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01/27/2009 12:13 PM     print story email story  

Only 1% of Global GDP Needed to Fight Climate Change - Report News

The cost of rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade to slow the progress of global warming could be less than 1% of world domestic product by 2030, according to a new report.

"Pathways to a Low Carbon Economy," a detailed report by McKinsey & Co, lists more than 200 opportunities, spread across ten sectors and twenty-one geographical regions, that have the potential to cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 35% below 1990 levels by 2030, a reduction of 70% from the business as usual scenario.

The study was supported by ten sponsors, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and energy, automotive and technology companies.

"This report provides further evidence that we can grow our economy and cut greenhouse gas emissions at the same time," said Dr. Richard Moss, WWF vice president for climate change. "If the policies were in place to force the broader deployment of the technologies highlighted in this report, thousands of new green jobs would be created across the country. And these new job-generating technologies would put us on a path for dramatically reducing emissions and keeping global average temperatures from rising above the dangerous threshold of 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit."

The report is a refined version of a previously-released Greenhouse Gas Emissions Abatement Cost Curve that compares the relative costs of using different technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Many of the technologies highlighted in the report have negative cost--that is the savings they would generate would more than offset the cost of implementation, thereby providing savings to consumers.

McKinsey concludes that the total cost of implementing all of the measures contained in the report would be less than 1% of global gross domestic product. The cost is estimated at US$256 billion to $448 billion annually by 2030 when they calculate total world GDP to hit $77 trillion.

The report does not include the economic costs that would result from escalating climate change impacts if emissions are not reduced.

"This makes acting to use these technologies even more of a no-brainer," said Moss. "If we fail to act, climate change will alter water resources, agriculture, and ecosystems, resulting in impacts on the economy and human health that could run to the billions of dollars annually in the United States alone. By reducing emissions, we will avoid some of the worst damages and leave the world's natural heritage intact for future generations."

The report is available at the link below.


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