Direct impacts

The changes in climate that are predicted to occur as a result of anthropogenic global warming will have an impact on the public sector. All aspects of society stand to be affected by climate change in various ways due to the interconnection between the health of the environment and the health of the economy.

Predicted climate changes, such as less summer rainfall and increased frequency of extreme weather events, will put financial stress on the public sector to manage these changes and to conduct the necessary repairs to infrastructure. With damage to property or general disruption of activities from erratic weather patterns, it will be up to the public sector to develop plans to react appropriately and to mitigate for such occurrences.

The predicted weather impacts of climate change therefore threaten to increase economic costs and risks to public sector infrastructure. However, the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change highlighted compatibility between economic development and emissions cuts. Significantly, it noted that early and strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change could be limited to roughly 1% global GDP each year, while avoiding preventative action could cost up to 20% of global GDP due to climate-related impacts to the economy, society and environment.

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