Pay now to avoid catastrophic climate change costs later, UK tells polluting nations

The future costs of uncontrolled climate change would far outstrip investments needed now to avert it, Britain told a meeting of the world's top polluters in Mexico this week.

The expected costs of climate change are 'rising as we wait'

The expected costs of climate change are 'rising as we wait'

In the Treasury-commissioned Review of the Economics of Climate Change due to published shortly former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicolas Stern will show that acting now makes economic sense - in sharp contrast to the US position - it was revealed at the Mexico meeting.

Nicolas Stern presented the results of his review at a closed meeting of ministers from the US, Britain and the other G8 nations as well as developing countries including China, India and Brazil, gathered for climate talks in Mexico this week.

Summarising his remarks, Britain's environment secretary David Milliband said: "He shows that the longer action is delayed, the more expensive it is.

"What he says is that ... it is imperative we take action to prevent further climate change because the economic costs -- never mind the human costs and the costs to the environment -- will far outweigh the costs of mitigation."

Summarised Stern's review, the UK Treasury said in a statement: "Action is urgent - the earlier we start, the greater the chance we will have of limiting the risks of dangerous climate change. The costs of action are manageable if policies are well designed."

The talks in Monterrey, north Mexico, are the latest in a climate change dialogue started at the G8 summit in Gleneagles last year as an alternative to the Kyoto process, which the US has refused to sign arguing that the costs for the US economy would be too high.

The talks in Monterrey, north Mexico, are the latest in a climate change dialogue started at the G8 summit in Gleneagles last year as an alternative to the Kyoto process, which the US has refused to sign arguing that the costs for the US economy would be too high.

China, which leads the group of developing countries in the talks, is fast catching up with the biggest polluters as its energy-hungry economy grows at breakneck speed.

More details on the Stern review can be found at the Treasury website.

More on the Gleneagles Dialogue on climate change, clean energy and sustainable development can be found on the website of the International Energy Agency, a partner in the dialogue, at .

Goska Romanowicz


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