Global warming is going to hurt pretty much every nation's economy. Whether directly through expenditures necessary to deal with climate changes, environmental refugees, or indirectly through loss of ecosystem services due to changing ecosystems, global warming could have devastating financial effects to accompany the environmental ones. This message has been put out there numerous times.
What hasn't been so well presented is that the financial costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to safe levels are probably lower than feared. A new report lays it out:Reuters is reporting that according to a new study there is a 90% change that global temperature increases can be held to 2°C above 19th century levels, if average annual global investment in greenhouse gas emission reductions is 2% of GDP between now and 2100.
Lower Levels of Investment Will Have Much Lower Effect
The bad news is that smaller amounts will be less effective. "Spending 0.5 percent of world GDP would give a 10 percent chance of achieving the 2 Celsius goal while an investment of one percent of GDP would give a 40 percent chance." (I suppose the other bad news is that this a higher figure than has been suggested by past reports on what percentage of GDP should be devoted to climate change mitigation.)
But according to the lead author of the study, Michiel Schaeffer of Wageningen University, the good news is that once this initial hurdle of investing money without seeing much in the way of returns is cleared, the chances are good that they will have real results. The fear that the cost of mitigating climate change will simply keep growing is unfounded.