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EU wary of economic hit from climate change

No action is the most expensive option, commissioner says.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   June 25, 2014 at 10:13 AM
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BRUSSELS, June 25 (UPI) -- Climate damage to the European Union could cost more than $200 billion if no further action is taken, a European analysis published Wednesday finds.

A Wednesday report for the European Commission's Joint Research Center finds that if global temperatures increase as expected, the economic costs could amount to a net welfare loss of 1.8 percent of the current gross domestic product for the European Union.

Beyond the economic impact, the report finds heat-related deaths could increase and those people living in low-lying coastal areas would suffer if sea levels rise.

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said it makes more sense to invest now in efforts to address climate change than to pay for future damages.

"No action is clearly the most expensive solution of all," she said in a statement.

Members of the EU are obligated to cut emissions by 20 percent from the 1990's level by 2020. EU leaders are set to review an energy package that sets benchmarks for 2030 in October.

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