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Global warming could cost Europe up to 65 billion euros a year

Global warming could cost Europe up to 65 billion euros (97.5 billion U.S. dollars) a year if the climate expected in the 2080s occurred today, a study warned on Wednesday.

The study, which was funded by the European Commission, showed that the EU would face yearly losses of gross domestic product ( GDP) between 20 billion euros and 65 billion euros, depending on the temperature increase in Europe.

Under the worst case scenario, when temperature increases by 5. 4 Celsius degrees and sea level rises by 88 centimeters, it was estimated that the overall damage to the European Union (EU) economy would be as high as 65 billion euros a year.

The economic well-being of Europeans, which has historically grown at around two percent yearly, would improve less due to global warming.

A temperature rise by 2.5 Celsius degrees could reduce welfare by 0.2 percent whereas a rise by 5.4 Celsius degrees could halve the approximate annual EU welfare growth.

The study also showed different regional impacts of climate change across the EU.

Damages would occur mainly in Southern and Central Europe, while Northern Europe would be the sole region to benefit, in economic terms, from climate change.

The study took into account four aspects that are highly sensitive to climate changes, namely agriculture, river flooding, coastal systems and tourism.

So the overall cost of global warming could be, however, much higher, as the study only focused on four sectors of the economy and did not take into account non-market impacts in fields like biodiversity and ecosystems or natural disasters. (1 U.S. dollar = 0.667 euro)