Citi Group: Tackling climate change is cheaper than doing nothing

Cash money
CC BY-SA 3.0 Wikimedia

Typically, when climate deniers and fossil fuel advocates argue that slashing emissions would be too expensive, we environmentalists start talking about externalities. But, as reported at Business Green, a new report from Citi Group suggests that tackling climate change will cost $1.8 trillion less than doing nothing at all due to the falling cost of renewables, and lower energy demand because of efficiency and conservation measures.

Here's why this matters: Citi Group is talking about energy costs alone, before we even start thinking about externalities.

True, no honest discussion of the subject is complete without factoring in that damage from coal costs us more than the electricity it produces, or the fact that the true cost of gasoline ought to be $15 a gallon once you count all the harm it does. But here's one more piece of evidence that suggests that avoiding externalities (little things like, you know, the destruction of the ecosystems we rely on) is actually just icing on the cake.

From solar and wind becoming cost competitive, even without subsidies, to the fact that a decline in coal creates a net growth in jobs, naysayers are losing talking points by the minute.

As the old joke goes:

"What happens if climate change is a hoax?"
"Then we'll have cleaned our air, replenished our forests and revived our economy. All for nothing."

Tags: Activism | Coal | Economics | Glaciers | Global Warming Solutions | Oil | Renewable Energy

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