World Economy

Severe Weather to Cost World Economy $2t p.a. by 2030

Severe Weather to Cost World Economy $2t p.a. by 2030Severe Weather to Cost World Economy $2t p.a. by 2030

Global warming will cost the world economy more than £1.5 trillion ($1.97 trillion) a year in lost productivity by 2030 as it becomes too hot to work in many jobs, according to a major new report.

In just 14 years’ time in India, where some jobs are already shared by two people to allow regular breaks from the heat, the bill will be £340 billion a year, The Independent reported.

China is predicted to experience similar losses, while other countries among the worst affected include Indonesia (£188 billion), Malaysia (£188 billion) and Thailand (£113 billion).

The study, which cited estimated gross domestic product losses for 43 countries, warned that the low- or middle-income country-members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum like the Philippines, productivity losses could be as high as $85 billion in 14 years’ time.

The figures were published in a research paper launched at a forum on how to reduce the risks of severe weather events held in Kuala Lumpur by the United Nations University and UN Development Program.

Other papers highlighted the risk of increasingly heavy rain helping to spread diseases by expanding insect-breeding sites, driving rodents from their burrows and contaminating freshwater supplies; a decline in air quality caused by fires and dust storms; and more floods, mudslides, drought and high winds.

Tord Kjellstrom, author of the paper on the effect of ‘heat stress’ on the economy, told The Independent: “The effect of heat on people’s daily lives and particular on their work has not been given enough attention.

“If you are physically active in work, the hotter it is, the slower you work. Your body adapts to the heat and in doing that it protects you from the heat.

“For individual countries, even within a short time-span, the losses due to the increasing heat can be in the many billions.”

Kjellstrom, of the Health and Environment International Trust in New Zealand, said the increases in temperature until about 2050 were already inevitable.

However he said reducing emissions now could still have a significant impact after that date.

“Beyond 2050, it will make a big difference if we take action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally,” Dr. Kjellstrom said.