Combating Climate Change Cheaper Than Originally Thought
Last week, Lars Josefsson, chief executive of Vattenfall the Swedish power company, presented research that shows that the cost of combating climate change could be 40 per cent lower than the figure given in the Stern Report. The Stern Report claimed that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20 per cent but that taking action would cost roughly 1 per cent of the United Kingdom's GDP. Josefsson explains, "[t]he cost of limiting the concentration of greenhouse gases is equivalent to 0.6 per cent of the gross world product — if all the identified potential is exploited." According to the Vattenfall report, much of the cost savings come from implementing simple solutions that "pay for themselves" such as insulation improvements or fuel efficient cars. The report also assumes increased use of nuclear power and employing carbon capture technology. Keen on getting businesses to play a larger role in actively combating climate change, Mr. Josefsson plans to present this research later this month at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He is also actively promoting the recently announced 3C initiative, in which 15 of the world's largest companies agreed to create "commercial solutions and market based investments" to curb global warming. Mr. Josefsson is also a special advisor on the environment to Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor. Since January 1st, 2007 when Germany took on the presidency of the European Union., Ms. Merkel has made combating climate change a key issue.