Fixing the climate-change problem is still affordable

But the longer we wait, the more expensive it gets.

Severe adverse effects from climate change can be avoided at a reasonable cost but only if politicians stop talking and start acting, a major report from PricewaterhouseCoopers said today.

Updating a study it first did two years ago, the accountancy firm said that inaction on reducing carbon emissions in the interim means the necessity for action has become even more urgent than before. It called on leaders of the Group of Eight leading economies, particularly the United States – the world’s largest per capita polluter – to commit themselves to firm timetables for emissions reductions at next week’s summit in Tokyo.

It estimated the cost of a 50% reduction in global carbon emissions by 2050 at around 3% of global economic growth, at the top of the 2%-3% range it estimated in 2006. This is slightly higher than the upwardly revised figure of 2% estimated by Lord Stern recently but PwC stresses that its forecasts are broadly in line with Stern and both are affordable.

Meanwhile, progress continues at the usual rate.

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