Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Climate Change: The Stern Review 1

The Stern Review has the potential to become the most significant document produced on global warming. It is notable in that it is:
  • Focused on the economics of climate change
  • Sponsored by a major government that accepts its findings
  • Written by an eminent economist
  • Doesn’t have the need to argue the toss about the issue

It was commissioned by the UK government, and written by Sir Nicholas Stern, one-time Chief Economist at the World Bank.

The central conclusions:
  • There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we take
    strong action now.
  • Climate change could have very serious impacts on growth and development.
  • The costs of stabilising the climate are significant but manageable; delay
    would be dangerous and much more costly.
  • Action on climate change is required across all countries, and it need not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries.
  • A range of options exists to cut emissions; strong, deliberate policy action is required to motivate their take-up.
  • Climate change demands an international response, based on a shared
    understanding of long-term goals and agreement on frameworks for action.

The UK government’s website for the report has comments from leading economists. The report can be downloaded; the executive summary is also available (the ‘summary of conclusions’ is identical).

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