Climate change will cost us even more than we think

Economists greatly underestimate the price tag on harsher weather and higher seas. Why is that?

For some time now it has been clear that the effects of climate change are appearing faster than scientists anticipated. Now it turns out there is another form of underestimation as bad or worse than the scientific one: the underestimating by economists of the costs.

The result of this failure by economists is that world leaders understand neither the magnitude of the risks to lives and livelihoods, nor the urgency of action. How and why this has occurred is explained in a recent report by scientists and economists at the London School of Economics and Political Science, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2019, with the headline 'Climate change will cost us even more than we think'. Print Edition | Subscribe