Climate change costs at-risk countries $525 billion in damage, says report

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Marshall Islands climate envoy Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner ... climate change affects every facet of human society and the effects go far beyond the economic, especially for those in the Pacific. Image: RNZ/FB

RNZ Pacific

A new report on the economic impacts of climate change faced by the world’s most at-risk countries has found the climate crisis has made vulnerable economies poorer.

The Climate Vulnerable Economies Loss Report has found climate-threatened nations, including those in the Pacific, lost approximately US$525 billion in damage over the last two decades.

It reveals climate change wiped out one-fifth of the wealth of poor countries, which would be twice as wealthy today if not for climate change.

The climate loss report
The climate economic loss report. Image: Screenshot APR

Marshall Islands climate envoy Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner said the findings of the report were “staggering”.

She said climate change affected every facet of human society and the effects went far beyond the economic, especially for those in the Pacific.

She said the non-economic damages might not be counted in dollars and cents but they were significant for people and communities.

“I think for us in the Pacific, we’re trying our hardest to make sure that the non-economic losses are just as much highlighted, you know, as some of this more large scale and that slow-onset event such as what we’re seeing in the atoll, nations, like the Marshall Islands, in particular, are also highlighted as really important,” she said.

The study was launched by the Vulnerable 20 Group or V-20, which represents 55 climate-threatened countries from across the world, at the UN climate talks currently taking place in the German city of Bonn.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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