India saves $24.6 billion from the coastal ecosystem in Australia, Indonesia and the US
Indiais saving $24 billion on the social costs of climate change thanks to global coastal ecosystems, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change.
- Without the carbon absorbing coastlines of Australia, Indonesia and the US the impact of climate change on the Indian economy would be 10% higher.
- This would mean that the cost of climate change to India would increase to at least $234 billion every year.
AdvertisementIndia is one of the biggest contributors of carbon emissions in the world, and it could be a lot worse if not for the coastal ecosystems of Australia, Indonesia and the US. The country is raking in welfare gains of over $24 billion with these carbon sinks working overtime, according to a new study by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (IDIV).
Another study, from 2018, pegs that climate change is already costing the India economy $210 billion every year as it is. Adding another $24 billion to that bill would be an increase of over 10%.
Damage to the economy, or the social cost of climate change, is the harmful impact of carbon emissions on human health and the environment. This includes incidents like more extreme cyclones — like we have seen in the Bay of Bengal recently — heat waves, respiratory health bills, loss of coastline and other events.
Australia and Indonesia are clearly the largest donors in terms of globally avoided climate damages originating from coastal CO2 uptake, as they themselves derive comparatively little benefit from the high storage potential of their coasts.
Smaller countries are the only ones breaking even
Australia, Indonesia and the US are the largest providers of carbon storage with their coastal ecosystems, according to the study. But that doesn’t include carbon emissions from industries and factories that the countries themselves put out.
If those are taken into account as well, then only smaller countries like Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Vanuatu and a few others are making a net positive contribution through their coastal ecosystems — this means they are storing more carbon dioxide than they are emitting in total.
The ‘monetary’ value of how climate change is making an impact varies from country to country. So, the researchers used ‘shadow prices’ — a hypothetical surcharge on market prices — to put a price tag on the impact of carbon emissions.
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