Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credits: Corinne Simon / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 15:06 p.m., November 28, 2023

A few days before COP28 in Dubai, a US study reveals on Tuesday that climate change is responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars each year for global economies. The least developed countries bear the vast majority of the burden.

Climate change is responsible for the loss of trillions of dollars each year to global economies, with the least developed countries bearing the vast majority of the burden, a study found on Tuesday, days before the opening of COP28 in Dubai. According to this study conducted by the University of Delaware, in 2022 alone, globally, climate change led to a loss of 6.3% of population-weighted GDP.

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This figure takes into account the direct consequences of climate change (on agriculture, energy and the productivity of countries) as well as the international impact and the loss of potential investments.

Some developed countries are seeing their GDP increase

The unweighted percentage of global wealth lost is 1.8%, or about $1.500 trillion. "The difference between these two figures reflects the uneven distribution of impacts, which are concentrated in low-income countries and tropical regions, which are generally more populous and less endowed with GDP," the report's authors said in a statement.

Indeed, the least developed countries are exposed to an average GDP loss of 8.3%, weighted according to population. Southeast Asia and Southern Africa are particularly hard hit, with losses of 14.1% and 11.2% respectively.

On the other hand, some developed countries, particularly in northern Europe, have seen their GDP increase. But this could soon be reversed, warns the study, which comes two days before the start of the 28th edition of the COP (Conference of the Parties) which brings together the signatory members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 30 November to 12 December.

The question of a fund for the poorest nations

One of the major issues to be discussed is the adoption of a framework for the new UN fund to help the poorest nations cope with the consequences of climate change, as decided at COP27.

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"The world has been impoverished by trillions of dollars because of climate change, and most of this burden falls on poor countries. I hope this information will help clarify the challenges many countries are already facing today and the support they urgently need to address them," says James Rising, author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Delaware.

Combining GDP and capital losses, the analysis reveals that low- and middle-income countries have suffered a total loss of $21 trillion since the adoption of the Rio Convention in 000. The study states that these losses are "conservative estimates" insofar as significant non-market impacts and losses are not taken into account. The UN estimates that developing countries will need more than $1992 billion a year by 300 to combat the effects of climate change.