The price tag for hitting climate goals is $9.2 trillion (but not spending would be worse)

Updated: Jan 28



The price tag for keeping the world from warming more than 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 30 years could total as much as $9.2 trillion a year for the next 30 years.


That's the word from the bean counters and analysts at McKinsey & Co. and it's a figure that clocks in $3.5 trillion per-year than the budget that the world has set out for an energy and economy-wide transition to sustainable practices.


Under McKinsey's projections, the world runs basically on renewable and emissions-free energy by 2050 and 200 million new jobs are created while 185 million positions are rendered obsolete, according to a Bloomberg report.


As with everything climate-related, the developing countries that are least equipped to address the climate crisis will bear the brunt of the burden.


Under McKinsey's projections, India and countries in sub-Saharan Africa are going to need to spend roughly 11% of their gross domestic product on new climate friendly infrastructure. That's compared to 6.4% in the U.S., according to Bloomberg's breakdown of the McKinsey report.

That said, the numbers aren't all doom and gloom. There's a lot of technology that already exists to meet the demands for low-carbon infrastructure, new supply chains, and engaging the public to change behaviors.


“When we think about technology, we may be further along than people realize,” Mekala Krishnan, a partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, McKinsey’s in-house think tank, and a report co-author told Bloomberg. “About 85% of the emissions reductions that we need to get to net-zero in Europe are viable with technologies that exist today.”


Even if the world were to start opening the spending floodgates, slashing production of new oil and gas fields and taking the steps to reduce consumption that are required to meet a 2.7 degree Fahrenheit (1.5 degree Celsius) limit on global warming, it may not be enough.


“This is truly a global problem that will require a global solution,” said Hamid Samandari, a McKinsey senior partner and co-author. “It will require a level of cooperation and resolve, and unity of purpose that is beyond what it has been in the past.”


Find out more about how FootPrint Coalition is investing in technologies that are developing climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.


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