If there are no efforts to curb the effects of climate change, as many as 100 million people could die by 2030, and climate change is currently stifling the international economy, an alarming new report has warned.
The report, which was commissioned by 20 governments, also said that the global gross domestic product will decline by more than 3 percent in the next 18 years if climate change continues. The costs to take care of threats posed by climate change are dwarfed by the potential losses that would otherwise be incurred in the coming decades, the report states.
Climate change, triggered by the emissions of greenhouse gases, causes melting polar ice caps, drought, rising sea levels, and unpredictable and extreme weather, according to the report, released by humanitarian organization DARA’s Climate Vulnerability Monitor. Such effects would threaten or completely wipe out the livelihoods of tens of millions.
Each year, 5 million deaths are linked to climate change, of which 400,000 deaths are directly caused by climate change, mostly from hunger and communicable diseases, the report said. At the same time, the global GDP has been set back by 1.6 percent; in 2010, the least developed countries suffered a 7 percent decline in GDP due to climate change.
“Losses are expected to increase rapidly, reaching 6 million deaths [per year] and 3.2 percent of GDP in net average global losses by 2030,” the report states, meaning that between now and 2030, around 100 million people will die directly or indirectly from climate change.
“If emissions continue to increase unabated in a business-as-usual fashion, … yearly average global losses to world output could exceed 10 percent of global GDP before the end of the century,” it stated.
Most of those deaths would take place in developing countries, the researchers said, but developed countries and the countries with the highest GDPs will also suffer.
In less than 20 years, China would incur losses of $1.2 trillion, the United States’ GDP will be held back by 2 percent, and India’s GDP will be held back by more than 5 percent, a news release said.
Meanwhile, the report said, the costs to tackle climate change will only increase if little or nothing is done.
“After seventeen years of international negotiations, we are still without any meaningful agreement or action to reduce global warming,” said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, according to the news release. Bangladesh is part of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, as the low-lying country would suffer a great deal if sea levels rise.
“Experts may call into question this or that aspect of the Monitor’s findings, but we are certain subsequent research will continue to reaffirm the broad conclusions of the report,” she continued.
Oxfam International, a humanitarian aid organization, said world governments must act upon the information presented by the Climate Vulnerability Monitor’s report.
“Behind the statistics are the stories of real families and communities, for whom climate change means putting children to bed with empty stomachs,” stated Oxfam chief Jeremy Hobbs, who described the report’s findings as “staggering” and “another reminder that climate change’s most savage impact is hunger and poverty.”
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