UN has underestimated financial burden of global warming, study finds
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
The Independent, Friday, 28 August 2009
The true global cost of adapting to climate change is likely to be many times greater than official United Nations' estimates: in 2030 alone, the world could be spending more than three times the annual budget of the NHS, a study has found.
A team of British experts has discovered that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has seriously underestimated the expected annual cost of dealing with climate impacts. It suggests that the true cost could be at least two or three-fold greater, and possibly much more if other hidden factors are taken into account.
Estimates of how much the world will have to spend annually on adapting to some of the worst impacts of climate change have varied widely, but the UNFCCC has suggested that typically it could be about $70bn or $100bn (£44bn and £63bn) by 2030, the cost of about three Beijing Olympics. But other scientists have now suggested that the true annual cost could easily reach $300bn or more.