Nobody knows how high the costs of global warming will be in the future. However, ‘Studies’ predict a total of $369 trillion by 2200, assuming that humans will have stopped emitting greenhouse gases from burning Fossil Fuels around 2100 and atmospheric CO2 concentrations will have reached 700 ppm. The calculations include accelerating release of methane from melting permafrost (13% of the total costs).
ClimatePositions calculates the ‘Climate Debt’, accumulated since 2000, for 148 countries with full data. The global Climate Debt amounted to $0.8 trillion in 2005, $2.6 trillion in 2010 and around $6.0 trillion in 2015 (preliminary estimate). The diagram below illustrates the accumulated Climate Debts (red dots) “smooth climbing” towards the predicted costs of $369 trillion by 2200 (black dot) … all speculatively of course!
In ClimatePositions the national ‘Shares of the global Climate Debt‘ changes over time. Two examples: The share of the global Climate Debt of the United States decreased from 45.42% in 2010 to 36.98% by January 2016 (preliminary), while China’s share increased from 7.35% to 13.25% (preliminary).
A hypothetical example: If COP1 in 1995 had decided that all countries were to pay for the economic damage they cause due to greenhouse gas emissions and thus the destruction of the Earth’s climate, then global warming would be a manageable problem today.
Drawing by Claus Andersen, 2016.
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