Macroeconomic projections that send shivers down your spine. In a report published this Wednesday, the Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) details the consequences of climate inaction on the French economy. Verdict: in a scenario where warming reaches 3.5°C at the end of the century compared to the pre-industrial era - that is to say the scenario where nothing is done to slow it down - the agency estimates that damages linked to climate change could cost more than 10 points of GDP compared to a hypothesis where global warming would not exist. “Considering only the direct effects, the absence of action will lead each year, by the end of the century, to a loss equivalent to 10% of GDP, or currently 260 billion euros, the equivalent of 3,500 euros per year and per French person,” declares the Minister of Ecological Transition, Christophe Béchu.
Among these 10 points of GDP, nearly 6 would be due to the consequences of natural disasters occurring in the rest of the world. For example, droughts on the other side of the world can increase the cost of raw materials for French companies. The other major factor in the cost of climate inaction would be reflected, in France this time, in agricultural yields. Their decline in this scenario would cause damage equivalent to around 3 points of GDP, estimates ADEME. According to the study, the “direct costs of natural disasters in France” and “rising sea levels” would together cost 1 point of GDP by 2100 in this scenario. Beyond the scenario of total inaction, “this study highlights the fact that each year of delay in reducing greenhouse gas emissions increases the cost for society as a whole. If we do not strengthen our efforts by 2030, this will result in additional costs of at least 5% of GDP to achieve neutrality by 2050,” analyzes Christophe Béchu, who brings together all the administrations of his ministry this Wednesday to “present a first version of the National Plan for adaptation to climate change”. This climate change adaptation plan, taking into account a warming of 4°C by the end of the century, should be revealed to the public by the government next year.