next ten years and achieve net zero emissions by mid-century.

Rebecca Newsom, head of policy at Greenpeace UK, said the government should reject the airport expansion to show leadership at Cop26: “If true, stopping the plans is a sign that the government is starting to measure the catastrophic impacts of this proposed expansion. But we’re only a few months away from hosting critical conversations about global climate, and this climate-busting mega-project is clearly incompatible with our plans to cut emissions, so why just delay the decision and not just call it now? Canceling expansion plans before the global climate summit begins would be a true demonstration of climate leadership. “

Environmental groups received assurances from public officials in 2019 that decisions on new infrastructure that could increase greenhouse gas emissions would take into account the government’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. However, the supreme court ruled Last December that government commitments under the 2015 Paris agreement could be effectively ignored in the decision to go ahead with a third runway at Heathrow.

A group of more than 130 leading scientists, academics and lawyers, including former NASA scientist James Hansen and former UK chief scientist Sir David King, wrote to the government last week expressing concern over the Court’s ruling. Supreme and warning that the international climate of the government commitments were being ignored. They wrote: “The UK’s highest court has set a precedent that large national projects can continue even when they are not consistent with maintaining the temperature limit on which our collective survival depends. In fact, the precedent goes further. He says the government is not even obliged to consider the goals of a deal that is almost universally agreed upon. That doesn’t just undermine the UK’s status as champion of the Paris agreement just before Cop26. It also substantially reduces humanity’s prospects of maintaining that limit and thus avoiding disaster. “

Other recent controversial decisions, such as initial government backing for the Cumbria coal mine and a new round of licenses granted to extract oil and gas from the North Sea, have also raised concerns. The government has scrapped its main green recovery measure, the Green Homes Grant, which was intended to create thousands of green jobs by helping households install insulation and slashing incentives to buy electric cars.

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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.

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