By Anshul Dash
Based on new research, if countries continue to improve their commitments regarding climate change, they can improve their economies, which are being negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, if these countries decide not to meet the goals laid out by the Paris Agreement, then their economies will continue to go downhill in addition to more global heating.
According to a paper from Nature Communications, the global economy could lose as much as $600 trillion by the end of the century if countries do not meet goals from the Paris Agreement. Failure to meet these goals could result in an estimated rise in global temperatures of 3°C, which is more than the expected 1.5-2°C that the Paris Agreement decided as the “limit of safety.” International cooperation will lead to better outcomes for poor and vulnerable people since they are more susceptible to the effects of climate change.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many countries are under pressure to let go of current or previous climate change commitments. In addition, industries with high emissions (cars and airlines) are trying to weaken the influence of green emissions in order to lift the burden of its effects. Scientists have warned that doing this will only add on to future problems and can even result in a climate breakdown. This year, countries are supposed to come up with improved climate change plans and present them to UN climate change committees, who aim to keep the Paris Agreement intact and on track.
The only countries that have submitted their plans are Japan and Chile. While Chile acknowledged the need to step up climate action, the plan proposed by Japan showed no improvement. Current climate plans show the need of rich people due to the huge expense that these plans are proposing. Climate campaigner Rachel Kennerley stated that “budgets should be rebalanced to provide emergency finance and help poorer nations – it’s the fair and right thing to do. If we don’t pay now, this is the kind of bill that, like a person ignoring a credit card statement, will only multiply in time.”
If countries realize how the economy can benefit from curbing greenhouse gas emissions, governments will eventually acquiesce to act on the climate. However, many investments are required to meet these goals, and this could be a problem for developing countries without assistance. The amount would be about $5 trillion to $33 trillion for the US, and $16 trillion to $105 trillion for G20 countries combined.
Early and immediate action is required to minimize the emission gap. However, this requires many investments in the short term. But these investments won’t become a problem if countries work together to solve the issue of climate change. The result of this would be a stronger economy forged by the ties between many countries fighting for a global cause.