International panel calls cost to fight climate change 'modest' but urges quick action
BERLIN — The cost of keeping global warming in check is “relatively modest,” but only if the world acts quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere, the head of the U.N.'s expert panel on climate change said on Sunday.
Such gases, mainly CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, rose on average by 2.2 percent a year in 2000-2010, driven by the use of coal in the power sector, officials said as they introduced the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change's report on measures to fight global warming.
Without additional measures to contain emissions, global temperatures will rise about 5 degrees to 7 degrees by 2100 compared to current levels, the panel said.
“The longer we delay, the higher would be the cost,” IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri said after the panel's weeklong session in Berlin. “But despite that, the point I'm making is that even now, the cost is not something that's going to bring about a major disruption of economic systems. It's well within our reach.”
The IPCC, an international body assessing climate science, projected that shifting the energy system from fossil fuels to zero- or low-carbon sources, including wind and solar power, would reduce consumption growth by about 0.06 percentage points per year, adding that that didn't take into account the economic benefits of reduced climate change. “The loss in consumption is relatively modest,” Pachauri said.
Secretary of State John Kerry called it a global economic opportunity.
“So many of the technologies that will help us fight climate change are far cheaper, more readily available and better performing than they were when the last IPCC assessment was released less than a decade ago,” Kerry said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Afghan forces may resume night raids
- Islamic State got up to $45M in ransom payments
- Teen girls’ suicide bombs rip into Nigerian village marketplace
- Abduction in Mexico to spur police, judicial system changes
- Brits blame web services in soldier’s death
- ‘Hunger Games’ salute leads to arrests
- Israel OKs Jewish homeland legislation
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu agrees to delay ‘nationality’ bill
- Interpol seeks environmental crime suspects
- China reportedly assembling island big enough for airstrip
- Islamic State drive for Kobani blunted