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Sometimes you have to spend money to save money — and a major new report finds that spending $1.8 trillion on climate adaptation projects would result in $7.1 trillion in total net benefits. The report predicts that the most impressive returns will come from investments that strengthen early warning systems for disasters like storms and floods.

“If we delay adaptation, we will pay such a high price that we would never be able to look at ourselves in the mirror,” Christiana Figueres, who previously headed the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change during the adoption of the Paris climate agreement, said in a press call ahead of the report launch. “Either we delay and pay, or we plan and prosper.”


Better forecasts can also be used to pinpoint which groups will be most vulnerable and figure out how to reach them in a more targeted way. “Nobody needs to die in a heatwave,” Kristie Ebi, a professor at the University of Washington’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, tells The Verge. Understanding those vulnerabilities will be increasingly important as climate change throws more than 100 million people into poverty by 2030 within developing countries alone, according to the report. Its authors call for prioritizing improvements in early warning systems in the least developed countries and small island developing states.

Read the entire story at The Verge. Kristie Ebi, Professor of Global Health, is quoted in the story.