Today the IPCC released its 4th installment of its report on global warming. It has found that only .12 percent of world GDP would be needed to stave off the harmful effects of climate change. Echoing the Stern Report it shows that the only thing we should be afraid of is doing nothing. The report focused on economic changes that need to be made, pointing out that emissions must start declining by the year 2015 to prevent the world’s temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrialized temperatures. (a scenario that would be catastrophic)
Read the summary for policy makers here (doc)
While some governments try to delay action, the switch to a cleaner and more efficient energy system is already underway, according to a new report from WWF.
A new briefing from the global conservation organization, Stop Climate Change: It Is Possible highlights 15 ways in which people, business and governments work with WWF to reduce CO2 emissions and help slow global warming.
The report highlights initiatives from around the world, ranging from India to Brazil, that save energy and reduce carbon pollution.
In Thailand, a new law encourages the clean production of energy from biofuel plants that will feed into the electricity grid. Elsewhere, major businesses have signed up for WWF’s Climate Savers programme and are actively reducing their carbon emissions. And in the UK a new campaign shows that people can simply unplug their phone chargers to cut standby power consumption.
“Taking action brings real savings and other benefits to consumers and businesses while preventing dangerous climate change,” says Hans Verolme, Director of WWF’s Global Climate Change Programme. “The planet is running a fever and people are working with WWF to cool it – global warming is costing us dearly already but by acting now we can avoid future calamities.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC’s) third working group, meeting in Bangkok today, showed that the cost of doing nothing about global warming is far higher than the cost of cleaning up our economies.
The WWF has said that to stay below a dangerous rise in temperature of 2Â°C the world needs to reduce global CO2 emissions by over 50 per cent by the middle of this century. Independent economic assessments have confirmed that this pays off. A claim backed up in todays report.
“We have all the technological and economic tools available today – governments now need to implement clean energy solutions and remove the obstacles that still prevent their break-through,” says Dr Stephan Singer, Head of WWF’s European Climate Change Program and expert reviewer of the report by IPCC Working Group III. “The facts are clear – preventing climate change is the best deal for the global economy, so why are we still waiting?”