The Surprisingly Cheap Path to Halting Climate Change

James West reports on the findings of a new report from the United Kingdom's leading climate change watchdog that confirms stopping climate change is much cheaper than you might think.
April 8, 2012, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The report, "Statutory Advice on Inclusion of International Aviation and Shipping," produced by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), concludes that reaching the United Kingdom's emissions reduction target of 80 percent on 1990 levels by 2050 will only cost 1 to 2 percent of total GDP.

The economic destruction argument has been used often in the United States to prevent significant government action on climate change. Among the examples referenced by West is the refusal of President Bush "to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, calling it a job killer that placed unfair economic burdens on the United States while letting poorer countries off the hook."

However, according David Kennedy, CEO of the CCC, an independent statutory body charged with advising parliament on all things climate, "You don't need radical behavior and lifestyle change to achieve our climate objectives. It's a very, very small impact on growth. And what you get for that is a whole range of economic benefits."

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Published on Thursday, April 5, 2012 in Mother Jones
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