Climate change could shave off 3% of the world economy, study finds

Key Points
  • The United States – the world's largest economy, would not escape to the effects of climate change.
  • The U.S. could see its growth rate reduced by more than 1% over the next three decades as a result of climate change.
  • World leaders are set to meet in early December in Madrid, Spain, at the UN climate change conference.

Climate change could shave off 3% of world growth over the next 30 years, according to a study from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Africa, South America and the Middle East are likely to be impacted the hardest by climate change, the report states. This is because they have higher average temperatures and smaller economies in size, making them more vulnerable to the impact of climate change.

The International Monetary Fund expects global growth to reach 3% this year, its lowest level since the global financial crisis.

However, the United States – the world's largest economy, would not escape to the effects of climate change.

The U.S. could see its growth rate reduced by more than 1% over the next three decades as a result of climate change. The National Bureau of Economic Research had highlighted in August that growth per capita in the U.S. could shrink by 10.5% over the next 81 years amid expected higher temperatures across the globe.

"The EIU's climate change model calculates that by 2050, the U.S. economy will be 1.1% smaller than it would have been in the absence of climate change," the EIU report said.

"Recent events in the U.S. have demonstrated the serious vulnerabilities that exist even in major developed economies," the EIU highlighted in its study, mentioning the higher frequency and intensity in wildfires seen in California.

Last year, a U.S. government report said that climate change would cost the U.S. economy billions of dollars. That same report was dismissed by the White House, Reuters reported.

World leaders are set to meet in early December in Madrid, Spain, at the UN climate change conference. The various leaders will be discussing how to limit the global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius – a core aim of the Paris Climate accord, agreed in 2015.

Nonetheless, the U.S. began earlier this month the official process of withdrawing from the Paris agreement. The United States argued that the climate deal imposes an "unfair" economic burden.