Climate change could dramatically cut the GDP in many countries and regions at risk for catastrophic weather unless urgent steps are taken, according to a new report by the Economics of Climate Adapation Working Group. The UN-backed group — which includes stakeholders and advisors from Swiss Re and McKinsey, among others — is working to identify climate change costs, and offer solutions that will keep those costs affordable. The report suggests that there are ample reasons to do so.

Shaping climate-resilient development suggests that, by 2030, Guyana may lose 19% of its annual GDP, while Florida could see a 10% cut in productivity. In fact, climate change could cost Florida $30,000,000,000 annually by 2030 — from lost production and mitigation expenses due to hurricanes and rising oceans. The report recommends that all areas under stress now look to “easily identifiable and cost-effective measures — such as improved drainage, sea barriers and improved building regulations, among many others — [that] could reduce potential economic losses from climate change for all regions.” (Source: Reuters, September 14, 2009)

Contact: Denielle Sachs, McKinsey & Company, (202) 662-0041, denielle_sachs@mckinsey.com, mckinsey.com; Brigitte Meier, Swiss Re, +41 (43) 285-7171, Media_Relations@SwissRe.com, SwissRe.com The full report can be downloaded as a PDF