30 October 2006

Climate Change: Ignoring Climate Crisis Could Lead to Economic Collapse, UK Economist Reports

LONDON - Ignoring climate change could lead to economic upheaval on the scale of the 1930s Depression, underlining the need for urgent action to combat global warming, a British report on the costs of climate change said, according to Reuters/Planet Ark.

The report by chief British government economist Nicholas Stern, a 27-page summary of which was obtained by Reuters, says the benefits of determined worldwide steps to tackle climate change would greatly outweigh the costs.

The 700-page report, to be published on Monday, said that no matter what we do now the chance "is already almost out of reach" to keep greenhouse gases at a level which scientists say should avoid the worst effects of climate change.

It said the world does not have to choose between tackling climate change and economic growth, contradicting US President George W. Bush who pulled out of the Kyoto Protocol against global warming in part because he said it would cost jobs.

"The evidence gathered by the review leads to a simple conclusion: the benefits of strong, early action considerably outweigh the costs," said the report, prepared for British Prime Minister Tony Blair and finance minister Gordon Brown.

"Our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century," it said.

It precedes UN climate talks, starting in Nairobi on Nov. 6, focusing on finding a successor to Kyoto which ends in 2012.

Read the full story: UK

Read the press notice: HM Treasury

Download the full report: Stern Report

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