Study sets out “green recovery” steps

The global economic recession probably will cost tens of millions of jobs this year, but it also could increase the transition towards cleaner, more efficient energy and transport systems, Nature reported, citing a new report for Germany’s foreign ministry. Towards a Global Green Recovery sets out key measures that its authors say must be undertaken by G20 leaders meeting this week in London.


The document — delivered to leaders of the Group of 20 industrial and developing countries — was written by Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.

Improving energy efficiency and developing carbon capture and storage technologies are among the steps the G20 countries need to take to address the economic crisis and encourage low-carbon growth, the report said. It also includes the first analysis of how economic stimulus money is being spent by the G20.

The authors estimate that almost US$400 billion of the total US$2.6 trillion in economic stimulus packages presented to date have been designated for green measures, such as renewable power generation, improved electricity grids and cleaner cars. But green investment must outlast the current public-spending boom, Edenhofer said, noting: “Without the transition towards a low-carbon global energy system, the next economic crisis is pre-programmed.”

He and Stern – author of a landmark 2006 study for the British government on the economics of climate change — say China is set to spend about US$200 billion on green stimulus in 2009 and 2010, representing 4.8% of its 2008 gross domestic product. That compares with US$112.2 billion by the United States, representing 0.8% of its 2008 gross domestic product.


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