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Climate change putting 4% of global GDP at risk, new study estimates

Ratings firm S&P Global, which gives countries credit scores based on the health of their economies, published a report on Tuesday looking at the likely impact of rising sea levels, and more regular heat waves, droughts and storms.

April 27, 2022 / 02:12 PM IST
(Representational image) By the end of this decade, parts of India’s coastline are expected to be underwater during some part of the year. By the end of this century, large parts of India are projected to experience deadly humid heat waves.

(Representational image) By the end of this decade, parts of India’s coastline are expected to be underwater during some part of the year. By the end of this century, large parts of India are projected to experience deadly humid heat waves.

Climate change could see 4% of global annual economic output lost by 2050 and hit many poorer parts of the world disproportionately hard, a new study of 135 countries has estimated.

Ratings firm S&P Global, which gives countries credit scores based on the health of their economies, published a report on Tuesday looking at the likely impact of rising sea levels, and more regular heat waves, droughts and storms.

In a baseline scenario where governments largely shy away from major new climate change policies - known as 'RCP 4.5' by scientists - lower- and lower-middle income countries are likely to see 3.6 times greater gross domestic product losses on average than richer ones.

Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka's exposure to wildfires, floods, major storms and also water shortages mean South Asia has 10%-18% of GDP at risk, roughly treble that of North America and 10 times more than the least-affected region, Europe.