The analysis was carried out by the Global Commission on Adaptation – a group of 34 leaders in politics, business and science.
Its primary aim is to put climate change adaptation on to the political agenda around the world. And to do this, it sets out “concrete solutions” and an economic plan.
There are, it says, five things the world should invest in over the next decade:
Warning systems: For the vulnerable island and coastal communities in particular, early warnings about storms, very high tides and other extreme weather can save lives. Better weather monitoring and a simple app for fishing communities in the Cook Islands, for example, allows them to plan according to the sea conditions
Infrastructure: Building better roads, buildings and bridges to suit the changing climate. One project in New York City has set out to paint rooftops white – a heat-reflecting strategy to cool buildings and neighbourhoods
Improving dryland agriculture: Something as simple as helping farmers to switch to more drought-resistant varieties of coffee crop could protect livelihoods and prevent hunger
Restoring and protecting mangroves: Underwater mangrove forests protect about 18 million people from coastal flooding, but they’re being wiped out by development. Restoration projects could protect vulnerable communities from storms and boost fisheries’ productivity
Water: Protecting water supplies – and making sure that water’s not being wasted – will be vital in a changing climate
Each of these investments, the commission says, would contribute to what they call a “triple dividend”- avoiding future losses, generating positive economic gains through innovation, and delivering social and environmental benefits. It is that dividend that the report has valued at $7.1tn (£5.7tn).
“Think of the fortunes made during the Industrial Revolution – fortunes that exist even to the present day. Think of the fortunes made during the recent China boom. These fortunes will pale in comparison to the fortunes that stand to be made in assuring that our society can remain not only viable, but flourishing into the 22nd Century and beyond.”
Invest for a better future.