Ethiopia Launch – GGGI and the Ethiopian Development Research Institute organized a half-day event to launch the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate’s flagship project Better Climate, Better Growth: The New Climate Economy Report on 16 September 2014 in Addis Ababa. The report will simultaneously launch in New York. Research conducted in Ethiopia is a crucial part of this international initiative and is produced in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment and Forest. His Excellency Belete Tafere, Minister of the Environment and Forest, and His Excellency Ato Newai Gebre-Ab, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Development Research Institute will host. GGGI Director-General Yvo de Boer will participate.
NEW YORK/BEIJING/ADDIS ABABA/OSLO/JOHANNESBURG (September 16, 2014) — A major new report released 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 a false dilemma,” said former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. “Today’s report details compelling evidence on how technological change is driving new opportunities to improve growth, create jobs, boost company profits and spur economic development. The report sends a clear message to government and private sector leaders: we can improve the economy and tackle climate change at the same time.”
The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate comprises 24 leaders from government, business, finance and economics in 19 countries. A year-long study has been conducted by leading research institutes from China, India, the US, Brazil, Korea, Europe and Africa, advised by a panel of world-leading economists chaired by Lord Nicholas Stern.
The report titled ‘Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy’ was presented today at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa. Speakers at the event included: Belete Tafere – Minister for Environment and Forest; Trevor Manuel, former Minister of Finance of South Africa and Global Commissioner; Ato Newai Gebre-ab, Chief Economic Advisor to the Ethiopian Prime Minister; Yvo de Boer (Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute.
It was also simultaneously presented to governments, business and finance leaders at a global launch event at the UN headquarters in New York City, attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. The report arrives just one week before the UN Climate Summit on 23 September which aims to secure widespread commitment to tackle climate change globally.
The report finds that over the next 15 years, the time between now and 2030, about US $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in the world’s cities, agriculture and energy. That gives the world an unprecedented opportunity to drive investment in low-carbon growth, bringing multiple benefits to jobs, health, business productivity and quality of life.
“The decisions we make now will determine the future of our economy and our climate,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, Co-Chair of the Global Commission. “If we choose low-carbon investment we can generate strong, high-quality growth – not just in the future, but now. But if we continue down the high-carbon route, climate change will bring severe risks to long-term prosperity.”
Quotes from speakers at the event in Addis:
- Trevor Manuel: “The report is tangible evidence of the ability to develop and reduce emissions. The three issues of urbanisation, land use and energy speak to the major African challenges and provide a key to large scale transformation”.
- Yvo De Boer: “The report clearly makes the economic case for short term action on resource efficiency, energy efficiency, modern cities and better land use – this is particularly relevant for Africa”.
- H.E. Ato Newai Gebre-Ab: “The findings of this global initiative demonstrate there is considerable convergence between actions which support economic development and green growth – we should focus on the convergence rather than the trade offs”.
- H.E. Ato Belete Tafere: “This study has highlighted the importance of better cities, sustainable land use and transforming the energy system. It further strengthens the short term economic case for action globally and especially for Africa – areas that Ethiopia is acting on as part of our Climate Resilience Green Economy initiative”.
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, 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. This 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 over the next 15 years is likely to be in 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 better-targeted 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 report finds that competitive markets and consistent government policy signals are essential for businesses and investors to create low-carbon jobs and growth. By establishing a strong carbon price and a level playing field through an international climate agreement, governments can unlock new investment and innovation.
“Major companies, smart investors and a new generation of entrepreneurs are already demonstrating how markets can drive low-carbon growth,” said Jeremy Oppenheim, Global Programme Director of the New Climate Economy project. “But inconsistent policy in many countries is now creating uncertainty, hurting investment and job creation. Businesses and investors need clearer market signals.”
Better Growth, Better Climate sets out a detailed 10-point Global Action Plan of practical recommendations that can achieve greater prosperity and a safer climate at the same time. These measures will all lead to net benefits to the economy, even before their climate benefits are considered.
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. This would require decisive and early action by economic decision-makers.
Over the next 6 months the Commission will discuss the report with economic decision-makers across the world. It aims to stimulate stronger action by governments and businesses to drive growth and emissions reductions together.
Commission Chair Felipe Calderon said: “The message to leaders is clear. We don’t have to choose between economic growth and a safe climate. We can have both. We can choose better growth and a better climate.”
For more information please contact Russell Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Firew Woldeyes (email@example.com).
See also the official website of the New Climate Economy.