World’s foremost economic experts working on initiative to deliver economic prosperity and a safe climate

Clare Saxon Ghauri
Reading time: 2 minutes
1 October 2013

NEW YORK: A major global initiative led by finance, business and government heads from 14 countries, including former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, was launched this week to identify pathways to deliver better economic growth and address climate risk

In the same week the IPCC released its AR5 report which reveals a 95% certainty climate change is caused by humans, and just before the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was launched, which aims to present new, independent evidence on the economic opportunities and costs of acting on climate change.

Overseen by an eminent group of former heads of government and finance ministers and leaders in the fields of economics, business and finance, and backed by seven research institutes on six continents, the New Climate Economy project will report on September 2014--one year before negotiations for a new international climate agreement in Paris in 2015--with recommendations on the policies that will simultaneously deliver better economic growth and address climate risks.

Chaired by former President of Mexico Calderón, the project aims to inform the global debate about economic policy, and to influence government policy choices and business investment decisions in the run up to the 2015 climate negotiations.

“Climate impacts are rising and the evidence of warming is increasingly clear, but most economic analysis still does not properly factor in the increasing risks of climate change or the potential benefits of acting on it,” said Commission Chair and former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón. “We need urgently to identify how we can achieve economic growth and job creation while also reducing emissions and tackling climate change.”

The initiative has been commissioned by six countries, Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Korea, Norway and Sweden, plus the UK as an independent initiative. The research institutes in the partnership are the Climate Policy Initiative, Ethiopian Development Research Institute, Global Green Growth Institute, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, Stockholm Environment Institute, Tsinghua University and the World Resources Institute.

An Advisory Panel of world-leading economists, chaired by Nicholas Stern and including Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, will carry out an expert review of the work.

“At a time when governments throughout the world are struggling to boost growth, increase access to energy, and improve food security, it is essential that the full costs and benefits of climate policies are more clearly understood,” said Lord Nicholas Stern, Vice-Chair of the Commission and author of the 2006 Stern Review. “It cannot be a case of either achieving growth or tackling global warming. It must be both.”

The project will engage directly with key decision makers in finance ministries and with major businesses and investors, and work with leading economic organizations, such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It will also invite contributions from a wide variety of academic, business and other institutions. 

The Commission will then take its findings and recommendations directly to heads of government, finance and economic ministers, business leaders, investors and city mayors throughout the world. 

Read more about the global commission

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