Britain's Stern Report Spurs Action on Climate Change

First it was Britain's Chief Scientist saying climate change posed more of threat to the world than terrorism. Now Sir Nicholas Stern, who was once the Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank (2000 to 2003) has released a report, that UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has called the most important he has ever received and that it is, "the final piece of the jigsaw to convince every single political leader, including those in America, China and India, that global warming must be at the top of their agenda". The Stern Report itself says that climate change "is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen." It suggests that inaction on climate change will result in a depressed economy worse the Great Depression of the 1930s. And that the financial cost will be higher than the Depression combined with the two world wars. And in human terms the resulting drought and flooding will displace 200 million people from their homes creating the largest human migration in history - all of them refugees. With up to 40% of world's known species set for extinction. To avert this tragedy the report says we need to spend 1 per cent of global GDP, roughly what is spent worldwide on advertising, and half what the World Bank estimates would be the cost of a full-blown flu pandemic. And a media review of the report suggests that it advocates a global greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme and that Britain will pressure Australia and other countries to join an expanded carbon trading market. And it must happen now. As Tony Blair is quoted as saying after the release of the report: "We can't wait the five years it took to negotiate Kyoto." The BBC have a link to the 27 page PDF summary of the report. Via ABC Online.

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