The G7 nations are set to lose around £3.5 trillion per year if they don’t act to stop climate change.
Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US will see an annual contraction of 8.5% by 2050 if they fail to act, according to a study by insurance company Swiss Re.
That is equivalent to enduring two COVID-19 crises every year, as the G7’s economies have shrunk by 4.2% during the current pandemic.
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The G7 is crucial
Prime Minister Boris Johnson flew to Cornwall on Wednesday to discuss the climate with the leaders of the G7, which includes the world’s seven biggest economies apart from China and India.
If the G7 nations don’t follow through on their promises to tackle climate change, the Earth is set to be 2.6°C hotter in 2050 than it was before the Industrial Revolution.
That’s far beyond the G7’s 1.5°C target and the Paris Agreement’s “well below 2°C” goal.
What will happen to the UK?
If the world’s leaders come together and take the actions necessary to keep their promises in the Paris Agreement, the UK’s GDP will only contract by 2.4%.
But current progress means the UK is looking at more like a 6.6% drop – and any more backsliding could be disastrous.
The study’s worse-case scenario is a 3.2°C global rise, which would lead to a massive 8.7% reduction in the UK’s GDP.
How would a 2.6°C rise affect the rest of the world?
In short: badly.
13.9% of global annual GDP would disappear, with poorer nations suffering the brunt of this economic and human disaster.
As things stand, that would mean £8.1 trillion being wiped from the Earth’s economy every year – more than any country currently makes per year, apart from China and the US.
Asia would see a 20.4% fall in GDP, while the Middle East and Africa would suffer from a 21.5% drop.
India, currently the sixth richest country in the world, would lose 27% of its GDP.
This economic disaster would stymie developing countries and lead to more natural disasters, which would result in more deaths, more disease, and a worse quality of life for billions of people.