The New Climate Economy

Economic Growth and Action on Climate Change Can Be Achieved Together

A major new report released on 15 September 2014 just a week before the UN Climate Summit by a commission of global leaders finds that governments and businesses can now improve economic growth and reduce their carbon emissions together. Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure are making it possible today to tackle climate change at the same time as improving economic performance.

The New Climate Economy report refutes the idea that we must choose between fighting climate change or growing the world’s economy. That is now seen as a false dilemma.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, an independent body, is chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, and co-chaired by Lord Nicholas Stern.

The report finds that over the next 15 years, about US $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture and energy systems. The world has an unprecedented opportunity to drive investment in low-carbon growth, bringing multiple benefits including jobs, health, business productivity and quality of life.

The report finds that there are now major opportunities to achieve strong growth with lower emissions in three key sectors of the global economy – cities, land use and energy. To achieve this growth, governments and businesses need to improve resource efficiency, invest in good-quality infrastructure, and stimulate technological and business innovation.

  • Cities: Building better connected, more compact cities based on mass public transport can save over US $3 trillion in investment costs over the next 15 years. These measures will improve economic performance and quality of life with lower emissions.
  • Land use: Restoring just 12% of the world’s degraded lands can feed another 200 million people and raise farmers’ incomes by $40 billion a year – and also cut emissions from deforestation.
  • Energy: As the price of solar and wind power falls dramatically, over half of new electricity generation over the next 15 years is likely to be from renewable energy, reducing dependence on highly polluting coal.
  • Resource efficiency: Phasing out the $600 billion currently spent on subsidies for fossil fuels (compared to $100 billion on renewable energy) will help to improve energy efficiency and make funds available for poverty reduction.
  • Infrastructure investment: New financial instruments can cut capital costs for clean energy by up to 20%.
  • Innovation: Tripling research and development in low-carbon technologies to at least 0.1% of GDP can drive a new wave of innovation for growth.
The Commission calculates that if fully implemented its recommendations could potentially achieve up to 90% of the emissions reductions needed by 2030 to avoid dangerous climate change.

www.newclimateeconomy.report