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Global Financial Structure and Climate Change

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  • John Whalley
  • Yufei Yuan

Abstract

This paper analyzes the medium to long-term implications of global warming for the evolution of global financial structures. Stern (2007) and other related scientific literature reports that greenhouse gas emissions generated by human activities will very possibly lead to global temperature increase of 1-5 degrees C by 2050. This will cause a dramatic increase in global risks to human life. The response to this will be the seeking-out of financial innovation by major forms, primarily in the area of insurance, but also in the diversification of asset holdings. We suggest in this paper that, with modest climate changes of 1-2 degrees C, the global insurance market will expand dramatically. However, under more extreme climate change scenarios, the entire global financial structure will undergo major changes, with a re-focusing of major financial activity away from intermediation between borrowers and lenders and the facilitation of the accumulation of assets, and towards a focus on insurance arrangements and the diversification of risks associated with climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • John Whalley & Yufei Yuan, 2013. "Global Financial Structure and Climate Change," WISE Working Papers 2013-10-14, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE), Xiamen University.
  • Handle: RePEc:wyi:wpaper:002012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert J. Nicholls & Richard S.J. Tol & Athanasios T. Vafeidis, 2005. "Global Estimates Of The Impact Of A Collapse Of The West Antarctic Ice Sheet: An Application Of Fund," Working Papers FNU-78, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jul 2005.
    2. Mendelsohn, Robert & Nordhaus, William D & Shaw, Daigee, 1994. "The Impact of Global Warming on Agriculture: A Ricardian Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 753-771, September.
    3. Arthur Charpentier, 2008. "Insurability of Climate Risks," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-109, January.
    4. Erwann Michel-Kerjan & Frederic Morlaye, 2008. "Extreme Events, Global Warming, and Insurance-Linked Securities: How to Trigger the “Tipping Point”," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 33(1), pages 153-176, January.
    5. Richard S.J. Tol & Samuel Fankhauser & Richard G. Richels & Joel B. Smith, 2000. "How Much Damage Will Climate Change Do?," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 1(4), pages 179-206, October.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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