At a staggering $ 6.6 trillion - equivalent to 11% of global GDP for damage caused by human activity in 2008 - its bigger than the Global Financial Crisis.
The study projects that the monetary value - from water and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, general waste and depleted resources - could reach $28.6 trillion in 2050.
Other study headlines include:
- The top global 3,000 public companies were responsible for $ 2.15 trillion worth of environmental damage in 2008.
- More than 50 percent of company earnings could be at risk from environmental costs (in an equally weighted portfolio).
- Damage costs are generally higher than the cost of preventing or limiting pollution and resource depletion.
UN PRI and UNEP Why environmental externalities matter to institutional investors Executive Summary here.