Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Stern Takes Bleaker View on Warming

“We underestimated the risks . . . we underestimated the damage associated with temperature increases . . . and we underestimated the probabilities of temperature increases,” Lord Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank, told the Financial Times on Wednesday.

The Stern report on climate change underestimated the risks of global warming, according to its author, Lord Stern, and should have presented a gloomier view of the future. In retrospect, he said, he would have taken a much stronger view in the report on the drastic changes that would come about if greenhouse gas emissions were not abated. In the report, he estimated the costs of climate change at between 5 per cent and 20 per cent of global gross domestic product. But these costs would be much higher if the report had taken a more aggressive stance on the probable consequences of warming. Lord Stern said data published since his report came out, in October 2006, had led him to change his mind.

(FT 16.04.08)

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