Tackling global warming would postpone prosperity only two years

By 2100 people around the world will be five times as rich as they are now. The US$1 trillion to US$8 trillion predicted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change would postpone this wealth by only two years, say two leading climate scientists.

The research by US climate scientist Stephen Schneider and Swedish energy economist Christian Azar is in stark contrast to the message put out by US President George W Bush and more recently Australian Prime Minister John Howard, reports the New Scientistmagazine. The two leaders claim that ratifying the Kyoto Protocol – the international treaty to cut greenhouse gas emissions – would damage their economies and would not be in their countries’ interests.

“The wild rhetoric about enslaving the poor and bankrupting the economy to do climate policy is fallacious, even if one accepts the conventional economic models,” said Schneider. Although the amount of money required to solve climate change appears to be huge, it is insignificant in comparison to projected economic growth, he says.

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