Lord Stern – protecting the environment leads to prosperity

Lord Stern
The Royal Society [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Lord Stern, one of the world’s most influential voices on climate economics, is highly critical of those that take a narrow view prosperity and ignore the devastating consequences of global warming.

“You have to be a complete idiot to think that GDP sums up prosperity,” says Stern, who believes we need to change the way we measure economic success and wealth.

Stern, who wrote the landmark 2006 Stern review of the economics of climate change, says if we fail to take heed of the danger signals, we risk temperatures rising this century to levels we haven’t seen for tens of millions of years.

“Hundreds of millions of people, perhaps billions of people would have to move,” he warns. “If we’ve learned anything from history that means severe and extended conflict.

You can’t make a peace treaty with the planet, you can’t negotiate with the laws of physics.

“We couldn’t just turn it off. You can’t make a peace treaty with the planet, you can’t negotiate with the laws of physics. You’re in there, you’re stuck. Those are the stakes we’re playing for and that’s why we have to make this second transformation, the climate transformation and move to low carbon economy.”

Stern has co-authored the recently published New Climate Economy report, which argues that the world can head off the worst effects of climate change, and enjoy the fruits of continued economic expansion, if it moves quickly to invest in a low-carbon economy.

He says he hopes the study will influence key decision makers because it was written with the support of a coalition of respected politicians, economists, think tanks and institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the International Energy Agency and the UN.

See the original article here: Lord Stern: global warming may create billions of climate refugees

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