Frankfurt: Climate change could cost Germany up to €900 billion ($956.8 billion) by the middle of the century, government research published Monday has shown.
The study presented by the Environment and Economy Ministries was not to be understood as a prediction, but were meant to give an impression of what could happen under certain circumstances.
What did the study say?
In a paper entitled “Costs of Climate Change Impacts in Germany”, the Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IÖW), the Society for Economic Structures Research (GWS) and Prognos AG ran through various scenarios for the period 2022 to 2050, which differed in their severity depending on the extent of global warming.
In the best case of “weak climate change,” costs of €280 billion would amount during the time period. However, that figure could range up to €900 billion euros in less favorable scenarios.
According to the models, the average annual costs of extreme events such as heat and floods in Germany would increase by between 1.5 to 5 times per year by 2050.
That could represent a decrease in GDP of 0.6%-1.8% in the year 2050.
Adaptation measures such as more green space in cities could reduce the purely economic costs — measured as a loss in economic output — by 60 to 100%.
According to the authors, the values determined represented lower limits, as it was impossible to measure all consequences of climate change in costs and represent them in the model. The loss of quality of life and biodiversity as well as deaths were some of those consequences.
“It is therefore to be expected that the costs of climate change can still turn out to be considerably higher than determined by the scenarios in the model context,” the study said.