The biggest wake-up call yet on the dangers of climate change is from Britain, in the form of Sir Nick Stern’s report on the economics of climate change for the UK Treasury. You can access it in full here, or in parts such as the executive summary mentioned below.
The summary of conclusions below is from the short (4-page) executive summary of the Stern report. There is a more comprehensive executive summary (27 pages) and of course the full report of over 550 pages for the really keen ones!
I believe we can’t continue to put our heads in the sand either as individuals, citizens or Rotarians. This report is by a mainstream body of people who are not ‘greenies’ or what some people consider ratbags.
Stern report: Summary of Conclusions
There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we take strong action now.
Climate change could have very serious impacts on growth and development.
The costs of stabilising the climate are significant but manageable; delay would be dangerous and much more costly.
Action on climate change is required across all countries, and it need not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries.
A range of options exists to cut emissions; strong, deliberate policy action is required to motivate their take-up.
Climate change demands an international response, based on a shared understanding of long-term goals and agreement on frameworks for action.
Key elements of future international frameworks should include:
- Emissions trading
- Technology cooperation
- Action to reduce deforestation