Renewable Energy & Sustainability News

Global Commission releases report: Better Growth, Better Climate

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has issued a report titled “Better Growth, Better Climate: The New Climate Economy Report.” The report discusses revising economic policies over the next 15 years to better support renewable energy.

It’s no secret that the United States historically and unfortunately lags behind the rest of the modern world in embracing sustainable, renewable energy sources. (See how much of our energy use is actually renewable.) It’s no surprise, then, that representation from the United States was absence in the rollcall of countries who were part of the independent commission who created this report: Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the UK.

Former Mexican president Felipe Calderon headed up the group, making it clear that global leaders are well aware of the “serious risk” climate change poses and the misconceptions surrounding the fight to fix it.

Yes, it is possible to get economic growth and tackle climate change.”

The argument against urgent, drastic changes to decrease the impact of climate change is often an economic one. Calderon disagrees, saying, “There is a general perception that taking responsible actions in order to tackle climate change could reduce economic growth and the creation of jobs or other goals. Yes, it is possible to get economic growth and tackle climate change.”

Critics of the report point out the commission calls for a carbon tax and claim that moving away from fossil fuels will kill jobs.

Lord Nicholas Stern, co-chair of the report, said, “The decisions we make now will determine the future of our economy and our climate. 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.”

The points raised in the report and by the commission are valid, yet so are the financial concerns of countries and businesses with an investment in fossil fuels. However, when you take time to consider the effects of climate change and the resources available to us to address it, it seems irresponsible to avoid at least the discussion of alternative sources of energy that can, if not eliminate, then at least minimize the incredible carbon stress we place on the planet.

The report begins with the quote: “We live in a moment of great opportunity, and great risk.” Here at Renergy, we’re committed to focusing on the opportunities while mitigating the risks.

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Cari Oberfield