12. Dec, 2020

A cost below 0.5% of GDP to reach 2030 targets

In 2008 the UK Climate Change Committee, which I then chaired, estimated that reducing Britain’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050 would cost 1-2 per cent of gross domestic product in that year. In its latest report, it reckons a 100 per cent cut will cost just 0.5 per cent of 2050’s GDP. Global cost estimates have also collapsed. In 2006, the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change foresaw a cost of 1 per cent of global GDP to reduce global fossil fuel-related emissions from 25 gigatonnes to 18 Gt by 2050, with zero emissions only achieved after 2075. A recent report from the Energy Transitions Commission suggests a cost below 1 per cent to achieve net-zero emissions globally by mid-century. This is a trivial sum to save the world from catastrophic climate change.