The Stern message: it’s not what gets said, but who says it. But will they listen?
2nd October, 2006
Stephen Hale, director of Green Alliance and former Special Advisor to Margaret Beckett, gives the Ecologist his thoughts on the Stern Review
'The launch of the Stern Review is a reason to be cheerful; the case for action has now been made in a 700 page “desk-breaker” by a man who speaks the language of those in power. It poses an ideological challenge to governments and the dominant view of markets and market failure. With the dis-honourable exception of Nigel Lawson, it will not be easily dismissed. But the vested interests that resist change will not melt away. Success, as ever, will depend on our ability to win the argument and to shift power and influence. Time is against us.
His conclusions bear analysis. He concludes that a failure to tackle climate change will have devastating effects on our economies and society, with unabated climate change reducing global GDP by perhaps 5% a year. He confirms that the costs of averting these impacts are far lower, but require decisive action now. He makes three broad policy recommendations: the introduction of a global carbon trading regime, technology policy and action to tackle other “market failures” - removing the barriers to energy efficiency and personal action.
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