The Cost of Climate Change

I have found a video clip on www.weather.com/onedegree on the question whether sustainable development is impeding economic growth. In this video the British Prime Minister Tony Blair is presenting a British report on climate change for the Stern Review on 30th, October. He is stating that the global warming caused by green house gas emissions exists and that it will destroy the world’s economy. In fact, global warming will cost the world 5% to 20% of the Global GDP per year. Cutting the emissions will only cost about 1% of the Global GDP which shows that sustainable development is actually helping the economy to grow.
Blair puts forward that it is important to start taking actions now because in 10 to 15 years one may have already lost the chance to control the temperature raises. In order to achieve cutting carbon emissions, Blair favours taxation, regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon trading. Britain is already considering green taxes on cheap airline flights, fuel and high emission vehicles.
Blair knows that the fight for sustainable development and against the climate change is an international challenge which needs international measures.
Tony Blair has basically summed up the majority of what we have learned in class up to now. He is certain of a climate change caused by the industrialized world; he gives evidence that measures for sustainable development do not impede economic growth and that the climate changes is a global problem which demands an international solution. Nevertheless, Tony Blair prefers the way of governmental regulations to reach sustainable development instead of incentives for companies, which may not be the best way to reach the goals.

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Posted in climate change, economic development
3 comments on “The Cost of Climate Change
  1. adrian says:

    In 2003, the City of London introduced the London Congestion Charge – a fee for motorists entering the Central London area. The fee’s purpose was to enforce people to use public transport or more environmental friendly vehicles in order to reduce traffic jams and the aligned pollution. In the first 6 months after the introduction of the fee, circulation in the centre of London decreased by 15 % whereby 50%-60% of these not undertaken journeys were shifted to public transportation.
    Already in 1986, the Greater London Council introduced the London Lorry Ban that decrees a ban on driving for heavy goods vehicles (HGV) between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. and at weekends.
    By the way, the first city toll system was introduced in Singapore in 1975.

  2. jeremy says:

    There are many things wrong with Singapore because of the dominance of an authoritarian one-party state. However, I believe it has the best policy in the world on transport. There are restrictions on ownership of private vehicles (with fees attached to driving in certain places at certain times) and the public transport system (buses, light rail, taxis) is first class. Very cheap and plentiful in supply.

  3. Sven1 says:

    In May 2002, the regional parliament of Mallorca and the Balearic Islands introduced an environmental tax on flights and accommodations. Tourists had to pay in average 1 Euro per person per day which is an enormous amount of money in terms of 11 million visitors each year. The tax was to spent on a special environmental and social programme. But this tax also provoked a storm of protest among the hotel keepers and was used by the parliamentary opposition for their election campaign. Finally, they won the elections and abolished the “ecotasa” in October 2004.
    This is another sad example how “short term thinking” can endanger the environmental and economic future of a region. It also had a negative domino effect on other touristy regions which observed the development and success of this undertaking.
    But recently Spain’s government was rethinking the issue and considers raising a nationwide ecotax.

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