Citing $69 Trillion Price Tag by 2100, Moody's Warns Central Banks of Far-Reaching Economic Damage of Climate Crisis

Citing $69 Trillion Price Tag by 2100, Moody's Warns Central Banks of Far-Reaching Economic Damage of Climate Crisis

"There is no denying it: The longer we wait to take bold action to curb emissions, the higher the costs will be for all of us."

Arid soils are shown in Mauritania in 2012, when crops failed because of a severe drought which led to a food crisis that impacted millions of people across West Africa. (Photo: Oxfam International/Flickr/cc)

Noting previous warnings that the human-caused climate crisis could cause trillions of dollars in damage to the global economy by the end of the century, a new report from Moody's Analytics explores the economic implications of the international community's failure to curb planet-warming emissions.

Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told The Washington Post—which first reported on the new analysis—that this is "the first stab at trying to quantify what the macroeconomic consequences might be" of the global climate crisis, and it comes in response to European commercial banks and central banks. The climate emergency is "not a cliff event. It's not a shock to the economy. It's more like a corrosive," Zandi added. But it is "getting weightier with each passing year."

The financial research and consulting firm's analysis (pdf) highlights a few key projections from a report published last October by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): if the average global temperature soars to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels—the lower limit of the Paris climate agreement—the cost to the global economy is estimated to be $54 trillion in 2100, and under a warming scenario of 2°C, the cost could reach $69 trillion.

Moody's—whose clients include multinational corporations, governments, central banks, financial regulators and institutions, retailers, mutual funds, utilities, real estate firms, insurance companies, and investors—notes researchers have found that "warming beyond the 2°C threshold could hit tipping points for even larger and irreversible warming feedback loops, such as permanent summer ice melt in the Arctic Ocean."

One of the key takeaways, the report emphasizes, is that economically, "the more draconian effects of climate change are not felt until 2030 and beyond. And they do not become especially pronounced until the second part of the century."

"That's why it is so hard to get people focused on this issue and get a comprehensive policy response," Zandi told the Post. "Business is focused on the next year, or five years out."

"Most of the models go out 30 years," he said, "but, really, the damage to the economy is in the next half-century, and we haven't developed the tools to look out that far."

Responding to the Post report, which emphasized Moody's warning of the anticipated damage to the global economy, some advocates of ambitious global action to slash human-generated greenhouse gas emissions pointed to recent findings from climate experts that the world's temperature could rise 3°C or higher by 2100, implying that the economic costs could exceed the IPCC's upper estimate.

Linking to the Post report, Defend Our Future—a project of the Environmental Defense Fund that aims to empower young people interested in advancing climate and clean energy solutions—tweeted: "There is no denying it: The longer we wait to take bold action to curb emissions, the higher the costs will be for all of us."

Moody's analysts examined the climate emergency's expected economic damage across six impact channels—sea-level rise, human health effects, heat effect of labor productivity, agricultural productivity, tourism, and energy demand—and created forecasts through 2048.

"This analysis reveals that some countries are significantly exposed to rising temperatures while others, particularly in Northern Hemisphere climates, are well insulated," the report says. Those at the greatest risk, analysts found, are "countries in hot climates, particularly those that are emerging economies such as Malaysia, Algeria, the Philippines, and Thailand, and oil producers such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Oman."

On the agricultural front, rising temperatures are expected to impact both the health of farmworkers and crop yields, which particularly threatens less-developed nations that are economically dependent on farming. Echoing a U.N. report published this week, Moody's notes that "heat stress, determined by high temperature and humidity, lowers working speed, necessitates more frequent breaks, and increases the probability of injury."

The report says that in terms of human health, the number of heat-related deaths worldwide is expected to increase as the global temperature does, and a hotter world "can lengthen the season and increase the geographic range of disease-carrying insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, allowing them to move into higher altitudes and new regions."

Recognizing some limitations of its analysis, Moody's acknowledges that "there are a number of factors that were not considered in this work. The foremost of these is the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters." The report points to a U.S. government calculation that in the United States alone, disasters caused more than $300 billion in damage in 2017.

As the environmental legal organization Earthjustice concluded in response to the report, "We literally cannot afford inaction on this crisis."

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams

About The Author

Jessica Corbett is a staff writer for Common Dreams. Follow her on Twitter: @corbett_jessica.

Related Books

Life After Carbon: The Next Global Transformation of Cities

by Peter Plastrik , John Cleveland
1610918495The future of our cities is not what it used to be. The modern-city model that took hold globally in the twentieth century has outlived its usefulness. It cannot solve the problems it helped to create—especially global warming. Fortunately, a new model for urban development is emerging in cities to aggressively tackle the realities of climate change. It transforms the way cities design and use physical space, generate economic wealth, consume and dispose of resources, exploit and sustain the natural ecosystems, and prepare for the future. Available On Amazon

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

by Elizabeth Kolbert
1250062187Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human. Available On Amazon

Climate Wars: The Fight for Survival as the World Overheats

by Gwynne Dyer
1851687181Waves of climate refugees. Dozens of failed states. All-out war. From one of the world’s great geopolitical analysts comes a terrifying glimpse of the strategic realities of the near future, when climate change drives the world’s powers towards the cut-throat politics of survival. Prescient and unflinching, Climate Wars will be one of the most important books of the coming years. Read it and find out what we’re heading for. Available On Amazon

From The Publisher:
Purchases on Amazon go to defray the cost of bringing you InnerSelf.comelf.com, MightyNatural.com, and ClimateImpactNews.com at no cost and without advertisers that track your browsing habits. Even if you click on a link but don't buy these selected products, anything else you buy in that same visit on Amazon pays us a small commission. There is no additional cost to you, so please contribute to the effort. You can also use this link to use to Amazon at any time so you can help support our efforts.

 

enafarzh-CNzh-TWnltlfrdehiiditjakomsfaptruesswsvthtrurvi

LATEST VIDEOS

Pumped Dry: The Global Crisis of Vanishing Groundwater
by USA TODAY
In places around the world, supplies of groundwater are rapidly vanishing. As aquifers decline and wells begin to go…
Why Climate Change Won't Be Solved Easily
by Thom Hartmann Program
Solutions for Climate Change are going to have to be much more radical and much more powerful than the solutions we…
The Counter-Intuitive Solution To Getting People To Care About Climate Change
The Counter-Intuitive Solution To Getting People To Care About Climate Change
by Kamyar Razavi
In a May episode of Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, Bill Nye the Science Guy took a blowtorch to a miniature globe.…
5 Ways To Be A Responsible Wildlife Tourist
5 Ways To Be A Responsible Wildlife Tourist
by Tracie McKinney
Imagine walking through a lush tropical forest. You hear a rustle overhead, and a half-eaten fruit plops onto the…
Climate Change Is Affecting Crop Yields And Reducing Global Food Supplies
Climate Change Is Affecting Crop Yields And Reducing Global Food Supplies
by Deepak Ray
Farmers are used to dealing with weather, but climate change is making it harder by altering temperature and rainfall…
The Arctic Paradox
by Tobias Thorleifsson
Explore Ellesmere Island with Tobias in this talk, as he urges us to protect this arctic environment from the hands of…
Increased Drought Amid Climate Change & Warming
by Kate Marvel, Radio Ecoshock
Columbia/NASA scientist Kate Marvel explains “hyroclimate” as rains and droughts go extreme. When it comes to your…

LATEST ARTICLES

A New Wave Of Smart Cities Has Arrived
A New Wave Of Smart Cities Has Arrived
by James Ransom
An abandoned mine shaft beneath the town of Mansfield, England is an unlikely place to shape the future of cities.
An EU Ban On Palm Oil Won't Save Asian Rainforests, But Here's What Might Help
An EU Ban On Palm Oil Won't Save Asian Rainforests, But Here's What Might Help
by Elizabeth Robinson and Herry Purnomo
Anyone lucky enough to visit Ghana could do worse than order a plate of boiled yam and red-red – a stew made with beans…
How The Politics Of Fear Manipulates Us To Tribalism
How The Politics Of Fear Manipulates Us To Tribalism
by Arash Javanbakht
People have always used fear for intimidation of the subordinates or enemies, and shepherding the tribe by the leaders.
Betting On Speculative Geoengineering May Risk An Escalating Climate Debt Crisis
Betting On Speculative Geoengineering May Risk An Escalating Climate Debt Crisis
by Shinichiro Asayama and Mike Hulme
The opening of the Oscar-winning film The Big Short, a comedy-drama on the global financial crisis of 2007-2008, begins…
Solar Weather Has Real, Material Effects On Earth
Solar Weather Has Real, Material Effects On Earth
by Michael Batu
On Sep. 1, 1859, solar astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed sunspots that suddenly and briefly flashed brightly…
Using Language To Fight Dirty Fossil Fuels
Using Language To Fight Dirty Fossil Fuels
by Matthew Hoffmann
I had a room full of bright first-year university students in front of me, but confusion reigned as I tried to describe…
Adapting Cities To A Hotter World
Adapting Cities To A Hotter World
by Jennifer Weeks
Heat waves can be deadly, especially when they combine high temperatures with elevated humidity levels that make the…
How Ice Cores Shape Our Understanding Of Ancient Climate
How Ice Cores Shape Our Understanding Of Ancient Climate
by Tas van Ommen
It is just over 50 years since French scientist Claude Lorius dropped some glacier ice in his whisky and started a…