World Bank report finds that policies to fight climate change could boost the global economy big-time.
The economic argument against taking action on climate change — i.e., “It’s just too expensive!” — is fast becoming passé, with a World Bank report this month noting that policies to cut carbon pollution might actually boost the global economy by up to $2.6 trillion a year.
The 88-page report, “Climate-Smart Development: Adding Up the Benefits of Actions that Help Build Prosperity, End Poverty and Combat Climate Change,” focuses on five countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and the United States – plus the European Union. Big benefits will flow by 2030 if that group implements just three sets of policies on clean transportation, energy efficiency in industry and energy efficiency in buildings, the report asserts.
The World Bank’s finding matches that of the recent International Energy Agency (IEA) report, “Energy Technology Perspectives,” according to a ThinkProgress article. The IEA found that an aggressive effort to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency (and energy storage) to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit/2 degrees Celsius would be staggeringly cost-effective, “resulting in net savings of $71 trillion” by 2050.
As the World Bank says, “Thanks to a growing body of research, it is now clear that climate-smart development can boost employment and can save millions of lives.” Smart development policies and projects can also slow the pace of adverse climate changes. “Based on this new scientific understanding, and with the development of new economic modeling tools to quantify these benefits, it is clear that the objectives of economic development and climate protection can be complementary.”
What in the world are we waiting for?