Wealth reallocation and sustainability under climate change

Eli P. Fenichel, Simon Asher Levin, Bonnie McCay, Kevin St. Martin, Joshua K. Abbott, Malin L. Pinsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Climate change is often described as the greatest environmental challenge of our time. In addition, a changing climate can reallocate natural capital, change the value of all forms of capital and lead to mass redistribution of wealth. Here we explain how the inclusive wealth framework provides a means to measure shifts in the amounts and distribution of wealth induced by climate change. Biophysical effects on prices, pre-existing institutions and socio-ecological changes related to shifts in climate cause wealth to change in ways not correlated with biophysical changes. This implies that sustainable development in the face of climate change requires a coherent approach that integrates biophysical and social measurement. Inclusive wealth provides a measure that indicates sustainability and has the added benefit of providing an organizational framework for integrating the multiple disciplines studying global change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalNature Climate Change
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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