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What is the value of the economic damage caused by climate change in Brazilian critical infrastructures?

This was one of the results of the study “Climate Change, Critical Infrastructures in Brazil and Economic Damage” – coordinated by the International Institute for Sustainability (IIS) associate Sergio Margulis and partners, with support from the Climate and Society Institute (ICS) – for to subsidize the Ministry of the Environment in its implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) signed with the UN.

The survey estimated the value of the economic damage to water supply, power generation, irrigation, federal highways, and ports caused by floods, landslides, meteorological droughts, forest fires and severe storms in different climate change scenarios

The average cost of damage expected from climate change is around R$ 12 billion over the 30 years considered in the study. But these costs add to those already expected in the scenarios without climate change, resulting in total damages of R$ 540 billion in 30 years, or R$ 18 billion per year – about 0.25% of today’s national GDP. It is worth mention that only about 300 infrastructures in the country were considered and that the study horizon is 2040, when the impacts of climate change will still be major

The expected impacts on these infrastructures are of major importance because of the social and economic services they perform. Current infrastructures are designed and built based on engineering standards developed decades ago, based on the behavior of the climate that no longer represents the current one. With climate change, infrastructures may not be able to cope with new climate loads, forcing policies and procedures to mitigate risks.

Read the full study (Portuguese only):