New Report: Spending $1.8 Trillion To Combat Climate Change Now Could Lead To $7 Trillion In Savings

A new report from 34 leaders in politics, scientists, and business suggests that if countries across the globe — both rich and poor — will pledge to fight the growing climate change crisis, the savings could be in excess of $7 trillion dollars for an initial investment of under $2 trillion, according to the BBC:

“The commission, led by former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, argues that it is an urgent moral obligation of richer countries to invest in adaptation measures that will benefit the world.”

The authors of the report warned:

“Global actions to slow climate change are promising but insufficient. We must invest in a massive effort to adapt to conditions that are now inevitable.”

Specifically recommended are five key areas that need to be addressed with the goal of producing a three-pronged benefit: “Escaping future losses, generating economic gains through innovation, and delivering social and environmental benefits.”

The five areas highlighted in the analysis are:

  • Warning systems: “For the vulnerable island and coastal communities, in particular, early warnings about storms, very high tides and other extreme weather can save lives. Better weather monitoring and a simple app for fishing communities in the Cook Islands, for example, allows them to plan according to the sea conditions.”
  • Infrastructure: “Building better roads, buildings and bridges to suit the changing climate. One project in New York City has set out to paint rooftops white – a heat-reflecting strategy to cool buildings and neighborhoods.”
  • Improving dry-land agriculture: “Something as simple as helping farmers to switch to more drought-resistant varieties of coffee crop could protect livelihoods and prevent hunger.”
  • Restoring and protecting mangroves: “Underwater mangrove forests protect about 18 million people from coastal flooding, but they’re being wiped out by development. Restoration projects could protect vulnerable communities from storms and boost fisheries’ productivity.”
  • Water: “Protecting water supplies – and making sure that water’s not being wasted – will be vital in a changing climate.”

When the report was issued, former UN chief Ban Ki-moon remarked:

“We are the last generation that can change the course of climate change, and we are the first generation that then has to live with the consequences. Delay and pay, or plan and prosper.”

However, the study leaders said they remain fearful that the political will needed to implement such measures may not exist:

“The report found that the money is there for investment, what is not is ‘political leadership that shakes people out of their collective slumber.’

“In the foreword to the paper, Ban, Gates and Georgieva wrote, ‘The climate crisis is here, now: massive wildfires ravage fragile habitats, city taps run dry, droughts scorch the land and massive floods destroy people’s homes and livelihoods. So far the response has been gravely insufficient.'”

Ban Ki-moon also commented that election cycles tend to lead to short-term thinking in an effort to reassure voters that no changes are necessary to solve problems such as climate change:

“I am really concerned about the lack of vision of political leaders. They are much more interested in getting elected and re-elected, and climate issues are not in their priorities. We are seeing this in the US with President Trump.”

Featured Image Via Pixabay

 

 

 

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Andrew Bradford
 

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