Countries under-estimating climate-smart growth benefits: Global Commission

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New York, Sep 5 (IANS) A report released by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate on Wednesday found that the countries are significantly under-estimating the benefits of a cleaner, climate-smart growth.

Bold climate action could deliver at least $26 trillion in economic benefits through to 2030, compared with business-as-usual.

The report finds that over the last decade there has been tremendous technological and market progress driving the shift to a new climate economy.

There are real benefits to be seen in terms of new jobs, economic savings, competitiveness and market opportunities, and improved well-being for people worldwide.

Momentum is building behind this shift by a wide range of cities, governments, businesses, investors and others around the world, but it is not yet fast enough.

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“We are at a unique ‘use it or lose it’ moment,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Finance Minister of Nigeria and Co-Chair of the Global Commission, said in a statement.

“Policy makers should take their feet off the brakes, send a clear signal that the new growth story is here and that it comes with exciting economic and market opportunities. $26 trillion and a more sustainable planet are on offer, if we act decisively now.”

The report arrives just a week ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) in San Francisco.

“The momentum from businesses, states, cities, investors and citizens is now unstoppable, not least because those taking bold climate action are already seeing tangible benefits,” said Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever and Co-Chair of the Global Commission.

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“But if we are to unlock the full benefits of this new low carbon growth opportunity and avoid runaway climate change, economic and financial leaders in both government and the private sector need to do even more, and fast.”

The report highlights opportunities in five key economic systems — energy, cities, food and land use, water and industry.

It demonstrates that ambitious action across these systems could deliver net economic gains compared with business-as-usual and generate over 65 million new low-carbon jobs in 2030, equivalent to today’s entire workforce of Britain and Egypt combined.

“The purpose of this report is to demonstrate how to accelerate the shift to this new growth path,” Helen Mountford, Programme Director of the New Climate Economy and lead author of the report, said.

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“It lays out the benefits of doing so, the challenges ahead, and the clear accelerators or actions that can be taken to fully reap the rewards of stronger, cleaner, and more equitable growth.”

–IANS

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