Shocking Study: By 2030, Climate Change Could Kill 100 Million People

Money talks. So maybe this bit of news will sway a few climate-change deniers.

A report commissioned by 20 governments and conducted by the humanitarian organization DARA found that, “More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change,” reports Reuters.

“More than 90 percent of those deaths will occur in developing countries, said the report that calculated the human and economic impact of climate change on 184 countries in 2010 and 2030.” And the report added, “the effects of climate change had lowered global output by 1.6 percent of world GDP, or by about $1.2 trillion a year, and losses could double to 3.2 percent of global GDP by 2030 if global temperatures are allowed to rise, surpassing 10 percent before 2100.”

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DARA has touched on this subject before, noting last month that, “For every one-degree centigrade increase in temperature, a poor country can expect economic growth to drop by about 1.3 percentage points . . . As emerging nations are playing catch-up in terms of technology, being knocked off course is not good news.”

Commenting on the impact of climate change in the developing world, The Economist said earlier this month that, “Most people in the West know that the poor world contributes to climate change, though the scale of its contribution still comes as a surprise. Poor and middle-income countries already account for just over half of total carbon emissions . . . Brazil produces more CO2 per head than Germany. The lifetime emissions from these countries' planned power stations would match the world's entire industrial pollution since 1850.”

“Less often realized, though, is that global warming does far more damage to poor countries than they do to the climate. In a report in 2006 [Lord] Nicholas Stern calculated that a 2°C rise in global temperature cost about 1% of world GDP.”

But Reuters noted that, “Even the biggest and most rapidly developing economies will not escape unscathed. The United States and China could see a 2.1 percent reduction in their respective GDPs by 2030, while India could experience a more than 5 percent loss.”

And last year, BBC News reported that the “Negative effects of climate change could cost Canada the equivalent of 1% of its GDP by 2050 and 2.5% by 2075 . . . Damage could reach C$41bn ($20bn; £27bn), estimates say, depending on global emissions, the economy and population growth.”

In other words, we really are all in this together.

Do you think the economic implications of global warming highlighted here might change the minds of some climate-change deniers?

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Lawrence Karol is a writer and editor who lives with his dog, Mike. He is a former Gourmet staffer and enjoys writing about design, food, travel and lots of other stuff. @WriteEditDream | Email Lawrence |