Stacks of pound coins

Economic perspectives

What is climate change’s impact on our bank balance?

Of the many analyses of the economic impact of climate change, the most influential has been the Stern Review, undertaken by former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank Nicholas Stern (Lord Stern of Brentford) in 2006.

His report argued that an investment of 1 per cent of GDP was necessary to prevent a recession of up to 20 per cent of GDP – much worse than others had predicted.

More recently, Lord Stern has said that his report underestimated the economic impacts, arguing that the atmosphere is absorbing less carbon than was previously expected.

Climate change is costing the world more than $1.2 trillion a year and is wiping 1.6 per cent from annual global GDP, according to a 2012 study.

Lead image:

ImagesMoney/Flickr CC BY


About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘Health and Climate Change’ in January 2009 and reviewed and updated in September 2014.

Statistics and maths, Ecology and environment
Health and Climate Change
Education levels:
14–16, 16–19, Continuing professional development