Wealth reallocation and sustainability under climate change

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

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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    Fenichel, E. P., Levin, S. A., McCay, B., St. Martin, K., Abbott, J., & Pinsky, M. L. (2016). Wealth reallocation and sustainability under climate change. Nature Climate Change, 6(3), 237-244. https://doi.org/10.1038/nclimate2871