Former WB economist Lord Stern outlines plan to break deadlock on climate change news
22 September 2009

Former World Bank economist, Lord Stern, has outlined his plan to break the deadlock over climate change talks ahead of a key UN summit in Copenhagen in an article in The Telegraph.

Stern is the author of a 2006 report on the economics of climate change.(See: Environmental damage will shrink global economy by 20 per cent: UK study)

In his latest outline plan, Stern says that in the short time before Copenhagen, governments must come together to agree on a global climate change deal which should lay down the foundations for a future era of dynamic, low-carbon growth that will cut emissions and sustain growth in developing countries to reduce poverty.

He adds that governments must first recognise what was needed to be done in terms of global emissions to have a reasonable chance of avoiding an increase in the global average temperature that exceeds 2 degrees Celsius, which is equivalent to reducing annual worldwide emissions from the present level of 50 gigatonnes of carbon-dioxide to no more than 20 gigatonnes by 2050.

He says that while there are a number of ways of reaching those figures, however all of them would require 35 gigatonnes of carbon-dioxide-equivalent by mid-point 2030. He says that the planned national targets should be consistent with the constraints of these global emissions totals and not percentages relative to earlier levels.

Also it is necessary that national targets add up to be equitable which means that rich nations such as the US, EU nations and Japan need to achieve emissions reductions of at least 80 per cent by 2050 compared with 1990, he says. Additionally, developing countries including China and India also need to limit and reduce their emissions but in ways that allow them to continue to enjoy economic growth for the alleviation of poverty.

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Former WB economist Lord Stern outlines plan to break deadlock on climate change