On 29 April representatives from the embassies of Norway, Sweden, the Republic of Korea and the British High Commission, presented the report “Better Growth, Better Climate – The New Climate Economy” to H.E. Mr. Anwar Hossain Manju, Minister, Ministry of Environment & Forests. The Minister thanked the representatives for presenting the report, which he was familiar with, and appreciated this opportunity to exchange views on climate change issues.
Bangladesh has already achieved a lot in preparing for climate change and natural disasters, and serves as a model for other countries in this regard. Bangladesh has very low greenhouse gas emissions, and according to this report the country can continue to have economic growth and poverty reduction without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The report shows that tackling climate change can generate better economic growth. A growing number of successful businesses, cities and countries are now demonstrating that it is possible to improve economic performance and lower climate risk at the same time. They are creating jobs, expanding profits and building dynamic cities. The report finds that there are now major opportunities in three key sectors of the global economy – cities, land use and energy. By improving efficiency, investing in infrastructure and stimulating innovation across these sectors and the wider economy, governments and businesses can deliver strong growth with lower emissions.
In the autumn of 2014 Heads of State and Ministers from seven countries (Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom) launched in New York “The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate” as an independent initiative to report to the international community on the new climate economy. On September 16th 2014, the report “Better Growth, Better Climate – The New Climate Economy” was presented.
Brief summary of the report
We live in a moment of great opportunity, and great risk. The opportunity is to harness the expanding capacities of human intelligence and technological progress to improve the lives of the majority of the world’s people. The next 10–15 years could be an era of great progress and growth. In this period we have the technological, financial and human resources to raise living standards across the world. But such a positive future is not guaranteed. Indeed, from the perspective of many economic decision-makers today, the outlook is troubling. Many emerging economies fear getting stuck in an outdated model of economic development. Meanwhile, most high-income countries are struggling with weak, unevenly distributed economic growth.
Then there are the unprecedented risks posed by climate change. If current emission trends continue unchecked, the resultant increase in average global temperature could exceed 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This would be more than double the 2°C rise that world leaders have set as a limit to avoid the most dangerous climate impacts. The risks associated with such warming are very large. They range from an increase in the frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, to severe pressures on water resources, reductions in agricultural yields in key food-producing regions, and losses of ecosystems and species.
Effective adaptation will be crucial to tackle the effects of warming already built into the climatic system, but it is not enough. Without stronger mitigation efforts in the next 15 years, which lead global emissions to peak and then begin to decline, the risk of exceeding 2°C of warming will greatly increase. The time to tackle climate risk is therefore now. Yet climate change is rarely the top priority for those whose decisions most affect it. Most policy-makers and business leaders face more immediate issues and risks. The challenges for economic decision-makers are profound. Can they overcome current economic problems and establish new models of growth? Can they, simultaneously, act to reduce climate risks?
The evidence presented in this report shows the answer to both questions is “yes”. The structural and technological changes unfolding in the global economy, combined with multiple opportunities to improve economic efficiency, now make it possible to achieve both better growth and better climate outcomes. The purpose of this report is to help economic decision-makers, in both the public and private sectors, make the most of this opportunity – and do so now.
Photo: The Royal Norwegian Embassy
Photo: The Royal Norwegian Embassy
Better Growth, Better Climate – The New Climate Economy