Water-related disasters could cost Philippines P6.9 trillion in GDP loss by 2050

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Residents evacuate from their flooded communities as Typhoon Vamco batters the Philippine capital, in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 12, 2020. A global study forecasts hundreds of billions of revenue losses for the Philippines due to water-related natural disasters (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
Residents evacuate from their flooded communities as Typhoon Vamco batters the Philippine capital, in Marikina, Metro Manila, Philippines, November 12, 2020. A global study forecasts hundreds of billions of revenue losses for the Philippines due to water-related natural disasters (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

The Philippines is projected to lose a total of P6.9 trillion ($124 billion) in its gross domestic product (GDP) between 2022 and 2050 due to natural disasters brought by climate change, an international study showed.

According to the report “Aquanomics: The economics of water and future resiliency” conducted by GHD and released on Monday (August 29), the worsening droughts, storms, and rains could cause some of the world’s largest economies a total of $5.6 trillion in losses by 2050.

Different parts of the world are already experiencing the negative effects of the natural disasters aggravated by the warming climate: Cities within China and South Korea, as well as some states in Australia, have been flooded due to torrential rains, while India is facing an electricity supply crisis, and doubts in Europe has put the harvests of their farmers at risk.

The report found that water risk – the most devastating among all natural disasters – will have different impacts on different countries, with Australia, the United States, and the Philippines expected to experience an average economic decline of between 0.5% and 0.7% in annual GDP leading up to 2050.

The economic sectors that will be most affected by this disaster are the Manufacturing and Distributions which could lose a whopping $4,211 billion, Fast-moving Consumer Goods and Retail at $1,104 billion, Banking and Insurance at $514 billion, Agriculture at $332 billion, and Energy and Utilities at $237 billion.

However, amid all these, GHD said that the water sector could be the key to lead the change to all these natural disasters.

“Recognizing the role of water as a connector between sectors – central to the development of a circular economy and a critical element of every business and supply chain – will also be part of the solution,” GHD said.

“Access to safe, affordable and reliable water is a fundamental human right and plays an increasing crucial role in every part of the global economy, and yet it is one of our most undervalued resources,” Rod Naylor of GHD said.

Naylor also said that with a twin issue of residential and commercial dilemma expected to hound the water sector in the coming years, including potential reduction of supply because of climate change, how the world will act will be one of the most important challenges.

“The way in which the industry responds to these threats will be one of the most important challenges of the coming decades,” Naylor said.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for the latest news and updates.

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