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What will climate change cost us?

By 2050, the increasing incidence of climate-related natural disasters such as heatwaves and floods could result in economic losses amounting to 12.5 trillion US dollars. To put this into perspective, this corresponds to around three times the annual economic output of Germany.

These costs of climate change have been calculated by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in collaboration with the international strategy consultancy Oliver Wyman. What's more, global warming could be responsible for the deaths of 14.5 million people by then. The report "Quantifying the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health" was published at the recent WEF summit in Davos.


Of the weather events analyzed, floods are likely to pose the highest acute risk of climate-related deaths of 8.5 million people by 2050. Droughts are the second most common cause of death. Heatwaves, which represent a prolonged period of extreme temperatures and humidity, are estimated to cause the greatest economic damage by 2050, with an estimated USD 7.1 trillion in lost productivity.

Floods, extreme drought and the spread of infectious diseases

While the economic damage is likely to be most pronounced in Asia and Europe - not least due to their economic strength - flooding will hit people in the regions around the equator, such as Central Africa, the hardest. As a result, infectious diseases such as malaria will also continue to spread. "Malaria in Central Africa in particular is expected to have a malaria in Central Africa in particular is expected to have a significant economic impact, costing around 345 billion US dollars to the healthcare system and 151 million DALYs - years of life lost or impaired by disease.


Empowering Africa - Africa must be strengthened

The consequence of this is that healthcare systems worldwide must become more climate-resilient. The WEF expects that additional costs of 1.1 trillion US dollars will have to be borne. For Africa, the poorest continent in terms of the average income of its population, this is another heavy burden. Africa also lacks the necessary resources to provide people with the right care and support quickly after extreme weather events. The infrastructure is inadequate in many places and medical equipment is scarce. This makes the continent particularly vulnerable and unable to adapt quickly to climate change.

Solar energy for Africa therefore not only means clean energy, which makes an important contribution to the fight against climate change. Solar also provides reliable and cheap energy that can improve the competitiveness of African companies and promote growth and prosperity.


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