Climate change, despite the skeptics, has a firm grip on the international agenda. However a report due out soon is to challenge the assumption that this is where international efforts should be focused. According to Friday’s Guardian:
The economic case for global action to stop the destruction of the natural world is even more powerful than the argument for tackling climate change, a major report for the United Nations will declare this summer.
The Stern report on climate change, which was prepared for the UK Treasury and published in 2007, famously claimed that the cost of limiting climate change would be around 1%-2% of annual global wealth, but the longer-term economic benefits would be 5-20 times that figure.
The UN’s biodiversity report dubbed the Stern for Nature is expected to say that the value of saving “natural goods and services”, such as pollination, medicines, fertile soils, clean air and water, will be even higher between 10 and 100 times the cost of saving the habitats and species which provide them…In future, it says, communities should be paid for conserving nature rather than using it; companies given stricter limits on what they can take from the environment and fined or taxed more to limit over-exploitation.
I can’t see how working to incorporate such a policy shift would sit alongside the reduce and slice approach of the government…