Environmental damage caused by economic activities like coal plant electrical generation and mining is costing the global economy as much as US$4.7 trillion a year. That is what is revealed in a report released on 15 April and commissioned by the Group of Eight economic powers and the United Nation's Environmental Programme.

The G8 nations' next meeting is at the Lough Erne Summit, 17-18 June 2013, in Northern Ireland. The grim facts of environmental degradation are causing worldwide economic loss and that means greater poverty and health problems.

The loss to the world economy through environmentally destructive economic activity is greater than the wealth generated. The short term benefits are mostly for the rich while the environmental damage hurts the poor.

The study calculates the impact of air and water pollution, health costs, the damage caused by climate change due to global warming and the destruction costs of deforestation, the rise in ocean temperature and one hundred other impacts.