Climate change is no joke

Published 19.10.2018 23:41
Updated 19.10.2018 23:42

With increased global mobility and accelerating climate change caused by the greenhouse effect that is resulting from carbon emissions due to increased fossil fuel usage, the number of natural disasters and human-induced disasters reached levels that earth has never experienced. In 2016, some 192 natural disasters and 137 human-induced disasters were recorder, substantially up from 45 and 53 in the 1970s.

Although the number of disasters in 2016, which was 329, has decreased to 301 in 2017, and the number of natural disasters went down to 183 and the number of human-induced disasters decreased to 118, the economic and financial losses due to disasters in 2017 have reached $337 billion, almost doubling the $180 billion loss in 2016.

To give you an idea, I would like to remind that the inflation-adjusted figure of annual average losses due to disasters was $190 billion between 2007 and 2017 and that the ratio of the average 10-year loss to global GDP rose from 0.25 to 0.44 in 2017.

With disasters causing losses of $244 billion in North America, $32 billion in Latin America and the Caribbean, $31 billion in Asia, $24 billion in Europe, $3 billion in Africa, and $3 billion in Oceania, and the 2-degree Celsius increase in soil and ocean temperatures over the next 50 to 80 years caused by global climate change, the number of people who became migrants due to climate change is now 25 million, while this number will be 1 billion by 2050; and it is expected that 1 billion more people will have to displaced by 2100 due to the rising sea and ocean levels from 0.4 to 2 meters in African and Asian countries with lands of elevations less than 10 meters.

It is expected that the natural disaster damage that was $250 billion in 2017 will reach $320 billion by 2030. This means that, toward 2030, 2050, and 2100, on a global scale, companies and firms of all sizes have to take serious measures to protect their existence, products, and profits against natural and human-induced disasters with the means provided by digitalization and high-tech solutions.

It is predicted that disasters caused by global climate change will cause a loss of 0.5 points in global GDP in 2030. Global opinion leaders view weapons of mass destruction, extreme weather conditions, natural disasters, failure in efforts to diminish the effects of climate change and adaptation and a global water crisis as five major threats for the next 10 years. It should be clear why William Nordhaus from Yale University and Paul Romer from New York University were awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics this year for their studies in climate change. While the global political economy is being restructured and the world is on the brink of "Cold War II," more importantly, "winter is coming" with climate change.

3.8 billion 'new' passengers in the air

The segment with a daily expenditure per capita between $10 and $100 is accepted as "middle class" at the global scale. Research by many international organizations, primarily the United Nations, shows that by 2030, the middle class making up the global population will reach 5.3 billion with a 1.7 billion increase, the rich class will reach 300 million with an increase of 100 million, on the other hand, the low income group and poor people will decrease by 900 million to 2.3 billion, and the poorest population will decrease by 150 million to 450 million. This means that such a number of customers never seen before in the global airline transportation will demand a huge service from the sector.

Turkey's big jump in average living standards in the last 16 years has brought the increase in the number of customers in air transportation in Turkey to three times that of the world average, to 15 percent. International Air Transport Association's (IATA) estimate for 2036 points out that the number of airline passengers, today more than 4 billion people, will reach 7.8 billion. IATA's prediction indicates that Turkey will reach 200 million passengers in country-based domestic and international flights in 2036, and that it will become the world's 9th most important airline flight center.

This shows that the $22.6 billion turnover in the airline transport will reach $40 billion in 2028, and $50 billion in 2036. It is expected that the number of domestic and overseas passengers in Turkey will increase by 120 million between 2016 and 2036. I think only the estimates above are enough to explain why Turkey performed a new airport investment on a global scale. Istanbul New Airport, which will reach a passenger capacity of 120 million at most in 1-2 years and 200 million when all four phases of the project are completed, will become a "center of gravity" that will strengthen Turkey's claim in the global airline industry by allowing flights to 300 different destinations from one single airport.

Turkey, at the global scale, can carry its tourism revenues to over $50 billion in the first phase, then easily to $100 billion by 2030, if it can create an effective promotional campaign for the new middle class, working to move from one of the world's top six most preferred tourism destinations into the top three. In this case, Turkey is on the edge of an historic opportunity to rapidly increase its exports based on high technology, rapidly decreasing its dependence on foreign sources in energy, to at least double its services income for instance from tourism and transport services, and to completely eliminate its current account deficit. Let's closely follow the work of Treasury and Finance Minister Albayrak, who is leading important steps to solve Turkey's current account deficit problem.

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