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Study attempts to quantify the astronomical cost of climate change for global economies

Climate change is responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars each year for global economies, with the least developed countries bearing the vast majority of the burden, a study notes on Tuesday, a few days before the opening of COP28 in Dubai .

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Study attempts to quantify the astronomical cost of climate change for global economies

Climate change is responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars each year for global economies, with the least developed countries bearing the vast majority of the burden, a study notes on Tuesday, a few days before the opening of COP28 in Dubai .

According to this study conducted by the University of Delaware, in 2022 alone, on a global scale, climate change caused a loss of 6.3% of GDP weighted according to population. This figure takes into account both the direct consequences of climate change (on agriculture, energy and even the productivity of countries) as well as the international fallout and losses in terms of potential investments. The unweighted percentage of global wealth lost is 1.8%, or approximately $1.5 trillion.

“The difference between these two figures reflects the unequal distribution of impacts, which are concentrated in low-income countries and tropical regions, generally more populated and less well endowed in GDP,” explain the authors of the report in a press release. Indeed, the least developed countries are exposed to an average GDP loss of 8.3%, weighted according to population. Southeast Asia and Southern Africa are particularly affected, with losses of 14.1% and 11.2% respectively. Conversely, certain developed countries, particularly in Northern Europe, have seen their GDP increase. But this could soon be reversed, warns the study, which appears two days before the start of the 28th edition of the COP (conferences of the parties) which brings together from November 30 to December 12 the signatory members of the United Nations Framework Convention. United Nations on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The world has become trillions of dollars poorer because of climate change, and most of this burden falls on poor countries. I hope this information will help clarify the challenges many countries are already facing today and the support they urgently need to address them,” says James Rising, study author and assistant professor at the University of Delaware. By combining GDP and capital losses, the analysis reveals that low- and middle-income countries have suffered a total loss of $21 trillion since the adoption of the Rio convention in 1992. The study states that these Losses are “conservative estimates” as significant non-market impacts and losses are not taken into account.

One of the major issues that will be discussed is the adoption of a framework for the new United Nations fund intended to help the poorest nations face the consequences of climate change, as decided at COP27. . The UN estimates that developing countries will need more than $300 billion a year by 2030 to combat the effects of climate change.

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