The world economy could grow $26 trillion in a decade if governments and businesses focus on climate change

Photo : businessinsider.sg

 

  • A new report argues that quicker action on climate change could add more than $2 trillion a year to the global economy over the next decade.
  • The report, from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC), argues that increasing investments in sustainable technologies would increase economic output globally by $26 trillion by 2030.
  • “There’s still a perception that moving toward a low-carbon path would be costly,” Helen Mountford, the lead author of the report said. “What we are trying to do with this report is once and for all put the nails in the coffin on that idea.”
  • The report’s release comes just months after US President Donald Trump signalled his intention to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Bold action on climate change could add more than $2 trillion a year to the global economy over the next decade, according to a major new report, which seeks to dispel the belief that tackling environmental issues will stifle economic growth.

The report from theGlobal Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC) on Wednesday argues that the world’s politicians and decision-makers are “significantly underestimating the benefits of cleaner, climate-smart growth.” It said the global economy could increase in size by $26 trillion by 2030, if more ambitious steps are taken.

Former heads of government, business leaders, and economists are all part of the GCEC’s team, and have argued that the globe is at a crossroads, whereby it needs to fully commit to sustainable future growth, or see the earth suffer even more.

“There’s still a perception that moving toward a low-carbon path would be costly,” Helen Mountford, the lead author of the report said in an interview with Reuters. “What we are trying to do with this report is once and for all put the nails in the coffin on that idea.”

Among the ideas presented in the review, which is backed by the World Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva, is the creation of around 65 million new jobs around the world by 2030, all focused around sustainable industries.

“The growth story of the 21st century will unlock unprecedented opportunities and deliver a strong, sustainable, inclusive global economy,” the report said. “The benefits of climate action are greater than ever before, while the costs of inaction continue to mount. It is time for a decisive shift to a new climate economy.”

The GCEC’s report asks governments to prioritise four key areas of sustainability over the coming years to ensure that the economic boost it believes is possible actually materialises. They are:

  • “Ramp up efforts on carbon pricing and move to mandatory disclosure of climate-related financial risks;”
  • “Accelerate investment in sustainable infrastructure;”
  • “Harness the power of the private sector and unleash innovation;”
  • “Build a people-centred approach that shares the gains equitably and ensures that the transition is just.”

The report’s release comes just months after US President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change, an accord signed by virtually every single nation on earth.

At the time, Trump cited the “draconian financial and economic burdens” that remaining in the agreement would place on America. He believes, for instance, that moving away from fossil fuel usage will cripple the coal mining industry, and cost 2.7 million US jobs by 2025.

 

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