3 Ways Climate Change Affects How We Spend Money

Climate change is predicted to have a major impact on many aspects of our lives. Average global temperatures will increase, sea levels will rise, allergies may get worse (seriously, it’s likely that they will)… there’s little question that there will be many complicated biological ramifications.

But what about the cultural and economic changes that might accompany climate change? Some have argued that climate change may increase violence, and surely there will be other societal implications we can’t yet predict. Experts do have ideas, though, for what a warmer planet might mean for our spending habits. Here are three trends you may see come to pass in the coming decades:

Fewer luxury goods

A recent study put forth by Swiss banking group UBS suggests that in cities where the threat of climate-related disasters looms large, middle-class families are spending less on luxury goods than they have in the past. They found that in climate-strapped cities such as Los Angeles, Taipei, Tokyo, Mumbai, Shanghai and New Orleans, families had to spend more of their income on housing and repairs, forcing them to scale back on expensive splurges in the realms of entertainment and luxuries.

“More fear, less fun is how we might sum it up,” said the authors of the study.

The study noted that 2015 was the most expensive year on record in terms of natural disasters; a whopping $32 billion were lost within the first half of 2015 alone due to instances of extreme weather.

More sharing

Though the rise of the sharing economy is no doubt attributable to a number of factors, it’s a huge trend that’s expected to continue growing as temperatures rise. This may or may not be a good thing for the environment. While car ownership appears to be decreasing overall, primarily among millennials, the word is still out on whether or not this will actually lead to a reduction in transportation emissions.

There are two sides to the argument, according to environmental blog Grist. On the one hand, sure, ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft free people from needing to use cars to get around on a daily basis. On the other, there’s some evidence that the popularity and convenience of these unconventional cab services has actually increased the number of cars on the roads—particularly in dense cities like New York and Chicago, where residents might have previously been more inclined to use public transportation.

Nonetheless, the sharing economy continues to grow, and it’s not just about cars. The popularity of sites like Airbnb remains strong, and according to a report by PwC, 72 percent of Americans say they’re likely to participate in a sharing service in the coming two years.

More renewable energy

Though the warming of the planet is ultimately bad news, there’s still plenty of indication that the green energy economy will continue to improve, diversify and grow. According to Scientific American, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is expecting renewable energy to be the fastest-growing source of power in the coming years.

More and more consumers are switching to green power within their own homes, if they have the means to do so. The Solar Energies Industry Association reported that the second half of 2015 was the biggest quarter yet for solar power, with nearly 1,400 megawatts of power installed nationwide.

As both individuals and communities look to transition to renewable energy, it will undoubtedly change the energy landscape. We’ll have to see what other surprises global warming and climate change action will have on consumer behavior in the coming years.

44 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Patricia D.
Patricia D3 years ago

I did not know this!

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Iskrica Kneževi?

love

thank you

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Iskrica Kneževi?

thank you

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Sen Heijkamp
Sayenne H3 years ago

Thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud3 years ago

Tyfs.

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Monika K.
Monika K3 years ago

Thanks

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Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Makes sense. Thanks for sharing.

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Brett Cloud
Brett Cloud3 years ago

Tyfs.

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