Sticking to the Paris agreement would save the world trillions, study says

Greg Evans
Saturday 26 May 2018 15:30
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Picture:(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A new study has detailed the amount of money that the entire world will save if everyone agrees to stick to the Paris agreement.

We hardly need to tell you that president Donald Trump plans to take the United States out of the agreement, which was established in 2015, much to the dismay of other world leaders.

Not only would sticking to the agreement considerably cut carbon emissions around the world, it would potentially save the global economy could exceed $20 trillion by 2100.

That is the result of a new study published in the scientific journal Nature who found that nations that represent 90 per cent of the worldwide population would financially benefit from keeping global warming at its pre-industrial level.

This would contradict Trump's claim that agreement would be too costly and that it actually benefits the poorest nations as well as the three nations with the largest economies - the US, China and Japan.

Over the last 50 years, collected data has shown that when temperatures rise, GDP and other economic measures decline due to struggles with labour productivity, overall health and agricultural output.

Using this model, they managed to estimate what the impact of the desired 1.5C temperature target would be on the economy as well as looking at larger warming targets like 2C and 3C.

The cost of trying to reach the desired temperature figure of 1.5C in the next 30 years is $0.5 trillion, according to the studies research.

Marshall Burke, an assistant professor at Stanford University, who was the lead author on the study is quoted by the Guardian as saying:

By the end of the century, we find the world will be about 3% wealthier if we actually achieve the 1.5C target relative to 2C target.

In dollar terms, this represents about $30tn in cumulative benefits.

So our evidence suggest the benefits of meeting the targets vastly outweigh the costs.

We also calculated what’s going to be the additional economic cost if we hit 3C instead of 2C.

This will cost the globe an additional 5-10% of GDP, relative to 2C; that is tens of trillions of dollars. These are very large numbers.

Of course, the estimate cannot predict what types of technology or social movements might occur that would combat global warming.

In contrast, things such as cheaper air conditioning to adapt to the changing climate could actually have a benefit to society despite the change in temperature.

It also doesn't quantify the impact that climate change would have on natural ecosystems or what would happen if we burn fewer fossil fuels.

The researchers do acknowledge that there are uncertainties in their economic modelling, but are firm in the belief that the planet would financially benefit from the 1.5C climate change.

HT IFL Science

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