Climate disaster costs hit $650B and Americans absorbed a majority of it
Climate-related disasters over the last three years have disrupted global economics around the world, costing a whopping $650 billion, but Americans were by far the hardest hit, according to a new report.
Morgan Stanley found that North America absorbed two-thirds of the total cost since 2015 at around estimated $415 billion, which is equal to 0.66 percent of the continent’s GDP.
In a research note, the investment bank also warns that the situation is expected to only get worse in the years to come, noting that damages associated with global warming could top $54 trillion by 2040.
“We expect the physical risks of climate change to become an increasingly important part of the investment debate for 2019,” Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note released Wednesday, urging private enterprises to strongly prepare for more disasters in the future.
“To be clear, we are hopeful that a growing sense of urgency and focus among various stakeholders will ultimately drive the achievement of a 2 degree scenario or better,” the note said.
As reported by FOX Business, last year’s top ten climate-linked disasters alone cost $85 billion worth of damage, according to the charity group Christian Aid.
The most expensive climate-related disasters in 2018 were Hurricanes Florence and Michael, which caused more than $32 billion worth of damage as they slammed the U.S., the Caribbean and parts of Central America. Followed by the California wildfires in November, which was the state’s most expensive and deadliest in history.
Earlier this month, NASA scientists announced that 2018 was officially the fourth-warmest year on record and that five of the warmest years in recorded history have been in the last five years.
“We’re no longer talking about a situation where global warming is something in the future,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the NASA group that conducted the analysis. “It’s here. It’s now.”
President Trump, however, has continued to cast doubt about climate change and had pursued a pro-fossil fuels agenda over the last two years.
In 2012, he famously tweeted that he believes the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”