Climate change: doing nothing will cost humanity 178 trillion dollars in 50 years

Staying with our hands in the face of climate change risks being costly: 178 trillion dollars to the global economy for the next 50 years. A scenario in which, as emerges from the Global Turning Point Report 2022 by Deloitte (here the.pdf) presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the annual GDP in 2070 could fall by 7.6% compared to a scenario without climate change. On the contrary, with an eye to the environment and an effective reduction in harmful emissions, the global economy could have a benefit corresponding to 43 trillion dollars over the next five decades..

According to Stefano Pareglioindependent senior advisor to Deloitte, “a change in lifestyles, consumption and production, combined with a reorientation of capital flows and a massive use of new technologies, are fundamental elements for keeping the average earth temperature rising within 1.5 ° C at the end of the century, a goal still achievable, albeit with a temporary overshoot, if we act with force right now. Finance and technology represent, in fact, decisive levers to support a lasting and widespread changewhich would also represent a extraordinary opportunity for economic growth and development for new industries and areas of the planet“Pareglio notes.

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From the Deloitte study it emerges that, to encourage a process of decarbonization on a global level, it is necessary to act on four main levers. First, there is a need for “collaboration between the public and private sectors, for the construction of effective policies aimed at driving change”. They are then needed “investment by businesses and governmentsto promote structural changes in the global economy such as to favor low-emission industries and accelerate the green transition “.

The management of “turning points”

In addition, it is necessary “the commitment, in each geographic area, to manage the respective ones turning pointsthat is the moment when the benefits of the transition to carbon neutrality outweigh the corresponding costs, thus driving positive regional growth “. Then,” based on the relative turning point, local economic and social systems must promote a more sustainable future, that is, a decarbonised economy capable of growing at higher rates than an equivalent carbon-intensive economy “, ie one with a high intensity of polluting emissions.

“We are all called to act – he exhorts Franco Amelio, Deloitte sustainability leader – at all levels: governments, institutions, businesses, civil society and individual citizens. The Global Turning Point Report 2022 by Deloitte underlines how inaction towards climate change can lead to economic losses that are still avoidable today and how, on the contrary, a rapid process of decarbonization would lead to a global gain. Looking in particular at the business world, those that at the beginning may appear as costs, for example in new technologies, will in fact translate into economic benefits in the medium term, with positive impacts that will go well beyond the perimeter of the organization itself “predicts Amelio .

Looking in particular at Italy, the Deloitte study Italy’s Turning Point – Accelerating New Growth On The Path To Net Zero (“Italy’s Turning Point: Accelerating Growth on the Net Zero Emissions Path”) concludes that, “with a global warming scenario of around 3 ° C, enormous damage would occur in economic, environmental and human health terms. Over the next 50 years – the study predicts – this scenario could cost around 115 billion by 2070, the equivalent of one 3.2% fall in GDP by 2070. The “water” resource is, and will be, the most critical in the Mediterranean area, as unfortunately evidenced by the drought that characterized the first months of 2022 in our country “.

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