WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
Climate change is defined as an artificial change in the climate other than its natural variability as a result of forcing the ecological limits of the environment due to human activities. Climate change, which is mainly caused by the greenhouse effect resulting from the consumption of fossil fuels, poses serious threats to all living things, countries and economies. In this respect, efforts have been increasing in recent years by both scientific and political circles to reveal the current and possible effects of climate change. Particularly, climate-dependent sectors such as agriculture, tourism and energy, labor productivity, employment and consequently economic growth are adversely affected by climate change.
Climate has a dynamic structure that can naturally change over many years and at the end of slowly developing processes. Climate variability is expressed as a process that develops spontaneously and is not affected by the human factor. Climate change, on the other hand, is the change in climate as a result of human activities that directly or indirectly change the composition of the atmosphere, in addition to the natural variability of the climate observed over a comparable time period.
As a result, it can be said that the source of the changes in the climate in the past is natural factors, and the changes experienced today are the result of human (anthropogenic) activities.
Developments such as rapid mechanization process, change in production and consumption structure, population growth and urbanization after the Industrial Revolution caused intense energy needs. Especially after the Second World War, countries' demands for economic growth brought about an increase in their energy needs. The fact that the energy need is mostly met with fossil fuels such as coal and oil has led to the destruction of the environment and the change of the composition of the atmosphere. Along with this process, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, which is the result of the use of fossil fuels and called the greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere has gradually increased.
CLIMATE CHANGE DIAGRAMS
ECONOMIC EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
The first effects of climate change appear with temperature increases and fluctuations in precipitation. The extremes seen in these climate elements cause serious economic losses by increasing the frequency and severity of climate-related natural disasters such as drought, flood and storm. Approximately 87% of natural disasters experienced between 1980 and 2012 are climate-related natural disasters. As a result of the researches, 44% of these natural disasters are caused by storms, 41% by floods and 15% by drought. It is reported that the economic loss caused by these natural disasters in the same period is approximately 2.8 trillion dollars. It is predicted that these economic losses caused by climate change will be around 1 trillion dollars annually in the 2050s.
Agriculture, tourism and energy sectors, which are important for the economy, are heavily exposed to the effects of climate change. While agriculture and tourism are directly related, energy is indirectly dependent on climate.
Considering that climate change will continue in the future, some countries that are not affected by climate change and even benefit from it are expected to be adversely affected by this situation.
Although there is no consensus in practice and theory on the mechanism that explains the effects of climate change on the economy, it is thought that some indicators may play a leading role in determining the magnitude of these effects. Some of these are the share of climate-sensitive sectors in the economy and the indirect effects of climate change on non-climate-sensitive sectors.
It is argued that although climate change may adversely affect economic growth, efforts to protect the environment from the effects of climate change may directly contribute to economic growth. Because the environment, or more technically, natural capital, takes place as an input in the production function. It is thought that the improvement of environmental quality by protecting the environment will lead to an increase in the amount of input in terms of natural capital, and that the level of output and income may increase.
The negative effects of the climate change crisis are felt and seen at serious levels in some countries and regions today. It is inevitable that these negative effects will cause significant problems all over the world in the future. This negative picture reveals the necessity of an effective and urgent fight against climate change. Along with these, combating climate change also requires a mental change to get rid of the idea that "the environment is a subsystem of the economy" and to accept the idea that "the economy is a sub-demand of the environment and the borders of the economy are determined by the ecological carrying capacity". Accordingly, economic policies should be shaped by taking into account the natural capital supply function of the environment, as well as the waste storage function.