Scientists Tell Companies: Fighting Climate Change Offers ‘Good Return On Investment’

Both the government and industry can help fight climate change. Researchers found that those who try to reverse the effects of rising global temperatures would get “a good return on investment.” 

A new study, published in the journal Science, shows that any effort to tackle climate change today would protect infrastructures, ecosystems and people in the coming decades. It would also cut the costs of damage following extreme weather events. 

"Acting on climate change has a good return on investment when one considers the damage avoided," Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, lead study author and deputy director of the ARC Center for Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (Coral CoE) at the University of Queensland, said in a statement

The rapidly growing impacts of climate change can damage more livelihoods if world leaders fail to act now, the study stated. Hoegh-Guldberg noted the scientific community "underestimated the sensitivity of natural and human systems to climate change.”

Researchers cited that the rising sea levels could intensify poverty in many areas of the world due to lost resources. This and other effects of climate change are happening faster than before.

Different populations are already facing major consequences of the rapidly changing weather events and environments. The United Nations recently released a report that shows a million species are now at risk of extinction. 

Extreme weather events, like wildfires and typhoons, are starting to damage biodiversity, more forests, food sources, crops and other critical systems around the world. 

The researchers called on government leaders to follow the Paris Agreement that aims to limit global temperatures to 1.5 degrees. They said new policies should be implemented to meet the target. 

"If such policy is not implemented we will continue on the current upward trajectory of burning fossil fuels and continuing deforestation, which will expand the already large-scale degradation of ecosystems," Rachel Warren, a professor from the Tyndall Center in the United Kingdom, said. "To be honest, the overall picture is very grim unless we act."

Hoegh-Guldberg said countries should strengthen emission reduction pledges by 2020. He noted inadequate efforts by governments may cause “chaos and harm” in many nations. 

Climate Change Scientists warned that if world leaders fail to act today to reverse the effects of climate change, many nations are at risk of "chaos and harm." Pixabay