A report by economist Sir Nicholas Stern suggests that global warming could shrink the global economy by 20% but taking action now would cost just 1% of global gross domestic product
A summary of the report can be found here
In brief from the executive summary " evidence gathered by the Review leads to a simple conclusion: the benefits of strong, early action considerably outweigh the costs. The evidence shows that ignoring climate change will eventually damage economic growth. Our actions over the coming few decades could create risks of major disruption to economic and social activity, later in this century and in the next, on a scale similar to those associated with the great wars and the economic depression of the first half of the 20th century. And it will be difficult or impossible to reverse these changes. Tackling climate change is the pro-growth strategy for the longer term, and it can be done in a way that does not cap the aspirations for growth of rich or poor countries. The earlier effective action is taken, the less costly it will be. At the same time, given that climate change is happening, measures to help people adapt to it are essential. And the less mitigation we do now, the greater the difficulty of continuing to adapt in future."
The message is clear - we need to get on and tackle these issues now.
The ink on this report can hardly have been dry and David Miliband announces that he is drawing up a green tax plan see here. Welcome to the party David - it is nice to see such a quick response from the Labour government to the Liberal Democrats Green Tax Switch campaign which ran from 21st - 29th October. For more details on this click here
Meanwhile Gordon Brown also seems to be a convert to the cause. What a coincidence with this becoming a very hot issue and a leadership election to contest at some point in the next nine months or so. I do welcome the news that the UK government has signed up former US vice-president Al Gore to advise on the environment see here. A great choice - I have already started reading An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore and on 16th November I will be going to the Corn Exchange in Newbury to see the film. Anyone who wants to go and see it should click here. All the reviews I have seen rate this a must see film and some have expressed the view that if Al Gore had exhibited half the amount of passion he shows for global warning when running for President he would have won the election.