Combating climate change may not be a question of who will carry the burden but could instead be a rush for the benefits, according to new economic modeling presented today at "Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges & Decisions" hosted by the University of Copenhagen.
Contrary to current cost models for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and fighting climate change, a group of researchers from the University of Cambridge conclude that even very stringent reductions of can create a macroeconomic benefit, if governments go about it the right way.
"Where many current calculations get it wrong is in the assumption that more stringent measures will necessarily raise the overall cost, especially when there is substantial unemployment and underuse of capacity as there is today", explains Terry Barker, Director of Cambridge Centre for Climate Change Mitigation Research (4CMR), Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge and a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Congress.
"There is some evidence that harder greenhouse gas targets and regulation may actually increase benefits through improved innovation and distribution of low carbon technologies, and increased revenues from taxes or permits. These revenues can be spent to further support new technology and to lower other indirect taxes, ensuring the fiscal neutrality of these measures", says Barker.
"The current global financial crisis must be seen as a timely stimulus to tackling climate change, not a hindrance. If all G20 countries adopted a Green New Deal similar to that proposed by President Obama, the world economy could be greatly strengthened, especially the sectors producing low-carbon technologies," he adds. "But global coordination is critical. Any single country's New Deal may fail if its extra demand for goods and services are met with imports. If we act together, everyone's exports will increase and we can recover employment much quicker".
|Contact: Morten Jastrup|
University of Copenhagen