US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz recently explained how the costs of environmental sustainability have been consistently wrong. The subtext of his response is that managing climate change through clean energy and efficiency is both achievable and compatible with economic growth.
Secretary Moniz made the point in response to a question he fielded in a tele-town hall with 15,000 EDF members. Moniz addressed a range of topics including clean energy innovation, more efficient infrastructure, distributed energy, smarter grids, and climate pollution reductions.
There was one question that was of particular interest, “Is economic growth possible without environmental degradation?” For many, particularly those in the private sector, this question is the crux of the whole issue. Moniz responded by saying:
“There’s a history of lots of predictions of how expensive it’s going to be to move forward with economic growth while controlling environmental impacts, and historically, I think every time it’s proven to be incorrect.”
The cost of moving towards a low carbon economy is an effective scare tactic that resonates with many, however, as pointed out by Secretary Moniz, they have all proven to be wrong. A cost benefit analysis of acting on climate change reveals that the benefits of acting far outweigh the costs.
Acting on Climate Change: A Cost Benefit Analysis
The Cost of Climate Inaction/Action
Acting on Climate Change Makes Good Economic Sense According to Citibank
An LSE Cost Benefit Analysis of Acting on Climate Change
A Cost Oriented Approach to Climate Change for Conservatives
Risky Business Report Quantifies the Cost of Climate Change
The Cost of Ocean Acidification
Action on Climate Change a Cost Benefit Analysis
The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change
Climate Change: Frequency, Costs and Mortality (World Meteorological Organisation)
Graphics – Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change
Businesses Feel the Heat from Declining Labor Productivity
Economic Benefits of Combating Climate Change (IIED)
Economic Costs of Combating Climate Change (IPCC)
Reducing Fossil Fuel Use: The Longer We Wait the More it will Cost
Infographic – How Much Would it Cost to Go Green Globally?
Graphic – The Cost of Mitigating Climate Change
The Financial Costs of Biodiversity Loss
Extreme Weather and the Costs of Climate Change
The Costs of Global Warming
The Costs of Climate Change Related Flooding
Graphs – Global Cost of Flooding
The Costs of Flood Damage will Rise Along with Sea Levels
Balken Flooding and the Costs of Climate Change
Tornadoes and Floods Underscore the Costs of Global Warming
Floods in the Philippines Underscore the Deadly Toll from Climate Change
Hurricane Irene and the Staggering Costs of Climate Change