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Ear to the Ground

Trillions Needed to ‘Green’ the Global Economy

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Posted on Jan 23, 2013
garryknight (CC BY-SA 2.0)

An alliance led by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon made a business case for the curbing of global warming to leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week, saying an unprecedented $14 trillion overhaul would be needed to ensure long-term growth that didn’t wreck the environment.

“Only a sustained and dramatic shift to infrastructure and industrial practices using low-carbon technology can save the world and its economy from devastating global warming,” The Independent reports the group warned, including “everything from power generation, transport, and buildings to industry, forestry, water and agriculture.”

The extra spending would amount to roughly $700 billion annually until 2030, providing a badly needed global economic stimulus as well as forestalling the worst effects of climate change, Calderon said.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Independent:

The alliance, which includes the World Bank, Deutsche Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, proposes that governments use public money to give guarantees, insurance and incentives to potential low-carbon investors at the same time as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies.

… In addition to the need for an extra $14trn of extra spending, a substantial part of the $5trn-a-year that has been earmarked worldwide for investment in traditional, fossil-fuel heavy infrastructure by 2020 will need to be diverted to greener alternatives “to avoid locking in less-efficient, emissions-intensive technologies for decades to come”.

The report acknowledges that an extra $700bn is a lot of extra cash to find each year, but says that the money could be raised with an increase in global public spending of a relatively small $36bn a year, if it was targeted effectively through the right measures to support private investment.

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