Tackling climate change 'can be achieved alongside economic growth'

Tackling climate change 'can be achieved alongside economic growth'

Tackling climate change 'can be achieved alongside economic growth'

A major new report has outlined how businesses can make efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and tackle global climate change in such a fashion that it bolsters their economic growth.

The paper, dubbed Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report, has been published by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC) - an organisation comprised of business leaders from all over the world.

Rapid technological innovation and new investment in infrastructure were singled out as being two of the major driving forces behind the possibility of uniting improved economic growth with reduced carbon emissions.

A total of 24 leaders active in government, business, finance and economics from 19 countries make up the GCEC - and the study was assembled with the support of leading research institutes from Brazil, China, Ethiopia, India, South Korea, the UK and the US. A panel of world-leading economists chaired by Lord Nicholas Stern advised on the subject.

The Better Growth, Better Climate paper was presented at a global launch event at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York. A wide range of business and finance leaders were present at the event, including UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon.

Over the course of the coming 15 years, an estimated $90 trillion (£55.64 trillion) is expected to be invested in infrastructure in cities, agriculture and energy systems all over the world.

Because of this, it has been suggested that enterprises are presented with a unique opportunity to drive investment in low-carbon growth. It was noted that this could also serve to bolster the creation of new jobs, as well as bringing in other benefits such as improvements to the general health of the population through enhanced business productivity, a lower volume of pollution being present in the atmosphere and a generally better quality of life.

One simple way companies could get a head start on such activity is by switching to environmentally-friendly professional cleaning services. Those offered by Aurora only use biodegradable and carbon free products, which will undoubtedly help to minimise the firm's impact on the environment.

GCEC chair and former president of Mexico Felipe Calderon said the new report from his group derides the idea that fighting climate change is inimical to nurturing growing economies, characterising that issue as a "false dilemma".

"Today's report details compelling evidence on how technological change is driving new opportunities to improve growth, create jobs, boost company profits and spur economic development," he commented, adding: "The report sends a clear message to government and private sector leaders - we can improve the economy and tackle climate change at the same time."

Lord Nicholas Stern, co-chair of the GCEC, underlined the importance of taking action on these issues as soon as possible.

"The decisions we make now will determine the future of our economy and our climate," he remarked.

"If we choose low-carbon investment we can generate strong, high-quality growth - not just in the future, but now. But if we continue down the high-carbon route, climate change will bring severe risks to long-term prosperity."


Posted by Julie Tucker

Image courtesy of Thinkstock/iStock