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THE UK SECTION: OUR ENVIRONMENT: THE STERN REVIEW

At-a-glance: The STERN REVIEW

The world has to act now on climate change or face devastating economic consequences, according to a report compiled by Sir Nicholas Stern for the UK government. Here are the key points of the review written by the former chief economist of the World Bank.

TEMPERATURE
Carbon emissions have already pushed up global temperatures by half a degree Celsius
If no action is taken on emissions, there is more than a 75% chance of global temperatures rising between two and three degrees Celsius over the next 50 years
There is a 50% chance that average global temperatures could rise by five degrees Celsius

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Melting glaciers will increase flood risk
Crop yields will decline, particularly in Africa
Rising sea levels could leave 200 million people permanently displaced
Up to 40% of species could face extinction
There will be more examples of extreme weather patterns

ECONOMIC IMPACT
Extreme weather could reduce global gross domestic product (GDP) by up to 1%
A two to three degrees Celsius rise in temperatures could reduce global economic output by 3%
If temperatures rise by five degrees Celsius, up to 10% of global output could be lost. The poorest countries would lose more than 10% of their output
In the worst case scenario global consumption per head would fall 20%
To stabilise at manageable levels, emissions would need to stabilise in the next 20 years and fall between 1% and 3% after that. This would cost 1% of GDP

OPTIONS FOR CHANGE
Reduce consumer demand for heavily polluting goods and services
Make global energy supply more efficient
Act on non-energy emissions - preventing further deforestation would go a long way towards alleviating this source of carbon emissions
Promote cleaner energy and transport technology, with non-fossil fuels accounting for 60% of energy output by 2050

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE
Create a global market for carbon pricing
Extend the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EETS) globally, bringing in countries such as the US, India and China
Set new target for EETS to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 and 60% by 2050
Pass a bill to enshrine carbon reduction targets and create a new independent body to monitor progress
Create a new commission to spearhead British company investment in green technology, with the aim of creating 100,000 new jobs
Former US vice-president Al Gore will advise the government on the issue
Work with the World Bank and other financial institutions to create a $20bn fund to help poor countries adjust to climate change challenges
Work with Brazil, Papua New Guinea and Costa Rica to promote sustainable forestry and prevent deforestation

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/business/6098362.stm
Published: 2006/10/30


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