Climate change will hit poor countries the hardest because they rely heavily on climate-sensitive sectors like agriculture and fishery.
But, argues James MacGregor, Natural Resource Accounts (NRA) — accounts for natural assets such as fish and forests — could help evaluate the environment's contribution to national wealth.
Namibia's NRAs show that, under a best-case scenario, climate impacts would cause the country's gross domestic product to drop by one per cent, while the worst case sees a fall of nearly six per cent over 20 years.
And these estimates only consider agriculture and fisheries, without accounting for climate impacts on other sectors like health, infrastructure or energy.
Integrating Namibia's NRA data into a Social Accounting Matrix shows that climate change could leave a quarter of Namibians unemployed, says MacGregor.
He argues that countries like Namibia need "climate-proofed" policies and activities alongside strategies to deal with displaced agricultural workers.
MacGregor adds that industrialised nations, which are most responsible for climate change, must help vulnerable countries plan and cope with a climate-constrained future.