Fighting climate change may be cheaper and more beneficial than we think

CBC News
Gaomei Wetland in Taichun, Taiwan, 2019 CBC News | James ALexander Michie

People ride their bicycles in front of wind turbines that generate electricity in Gaomei Wetland in Taichung, Taiwan, in 2009. Switching to green energy can have valuable 'co-benefits' that governments may not calculate when making decisions on climate change action. (Nicky Loh/Reuters)

Climate change is defined as the variation in the state of the climate system, formed by the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the lithosphere and the biosphere, which lasts for sufficiently long periods of time until reaching a new equilibrium. It can affect both the meteorological values as well as their variability and extremes.

It should be noted that previously it was not given enough attention, let alone the idea of combating it. In fact, it is timely to mention a cartoon that went viral before the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009, a presentation of the conference lists some of the secondary benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, from cleaner air to green jobs, while a man in the audience asks: “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?”

Now, there is a stronger scientific consensus than ever that climate change is real, and there is increasing evidence that combating climate change has positive side effects or “co-benefits”.

More benefits than thought

It is considered that combating climate change can be cheaper and more beneficial than we think. This being the case, both environmental researchers and policy advisors now say that it is crucial to take them into account when making decisions about mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In this way, one could say that a co-benefit could be to reduce deaths from air pollution and boost technological innovation that can reduce the net costs of climate action to zero or even lead to a net economic benefit instead of a cost. At least this is what is understood according to the studies.

It should be noted that not taking them into account, that is, erroneously calculating the costs of climate change action, can lead to erroneous decisions and inactions that are more costly in the long term, says Canadian environmental economist Kirk Hamilton.

Likewise, air pollution can reduce GDP by more than 10 percent in some countries such as China, and a 2016 UN report found that cutting greenhouse gas emissions by half between 2005 and 2050 would reduce emissions. premature deaths related to air pollution by 20 to 40 percent.

Read more.

Source: Emily Chung | CBC News

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