Nicholas Stern: “Low carbon economy is the only real choice”

He said that if we continued along the 'business as usual' path then by the end of the century we would be looking at climate change the 'could only be described as catastrophic' that would re-write the map of where people could live and cause extended, widespread conflict.

On the flip side, he argued that if we acted sensibly and made significant carbon now, we could be at the dawn of a golden age of innovation, energy security and sustainable growth that would eclipse earlier technological revolutions such as the Steam Age or development of communications technology.

“One way looks very damaging and the other way looks very attractive,” he said.

Lord Stern’s full briefing can be seen in the video below.

His colleagues went into more depth on specific themes, with Nicola Ranger of the Centre for Climate Change Economics and policy outlining the window of opportunity available for cutting greenhouse gases to avert catastrophe and the centre’s Alex Bowen looking at how much money effective intervention would take, and what the long-term implications to the economy might be.

Sam Bond

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