Earth is overheating due to the greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. This is “the biggest market failure the world has seen” according to economist Nicholas Stern. The rational behaviour of companies that pollute by making profitable commodities, and consequences of most people’s desire to drive everywhere are creating irrational outcomes for everyone: an increase in the average global temperature which threatens to make the planet uninhabitable.

But our recent research indicates that this pollution will have a direct financial cost. We used artificial intelligence to combine Standard and Poor’s (S&P) credit ratings formula (which captures the ability of those who borrow money to pay it back) with climate-economic models to simulate the effects of climate change on sovereign ratings for 109 countries over the next ten, 30 and 50 years, and by the end of the century.

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