Joseph Curtin: Why we must be global leader in climate-change challenge
THE latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which is the collective endeavour of hundreds of scientists, confirmed what we already knew: the world faces a serious and urgent challenge to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
One new message came through: it is not the economics that prevents us from acting. The IPPC found that the additional cost of making the necessary investments would shave only a tiny fraction off annual global economic growth. This is based on the assumption that investing in low-carbon technologies is slightly more expensive in some cases over the lifetime of the investment, at least for now.
This small cost, however, needs to be considered against the considerable benefits of action, including enhanced energy security, improving air quality, or boosting efficiency, competitiveness and innovation, all of which can arise from meeting climate targets.