GDP loss of G7 due to climate change will be double than that of COVID-19; Oxfam

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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The economies of G7 nations would lose 8.5 percent, equivalent to $4.8 trillion, annually by 2050 in the gross domestic product (GDP) if the leaders do not take ambitious action to tackle climate change, UK-based nonprofit group Oxfam said. 

The nonprofit group’s analysis of research by Swiss Re Institute, the leading providers of reinsurance, highlighted that the world must work to cut carbon emissions more quickly and steeply.

Oxfam analysis found that the loss in GDP due to climatic issues will be double that of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused the economies of the same seven nations to shrink by an average of 4.2 percent, resulting in staggering job losses and some of the largest economic stimulus packages ever seen. 

Danny Sriskandarajah
Danny Sriskandarajah
CEO – Oxfam GB

“The climate crisis is already devastating lives in poorer countries but the world’s most developed economies are not immune. The UK government has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to lead the world towards a safer, more liveable planet for all of us. It should strain every diplomatic sinew to secure the strongest possible outcome at the G7 and Cop26 summits, and lead by example by turning promises into action and reversing self-defeating decisions like the proposed coal-mine in Cumbria and cuts to overseas aid.” 

Swiss Re modeled how climate change is likely to affect economies through gradual, chronic climate risks like heat stress, higher sea levels, health problems and the effects on agricultural productivity. All the 48 nations in the study are expected to see their economies contract, with many of them predicted to be hit worse than the G7 countries.

The UK economy is projected to lose up to 6.5 percent of its value by mid-century, compared with 2.4 percent if it succeeds in pushing other nations to reduce emissions to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The US would be hit with a 7.2 percent loss by 2050, Japan 9.1 percent, Italy 11.4 percent, Germany 8.3 percent, France 10 percent and Canada 6.9 percent.

Oxfam stated that the G7 nations have all set new climate targets but most are still below the goal that would keep global warming below 1.5°C. Further, the governments of the seven rich nations are also collectively failing to deliver on a longstanding pledge by developed countries to provide $100 billion per year to help poor countries respond to climate change.

Related: Singapore’s new global carbon exchange attracts numerous tech giants


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