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No, we cannot afford to ignore the climate crisis

A study shows that every year climate change is delayed, the global cost increases by 600 to 900 billion dollars. Sweden’s bill for the government’s inaction would then be between 1,7 and 2,5 billion dollars per year or 200,000 to 300,000 dollars per hour.

The climate crisis is an existential challenge. It is about our responsibility for the irreversible changes to the earth’s climate and ecosystems that our lifestyles cause and the losses that thus affect us, our children, and future generations.

Climate change is accelerating; we are in the sixth mass extinction of all life on earth, and people’s living conditions are deteriorating.

This cannot be measured in money, but even what we can measure becomes more expensive if we delay.

Like most of the world’s countries, Sweden has signed the Paris Agreement and committed to keeping global warming below two degrees. Each country decides how, but science agrees that it means a stop to burning coal, oil and gas and drastically reduced emissions of climate-affecting substances. 

Many different methods of meeting the two-degree target are being investigated, not least concerning costs.

A study in the journal Nature concluded, among other things, that every year that the transition is delayed, the global cost increases by 600 to 900 billion US dollars, almost one percent of the world’s total GDP.

Such large amounts are difficult to understand. Let’s make it more transparent by breaking it down to what it costs us Swedes: Sweden’s share of the world’s total annual CO2 emissions is around 0.25 percent.

If we distribute the cost increase proportion to that, our bill will be between 1,7 and 2,5 billion dollars per year or 200,000 to 300,000 dollars per hour.

The above only corresponds to the costs resulting from the delay of the necessary conversion.

Meanwhile, an average of 140 people die prematurely per year in Sweden due to climate change. Society‘s cost of premature death is 4 million dollars. That will be 6 billion dollars annually.

Then our share of the cost of excess mortality in other countries is not included. 

The Swedish parliament has known for decades that emissions must be greatly reduced, but they have been exported away by calling them non-fossil. Covid-19 gave us a chance to choose a new path, but that didn’t happen either; in 2021, our emissions increased by four percent .

The Swedish government’s inaction costs millions of dollars per hour. And this is only a small part – “costs” such as war, food crisis, extinction of plants and animals, and a poorer life for future generations, we don’t even want to try to quantify.  

Governments around the world are just wasting new generations’ life on our planet, it is everyone’s responsibility to remind ourselves of the disaster that is in the making. Every lost hour means hideous additional costs for us and our planet. 

Source: Aftonbladet

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