Ahead of UN Climate Summit, Environmental Report Sees Economic Opportunities

A week before heads of state meet at the United Nations to discuss climate change, a major report on Tuesday from global political, environmental, and industry leaders says it’s possible to grow the world economy while tackling global warming.

Global leaders “realize there is serious risk of climate change in the future,” former Mexican President Felipe Calderón, who chaired the group behind the report, told reporters Thursday. “However there is a general perception that taking responsible actions in order to tackle climate change could reduce economic growth and the creation of jobs or other goals.”

“Yes, it is possible to get economic growth and tackle climate change,” he said.

The key, the report said, will be revising national economic policies in the next 15 years, when the global economy is expected to grow by more than half.

The report is a project of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, an independent group commissioned by the governments of seven countries: Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The group comprised more than 100 economists, politicians, academics, and leaders from the business and nonprofit sectors.

Titled “Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report,” the report calls for adjusting policies so that the trillions of dollars that will be spent on infrastructure and development in coming years are shifted from high-carbon systems to low-carbon systems.

Read the full article from National Geographic.