Blair to UN: Climate deal will boost growth in all major economies & create millions of new jobs

20 September 2009

NEW YORK - A new report was presented to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today by former UK Prime Minister Rt Hon Tony Blair and international NGO The Climate Group as part of their joint Breaking the Climate Deadlock project.

The new report - "Cutting the Cost" (read the report} - shows how action to cut {CO2} emissions can increase both GDP and employment in all major economies, with global collaboration significantly cutting the cost of climate change mitigation.

The report aims to give new confidence to world leaders meeting together at the UN General Assembly meeting tomorrow and at the G20 in Pittsburgh later this week before important negotiations take place at the UN's Copenhagen climate summit in December.

The new report builds on previous economic analysis by Lord Stern and the IPPC but, for the first time, shows that benefits of jobs and GDP growth will accrue to all countries, with carbon costs falling dramatically when there is global participation.

The findings indicate that, under a global deal involving all countries, ambitious efforts to cut emissions can:

  • Create as many as 10 million new jobs in 2020;
  • Generate additional economic growth worth as much as the green stimulus packages recently adopted by major governments; and
  • Enable a more than 15-fold reduction in carbon price (from $65 per tonne of {CO2} to $4 per tonne of {CO2}).
  • It also shows that adopting low carbon technologies will accelerate sustainable development in developing countries.

Rt Hon Tony Blair, Founder of the Breaking the Climate Deadlock Initiative, says: "The enormous cost savings that can be achieved if countries act together are striking. Even ignoring the costs of climate change itself, the world can benefit economically from action to cut emissions. Forging and implementing a global deal will not be easy but world leaders can be confident that reaching a deal is both achievable and consistent with their measures to promote economic recovery. In fact, though of course an economic as well as political challenge, if crafted right, an ambitious global deal can create millions of new jobs and be a key part of this recovery."

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group, says: "A global climate deal with all countries on board will boost jobs and GDP growth in all major economies. Even a deal far more ambitious than any proposal currently tabled will drive net positive benefits for developed and developing countries alike. We also know that those countries first out of the starting blocks in the global low-carbon technology race will enjoy a competitive advantage. Countries whose leaders hold back low carbon development will lose out economically."

The economic costs of tackling climate change have long been a point of debate for academics, politicians and business leaders and have proved one of the major obstacles to more ambitious international action on climate change, explaining in large part the world's failure so far to put itself decisively on a low carbon development path.

Tony Blair presented the new report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the opening ceremony of ClimateWeek NYC ( attended by lead climate negotiators from the US, China and India (Minister Su Wei, China; Minister Jairam Ramesh, India; and Todd Stern, US).

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