How climate change could cost Germany almost one trillion euros by 2050

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How climate change could cost Germany almost one trillion euros by 2050
Submerged cars and other vehicles are seen on the federal highway B265 in Erftstadt, western Germany, on July 17, 2021 after heavy rains hit parts of the country, causing widespread flooding and major damage. - Rescue workers scrambled on July 17 to find survivors and victims of the devastation wreaked by the worst floods to hit western Europe in living memory, which have already left more than 150 people dead and dozens more missing. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP)

More frequent extreme weather events as a result of climate change could cost Germany close to one trillion euros by 2050, according to a government-commissioned study published Monday.


The consequences of increasing global temperatures, such as severe floods or heat, could cost Europe's largest economy up to €910 billion in a "strong" scenario without any adaptation measures, according to the report.

The figure was a "lower-bound" estimate, the economy ministry said, with the analytical model unable to take account of all the potential impacts of climate change.


Extra deaths, falling quality of life and the extinction of animal and plant species were not included "despite their high significance", the ministry said.

The total costs were therefore likely to be "significantly higher" than those in the modelled scenarios.

A "weak climate change" outcome would see the costs come to €280 billion were no adaptation made to the impact of rising temperatures.

Mitigation measures considered included investment in climate change resistant plant varieties, better irrigation and public research funding.

Together, the steps could "completely" compensate for the costs of climate change in the mildest scenario, while reducing the costs by 60 percent in the most severe situation.

The study underlined the need for "ambitious" climate policies now in order to spare future generations the cost, junior minister Stefan Wenzel said in a statement.

"Climate change is already having serious economic consequences, which can increase massively," Wenzel said.

According to the study, Germany had already registered €145 billion in climate-related costs between 2000 and 2021, with more than half coming since 2018.

The country was struck by historic floods in 2021, which caused €40 billions worth of damages, according to the report.

Similar events could "occur more and more frequently", while similar costs could be incurred "every year by the middle of the century", the ministry said.

READ ALSO: Why have so many people died in the German floods?


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