A Global Commission on the Economy and Climate report released Wednesday finds that bold climate action could deliver at least $26 trillion in economic benefits through to 2030, compared with a business-as-usual scenario.
According to the report, global-scale players are significantly underestimating the benefits of cleaner, climate-smart growth.
The report finds that over the last decade there have been tremendous technological and market developments driving the shift to a new climate economy.
"There are real benefits to be seen in terms of new jobs, economic savings, competitiveness and market opportunities, and improved wellbeing for people worldwide," the report indicated.
Although a wide range of cities, governments, businesses, investors and others around the world is driving this shift to a new climate economy, the report said it is not yet fast enough.
Commenting on the report, Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and co-chair of the Global Commission, said that "if we are to unlock the full benefits of this new low-carbon growth opportunity and avoid runaway climate change, economic and financial leaders in both government and the private sector need to do even more, and fast".
The report highlights opportunities in five key economic systems – energy, cities, food and land use, water, and industry.
The Global Commission calls on governments, businesses, and finance leaders to urgently prioritize actions on four fronts over the next 2-3 years.
- Ramp up efforts on carbon pricing and move to mandatory disclosure of climate-related financial risks
- Accelerate investment in sustainable infrastructure
- Harness the power of the private sector and unleash innovation
- Build a people-centered approach that shares gains equitably and ensure that the transition is just.
By Gulsen Cagatay