Developing countries are most vulnerable to suffer the adverse economic impact inflicted by climate change, which globally costs $44.9 billion annually, if no serious global efforts are deployed to reduce its effects, according to Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima, who currently chairs the Vulnerable Twenty Group (V20).
Since 2005 the global economic impact brought about by climate change has reached $1.3 trillion, according to the Global Partnership for Preparedness group, which was launched by the V20 with United Nations agencies.
“To this end, the V20 is developing concrete ways to reorder incentive structures governing human behavior in the global economy. Changing how we value and price the costs of human [in]action to climate change ought to make a green-energy shift the only sensible choice to make for everyone,” Purisima said.
It was further noted that over 1.35 million lives were lost due to disasters inflicted by climate change, and over the past two decades it has affected 218 million lives annually.
Furthermore, the health impact caused by climate change in developing countries has reached over 80 percent, with annual climate change-related economic costs of $44.9 billion annually.
Purisima said the initiative by President Aquino for the country to shift to green-energy sources would help reduce the effects of climate change.
According to a paper published in the scientific journal Nature, it is estimated that overall economic production would fall by about 23 percent by 2100 if the climate keeps changing under the current models.
It also projected that climate change would reduce average incomes in the poorest 40 percent of countries by 75 percent in 2100, making 43 percent of the global population poorer.
“While we in the V20 work with experts and multilaterals on risk-pooling mechanisms, as well as other mitigation and adaptation measures, it is important for developing economies to get efficient access to financial resources to adapt and shift toward a green economy,” Purisima said.
He added that the V20 continues to advocate for swifter progress toward the achievement of the joint $100-billion developed-country commitment for support to developing countries, via the Green Climate Fund, to address financial constraints that hamper efforts to reduce the adverse effects of climate change.
“Transitioning toward a green economy requires a lot of money, we must admit. It costs even more for developing countries. But the cost of saving our planet can never be more than the cost of losing it. This is why we need global collaboration on climate finance to fund a more sustainable future,” Purisima added.
As chairman of the V20, Purisima called for a rethinking of the global economy through V20 initiatives, like climate accounting and carbon pricing. Further, he is pushing for the shift and investment in renewable energy, as this will increase resiliency of global economies against the effects of climate change.
“Apart from its human costs—which ought to be a convincing enough reason for decisive global action in and of itself—climate change is a dead weight to the global economy. Business as usual no longer presents a strong business case for anyone. Shifting to clean, renewable energy is the best investment we can make for our future,” Purisima said.