April 23, 2024

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The G20 at risk from climate: everything the science knows about climate change and the future of the world’s largest economies


G20 at risk from climate:
Everything science knows about climate change
And the future of the world’s largest economy


The first study to present climate scenarios, information, data, projected changes in climate and related impacts in G20 countries. A tool, driven by science, that highlights the risks of the world’s largest economies, and is designed to support decision-making toward effective and scientifically informed climate action.

The CMCC publishes the G20 Climate Risk Atlas: 20 Country Fact Sheets with Maps and Charts, a complete picture of the latest scientific knowledge about climate and its associated risks and impacts on economies, the environment, and societies.

On the eve of the G20 Summit in Rome, the CMCC Foundation – Euro-Mediterranean Climate Change Center publishes G20 Atlas of Climate Risk. Archeology, politics and economics, a comprehensive compilation summarizing scientific knowledge about the expected effects of climate change in the coming decades in most industrialized countries of the world.

Based on the most advanced scientific knowledge available on the subject, the study is a first of its kind and an easy to reference atlas, which is filled with diagrams, maps, and short descriptions in accessible language. Through an in-depth analysis of the major sectors of the G20 economies, the research assesses the impacts, risks, and interactions with projected climate change in the middle and end of the century for each individual country, taking into account different warming scenarios and different development patterns.

The report, produced with the support of the European Climate Foundation and the scientific contribution of the Enel Foundation, found that in the G20 countries, in the worst-case scenario, without urgent action to reduce climate-changing emissions, GDP losses were caused. Due to climate change it could reach 4% per year by 2050, a value that could exceed 8% by 2100 – practically twice the economic losses from Covid-19 incurred by the G-20. Some of these countries are expected to be affected more severely, such as Canada, which could see its GDP fall by at least 4% by 2050 and by more than 13% – 133 billion euros – by 2100.

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Conversely, the faster the G20 countries adopt low-carbon policies, the smaller the impacts of climate change will be and therefore the more manageable they will become. By keeping the global temperature rise by 2°C, the cost of these effects to G20 member states could drop to 0.1% of GDP by 2050 and to 1.3% by 2100.

Droughts, heat waves, rising sea levels, declining food stocks and threats to the tourism sector: These findings show just how damaging climate change will be to the world’s largest economies, unless action is taken now. Professor Donatella Spano, member of the CMCC Strategic Council and coordinator of the report. “As scientists, we know that only rapid action to reduce emissions and adapt to climate change will limit their severe impacts. We are confident that on the path to sustainable transition, climate change will be considered a central pillar of the political action agenda.”

From coastal erosion to the spread of tropical diseases, every G-20 country is at risk from the effects of climate change. Research shows that rising temperatures and extreme heat waves can cause severe droughts, threatening water supplies essential to agriculture, leading to loss of life and increasing the chances of fires.

By 2050, heat waves could last at least ten times longer in all countries in the G20, and more than 60 times in the case of Argentina, Brazil and Indonesia. In Europe, in the high emissions scenario, deaths associated with extreme heat events could increase from 2,700 per year to 90,000 per year by 2100.

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Climate change will also affect food security: in India, a decline in rice and wheat production could lead to economic losses of up to 81 billion euros by 2050 and a loss of 15% of farmers’ income by 2100. Century, fisheries could decline in Indonesia by one-fifth, undermining the livelihoods of part of the population.

On a high-carbon path, sea-level rise could destroy coastal infrastructure over the next 30 years, resulting in losses of €404 billion in Japan and €815 million in South Africa.

In Australia, bushfires, coastal flooding and cyclones could increase insurance costs and reduce property values ​​by A$611 billion by 2050.

G20 Atlas of Climate Risk

G20 Atlas of Climate Risk. Archeology, politics and economics It presents a comprehensive picture of historical trends and future climate change for G20 countries, using the available scientific literature and data and organizing the information into a single, easily searchable tool. The information comes from modeling exercises, data analysis, use of indicators and surveys of the latest scientific literature, including peer-reviewed articles, technical reports and open access materials from European Horizon 2020 projects.

The G20 Climate Risk Atlas provides information on climate change impacts for each of the G20 countries according to 11 sectors: climate, oceans, coasts, water, agriculture, forests and fires, cities, health, energy, and economic and political impacts.

G20 Atlas of Climate Risk. Archeology, politics and economics It is implemented by the CMCC with the support of the European Climate Foundation and with a scientific contribution from the Enel Foundation.