By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – Climate change will damage economies around the world by the year 2100, despite these nations being rich or poor, or being in hot or cold climates, says a report issued by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), earlier this week.
“These negative long-run growth effects are universal, that is they effect all countries, rich or poor, and hot or cold,” says the working paper.
The non-profit economic research organization does away with the current belief that poorer nations will suffer more than industrialized ones as the earth warms up.
According to researchers a persistent rise in temperature, changes in rainfall patterns and more frequent extreme weather events will have ‘long-term macroeconomic effects’ in labor productivity, investments and human health.
For researchers, cuts to worker productivity due to extreme weather events and other effects of climate change could cause major global economic losses unless greenhouse gas emissions are significantly curtailed in the next few decades.
“What our study suggests is that climate change is costly for all countries under the business as usual scenario (no matter whether they are hot or cold, rich or poor), and the United States will be one of the countries that will suffer the most (reflecting sharp increases in U.S. average temperatures by 2100),” study co-author Kamiar Mohaddes, an economist at the University of Cambridge, told the Washington Post.
On average the world’s GDP per capita would suffer a decline of more than seven percent by the beginning of the new century, says the report.
In countries like Japan, India and New Zealand the loss of GDP would be close to ten percent, while in Switzerland should register an economy that is twelve percent smaller by 2100.
For the United States, researchers predict that for every 1°C degree increase in average temperature, country’s GDP will drop by 1.2 percent. That means that if the greenhouse gases are not significantly cut and meet the Paris Accord the country could see a 10.5 percent cut in real income by 2100.
Researchers say that although the US is moving ahead in its projects to reduce emissions it must do more.
“Overall, the evidence appears to suggest that (at least for now) adaptation has had limited impact in dampening the negative effects of climate change in the United States,” concludes the report.
But researchers note that their findings are not an excuse for not trying to combat global warming. The study noted that constant temperature increases of about 0.04 Celsius degrees per year, or a high-emissions scenario would result in a 7.2 percent cut in GDP per capita worldwide by 2100.
If countries were to adhere to the Paris Climate agreement and cut greenhouse gas emissions to no more than 40 gigatons worldwide then negative effects could be limited to a 1.1 percent loss in GDP per capita.
To conduct the study the team of researchers from the University of Cambridge, the International Monetary Fund, the University of Southern California and the National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan examined economic data from 174 countries during the period from 1964 to 2014.