Building climate change defences could massively boost world economy

Environment 10 September 2019 By Adam Vaughan Countries that invest in flood defences could see a positive impact on their economyGideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty ImagesCountries could reap a $7 trillion economic prize by investing in measures such as flood defences and protecting mangrove forests to adapt to a rapidly-changing climate, according to an analysis backed…



Environment



10 September 2019

By Adam Vaughan

A flood sign in a flood

Countries that invest in flood defences could see a positive impact on their economy

Gideon Mendel/Corbis via Getty Images

Countries could reap a $7 trillion economic prize by investing in measures such as flood defences and protecting mangrove forests to adapt to a rapidly-changing climate, according to an analysis backed by Ban Ki-Moon, Bill Gates and the head of the World Bank.

The first report from the Global Commission on Adaptation argues it is time to rethink climate change adaptation as an opportunity rather than a burden. “Clearly we are seeing climate impacts are here and now. One can’t avoid opening the paper and seeing what is happening around the world,” says Manish Bapta at the World Resources Institute and an author of the report.

There is a strong economic case for acting, says Bapta. The commission’s analysis found every dollar invested in adaptation could yield between $2 and $10 in net economic benefits. If $1.9 trillion was spent over ten years globally on making infrastructure more resilient and other measures such as early warning systems for extreme weather, it would result in $7tn of total net benefits.

Advertisement

Ban, Gates and Kristalina Georgieva of the World Bank said the world’s adaptation to a warming world has been “gravely insufficient” so far. Meanwhile, “massive wildfires ravage fragile habitats, city taps run dry, droughts scorch the land,” they write in the report’s foreword.

Failing to adapt to climate change is not an option, the commission said, pointing out that growth in global agriculture yields could be depressed by nearly a third without action. The report also rejects the “false choice” of choosing between climate mitigation – cutting emissions – and adaptation. “We must do both,” the commission said.

More on these topics:

Read More

Related articles

The Great Barrier Reef has suffered its most widespread bleaching yet

By Alice Klein The central, southern and northern sections of the Great Barrier Reef were bleached by warmer ocean waterVictor HuertasAustralia’s Great Barrier Reef has experienced its third mass bleaching event in five years. For the first time, all three sections of the reef have been severely affected. The damage occurred in February when the reef…

We have the first full map of the weird surface features of Titan

By Leah Crane These infrared views of Titan peer through the gloomNASA/JPL-Caltech/Stéphane Le Mouélic, University of Nantes, Virginia Pasek, University of ArizonaSlowly but surely, the surface of Saturn’s strange moon Titan is being revealed. Researchers have made the first map of the geology of Titan’s entire surface, and it will eventually help us figure out…