The 21st century will see slower economic growth than previously anticipated, according to groundbreaking research. This finding has significant implications for our ability to address climate change in the coming decades.
A study published in Communications Earth & Environment forecasts slower growth and a lengthier period for developing countries to close the wealth gap with wealthier nations. This study challenges the assumption that the worst-case scenario for global economic growth is already accounted for.
The implications of this research suggest that governments need to prepare for slower growth and that wealthier nations may need to assist lower-income countries in financing climate change adaptations in the future.
Matt Burgess, the lead researcher and director of the Center for Social and Environmental Futures, highlights the urgency of increasing financing for climate adaptation in developing countries. He also suggests that our current fiscal paradigm may limit our ability to provide such financing.
Co-author Ryan Langendorf emphasizes that these findings allow for more concrete planning to address these challenges.
Through the use of two economic models, the researchers project slower global economic growth over the next century and a widening income inequality between wealthy and poorer nations. This indicates that wealthier countries may need to contribute to funding climate adaptations in poorer countries, and the possibility of more frequent debt-ceiling crises emerges.
Burgess warns that slower growth will result in higher deficits and debt becoming a more contentious and important issue over time.
In light of this scenario, wealthier nations should prioritize stabilizing their own financial situations to be in a position to support lower-income nations in financing climate adaptations.
Ashley Dancer, a co-author of the study, asks how lower-income countries can be supported in their adaptation efforts if it is expected that they will not quickly reach the necessary level of wealth.
Matthew G. Burgess et al, Multidecadal dynamics project slow 21st-century economic growth and income convergence, Communications Earth & Environment (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s43247-023-00874-7
Study suggests 21st century economic growth will be slower than expected (2023, June 23)
retrieved 23 June 2023
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Shambhu Kumar is a science communicator, making complex scientific topics accessible to all. His articles explore breakthroughs in various scientific disciplines, from space exploration to cutting-edge research.