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New study: Climate change will spare no country, U.S. to be hit hard

Christian Fernsby |
A new study warns of a big cut to economic growth to come if global warming goes unchecked.

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Topics: U.S.    CLIMATE CHANGE   

The study "Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis" is unique in that it finds higher potential costs from climate change, particularly in the industrial world, compared with past research.

For example, the study found that continued temperature increases of about 0.04 Celsius per year under a roughly “business as usual," or high-emissions, scenario would yield a 7.2 percent cut to GDP per capita worldwide by 2100.

This is relative to a world in which countries see temperature increases equal to their 1960 to 2014 rate of change.

"Our counterfactual analysis suggests that a persistent increase in average global temperature by 0.04°C per year, in the absence of mitigation policies, reduces world real GDP per capita by 7.22 percent by 2100.

"On the other hand, abiding by the Paris Agreement, thereby limiting the temperature increase to 0.01°C per annum, reduces the loss substantially to 1.07 percent.

"These effects vary significantly across countries.

"We also provide supplementary evidence using data on a sample of 48 U.S. states between 1963 and 2016, and show that climate change has a long-lasting adverse impact on real output in various states and economic sectors, and on labor productivity and employment."

For the United States, the study finds that if emissions of greenhouse gases are not significantly cut in keeping with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, the country could see a 10.5 percent cut in real income by 2100.

The hardest hit countries will be poorer, tropical nations, but in contrast to previous studies, the new paper finds that no country will be spared and none will see a net benefit economically from global warming.

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