Climate change costs Germany 3,000 billion euros

All economic sectors massively affected by the consequences

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The number and intensity of extreme climatic events such as storms, thunderstorms or heavy rainfall will continue to increase in Germany as well. This will probably lead to dramatic economic damage in the future. If climate protection measures are not taken swiftly, the total cost of climate change could reach almost 3, 000 billion euros by the year 2100. This is the result of a recent report by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin.

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If the global surface temperature rises by up to 4.5 ° C by the year 2100, costs in Germany will amount to almost 800 billion euros by the year 2050, according to the DIW. The costs caused by climate damage alone cost about 330 billion euros, according to economic researchers. In addition, higher energy costs would come in almost the same amount, of which the private households would have to bear a large part.

Growth losses of up to 0.5 percentage points

But even that is far from everything: For example, the costs of adapting to climate change would amount to almost 170 billion euros. According to estimates by the DIW, climate change would therefore lead on average to real macroeconomic growth losses of up to 0.5 percentage points per year over the next 50 years.

According to DIW, the economic effects of climate change in the next 50 years affect almost all economic sectors in Germany. For example, agriculture and forestry costs, including increased water supply, cost up to three billion euros. display

Alps soon without snow?

Even if it were possible to limit the global temperature increase to 1 ° C, about 60% of today's winter sports areas in Germany would no longer have any snow in the future, according to the scientists in their report. According to DIW, a total cost of adjustment of up to eleven billion euros would accrue to the tourism industry. And one more problem the scientists point out in their report: With increasing temperature, diseases such as malaria, which so far only exist in tropical or subtropical areas, will occur in Germany in the future.

Less water for cooling the power plants

For the second half of the 21st century, the DIW draws a bleak picture for Germany: for example, the rise in temperature will lead to a significant increase in the heat load. As a result, heat-related deaths accumulate and in the economy or in the authorities, there will be a significant drop in performance among employees. According to DIW, this could cost the health sector up to € 61 billion.

And the energy industry is also likely to be hit hard by the consequences of climate change. Here, for example, a shortage of supply could lead to increased energy costs. Cause: Due to the regularly occurring low tide in the rivers, there will not be enough water to cool the power plants. In addition, storms or extreme ice loads can impair energy infrastructure and oil production, according to the DIW.

If it actually comes to an energy price increase of about 20 percent, resulting in the calculations of the scientists economic costs of up to nearly 130 billion euros. In addition, insurance companies are extremely burdened by the increase in extreme climate events and the resulting costs, according to the study. In particular, large reinsurance companies will incur additional costs of up to € 100 billion over the next 50 years.

Survey: One in four Germans changes their behavior

While politicians and businesses are still discussing effective measures for climate protection, many citizens seem to take climate change very seriously. And they are ready to do something about it. For example, 28 percent of Germans said in a survey by the Hamburg-based magazine stern that they change their behavior in order to protect the environment.

Of those environmentally conscious, 87 percent try to save energy in the home. 70 percent leave their car behind. 67 percent of energy-saving products and 60 percent reduce heating in their homes. Air travel does without 39 percent and 28 percent do not buy fruit and vegetables from distant countries. For the list of concrete actions multiple answers were possible.

(DIW / stern, 15.03.2007 - DLO)