Myth exploded

Curbing global warming not such an expensive proposition

Published: Wednesday 31 July 2002

The war against the greenhouse effect may not be as costly as it is made out to be. Two leading climate scientists contend that if by 2100 people across the world will be five times as rich as they are now, tackling the burning issue of global warming would only postpone that prosperity by two years.

This startling revelation, made by US climate scientist Stephen Schneider and Swedish energy economist Christian Azar, is in stark contrast to US President George Bush's claims that international efforts to curb climate change would damage world economies. The message also contradicts Australian President John Howard's recent statement against the Kyoto Protocol, the treaty to rein in greenhouse gases.

According to Schneider, even if one accepts conventional economic models, wild rhetoric about the implementation of a climate policy leading to exploitation of the poor and causing economic bankruptcy is untrue. Although the amount of money required to solve climate change appears to be huge, it is insignificant in comparison to projected economic growth, he feels.

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