Delivering Paris Agreement to save global economy trillions

24th May 2018

Web eiffeltower istock 636333586

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Politics & Economics ,
  • Global ,
  • Policy



Failure to deliver the Paris Agreement’s ultimate goal of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C will cost the world’s economy tens of trillions of dollars over the next century.

That is according to a new study led by researchers at Stanford University, which warns of the economic costs associated with health, agricultural productivity, and extreme weather events caused by climate change.

It was calculated that restricting global temperature rises to 1.5˚C could save the world’s economy $30trn (£22.5trn) in damages, with close to 90% of the population benefiting financially.

This includes citizens of the US, China and Japan – the three largest economies in the world – as well as those in some of the poorest regions on earth, where even small deductions in warming generate notable increases in GDP per capita.

“Over the past century we have already experienced a 1˚C increase in global temperature, so achieving the ambitious targets laid out in the Paris Agreement will not be easy or cheap,” study lead author, Marshall Burke, said.

“The countries likely to benefit the most are already relatively hot today – the historical record tells us that additional warming will be very harmful to these countries’ economies.”

Published in the journal Nature, the study reveals that the economic benefits of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C are more than 30 times greater than previous estimates.

The researchers also note that they may be underestimating the total costs of higher global warming, especially if extreme weather events intensify and rapid melting of ice on Greenland or Antarctica materialises.

The findings help shed light on US president Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the country from the Paris Agreement on the grounds that it is a “bad deal” and too costly to the economy.

A total of 197 nations are currently signed up to the 2015 pact, with Syria’s announcement that it would be joining the deal last year set to leave the US as the only country not participating after 2020.

“For most countries in the world, including the US, we find strong evidence that the benefits of achieving the ambitious Paris targets are likely to vastly outweigh the costs,” Burke added.

Image creadit: iStock


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

Weather damage insurance claims hit record high

Weather-related damage to homes and businesses saw insurance claims hit a record high in the UK last year following a succession of storms.

18th April 2024

Read more

The Scottish government has today conceded that its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2030 is now “out of reach” following analysis by the Climate Change Committee (CCC).

18th April 2024

Read more

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close