Look no further than today to get a glimpse of what the future holds if we continue with business as usual: Record temperatures in the United States, Europe, and Canada; wildfires and hurricanes in Russia; and flooding in Pakistan and China. Climate change is here and there’s more to come. Thousands of lives have been lost, and millions of people have been displaced from these recent disasters. But the economic tolls are also hurting businesses. CAP’s Rebecca Lefton and Richard W. Caperton have the story in this cross-post from the Center for American Progress.
Economists estimate that Russia’s economy will lose $15 billion this year from the country’s recent disasters””a full percentage point of its expected GDP growth. About half of that loss will come from agriculture and the rest from “lower industrial output, lower demand and lower productivity.” Russia had been gaining ground from a 7.9 percent GDP loss last year, but shoppers are staying home to avoid the toxic smog and heat during the hottest summer on record. Offices are closing and factories are shutting down.