Monday, July 20, 2009

IPCC chief: Benefits of tackling climate change will balance cost of action

Damian Carrington in the Guardian (UK): Measures needed to tackle global warming could save economies more money than they cost, the world's top climate change expert said today. Rajendra Pachauri, the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told the Guardian: "The cost could undoubtedly be negative overall." This is because of the additional benefits that reducing greenhouse gas emissions could bring, beyond limiting temperature rises.

…Pachauri's comments came ahead of a press announcement in New York today about the IPCC's plans for its next series of reports in 2013. He said these would include a greater emphasis on the economics, as well as ethical and humanitarian concerns.

Funding for reducing and adapting to climate change in one of the most difficult issues in the negotiations towards a global deal at a UN summit in December in Copenhagen. But Pachauri argues that if the costs are negative, then "inertia and vested interests would be washed away. As the Americans say, it would be like dollar bills lying on the sidewalk."

Alex Bowen, one of the Stern report authors, said: …"My hunch overall is that it will be a little more costly than we estimated in 2006. But if well designed policies are put in place, we can still do it remarkably cheaply. And there is still no doubt that strong action now is much cheaper than no action," added Bowen, an economist at the Grantham Research Institute On Climate Change at the London School of Economics….

Józef Chełmoński, 1869, "Payment of Labor (Saturday on the farm)"

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