06 Mar 2023, 12:14
Carolina Kyllmann

Climate change effects could cost Germany up to 900 billion euros by 2050 – report

Clean Energy Wire

The consequences of climate change could cost Germany up to 900 billion euros by 2050, found a report by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Institute of Economic Structures Research (GWS) and consultancy Prognos AG. More frequent extreme weather events such as extended hot periods and drought or heavy flooding could lead to a cumulative economic damage of between 280 and 900 billion euros in the country, depending on the severity of global heating, according to the report, which was commissioned by the German government. “There is an enormous need for climate adaptation funding,” Christiane Rohleder, secretary of state for the environment, said when presenting the results of the report. “The figures also show that without effective climate adaptation, the costs will be much higher,” she added. In fact, potential damage costs could be reduced completely (if there is little warming) or at least by 60 percent (if there is much warming) through implementation of consequential climate policy and adaptation measures alone, Thomas Korbun, scientific director at IÖW, said. The implementation of more climate mitigation and adaptation measures will determine the intensity and costs of future consequences of the climate crisis, he added.

Climate mitigation is of the highest priority, because the less intense the impacts of climate change are, the less money needs to be spent adapting to them, Rohleder said. She added “not acting is more expensive than acting.” Climate change induced damages have already cost Germany at least 145 billion euros since 2000, according to the report. Looking to the future, the authors modelled three scenarios (weak, medium and strong climate change) to calculate the potential costs of damage and adaptation measures. However, Korbun warned that not all damage can be quantified, as climate change consequences include health impacts, loss of biodiversity and a reduction of quality of life. The government is currently working on a climate adaptation strategy and climate adaptation legislation, as well as developing a framework for joint financing for adaptation measures between the federal and state governments.

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