The G20 Climate Impacts Atlas by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC), the leading Italian research centre on climate change and National Focal Point for the IPCC assembles scientific projections of how climate impacts will play out in the world’s richest countries over the coming years. . It revealed that on a high-emissions pathway, climate impacts spiral to cause devastating damage across the G20.
The report finds that without urgent action to reduce carbon emissions, GDP losses due to climate damage in G20 countries increase each year, rising to at least four percent annually by 2050. This could reach over eight percent by 2100, equivalent to twice the bloc’s economic losses from Covid-19. Some countries will be even worse hit like Canada’s would reach at least 4 percent by 2050 and over 13 percent by 2100.
The report said on Thursday, Climate impacts in India could mean declines in rice and wheat production, causing economic losses of up to 81 billion euros and a loss of 15 percent of farmers’ incomes by 2050.
The research shows that rising temperatures and intense heatwaves could cause severe droughts; threatening essential water supplies for agriculture, causing huge loss of human life, and increasing the chance of deadly fires.
India is one of the most vulnerable, with its farmers facing the heat, quite literally. Higher temperatures, less predictable rains, frequent droughts, and cyclones will only worsen in the near future which will increase the vulnerability of Indian farmers. To solve its multi-dimensional food and agriculture crisis, India needs more than double farmers’ income. Sustainable agriculture may be the solution
In a report, the Council on Energy, Environment, and Water (CEEW), 16 sustainable agriculture practices (SAPs) including organic farming, natural farming, integrated farming systems, agroforestry, and precision farming could be economically remunerative, socially inclusive, and environmentally benign. Sikkim is a 100% organic state, and Andhra Pradesh aims at 100% natural farming by 2027.
India should start promoting sustainable agriculture, particularly in rain-fed areas which are 60% of the Indian farming area. They follow low-resource agriculture, have low productivity and stand to be the chief gainers from this transition.
Heatwaves in Argentina, Brazil, and Indonesia lasting over 60 times longer by 2050. In Australia, bushfires, coastal floods, and hurricanes could cost and reduce property values by $611 billion by 2050.
Donatella Spano of the CMCC said, from droughts, heatwaves, and sea-level rise, to dwindling food supplies and threats to tourism. This reveals how severely climate change will hit the world’s biggest economies unless we act now.
“As scientists, we know that only rapid action to tackle emissions and adapt to climate change will limit the severe impacts of climate change. At the upcoming summit, we invite G20 governments to listen to the science and put the world on a path to a better, fairer, and more stable future.”
Every G20 country is at risk from the impacts of climate change, from coastal erosion to the spread of tropical diseases. The research shows in Europe, deaths from extreme heat could rise from 2,700 per year to 90,000 each year by 2100 on a high emissions pathway. By 2050, the potential fish catch could fall by a fifth in Indonesia, uprooting hundreds of thousands of livelihoods.
The sea-level rise could wreck coastal infrastructure within 30 years, with Japan set to lose 404 billion euro and South Africa 815 million euros by 2050, on a high emissions pathway.
Ironically, the faster G20 countries adopt low-carbon policies, the less the climate impacts cascade and the more manageable they become. Limiting temperature rise to two degrees Celsius could see the cost of climate impacts in the G20 drop to just 0.1 percent of its total GDP by 2050 and 1.3 percent by 2100.
At the Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, countries agreed to limit global heating to ace well below 2 degrees. However, current policies and promises put the world on track for about 3 degrees.
Laurence Tubiana, head of the European Climate Foundation and one of the architects of the Paris Agreement said, The window to act is closing fast. As the G20 countries incentivize economic recovery from Covid-19 and prepare climate plans ahead of COP26, they face an urgent choice: to protect the global economy and make a rapid transition to a low-carbon future, or derail the global economy by pursuing polluting policies. It’s time for the G20 to make its economic agenda a climate agenda.
Source: The Business Standard, Live Mint