Choosing Climate Resilient Development

09-15-09 Climate Resilient Development Cover The recent report Shaping Climate-Resilient Development by the Economics of Climate Adaptation Working Group had some interesting findings. While poor adaptation to current climate changes already destroys between 1 and 12 percent of GDP annually, if countries make the right investments now they can both offset costs and provide other economic benefits.

For example, in the United States a $150 billion clean energy investment would lead to the creation of 1.7 million jobs. Also, a brief from the New York University Law School’s Institute for Policy Integrity suggests that the energy plan of action recently passed by the House of Representatives would offer economic benefits at twice the level invested.

In the Climate-Resilient Development Report Lord Nicholas Stern says that the window of investment opportunity “…will not stay open for long if we fail to take action on the other half of the climate change puzzle – mitigation of carbon emissions – with fierce urgency. If we fail to restrain and reduce emissions sufficiently, quickly and radically, climate change beyond 2030 – for example in the firm of irreversible sea level rise or desertification – could be so disruptive that we will face major losses that cannot be averted.”

Isn’t it interesting that Swiss Re, one of world’s leading reinsurers and a lead contributor to the Shaping Climate-Resilient Development Report, believes that investments to reduce climate pollution and implement climate-resilient development make good business sense?

Published: September 15, 2009