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October 30, 2006

Stern Report: Chapter 4


A very important point:

These risks place an even greater premium on fostering growth and development to reduce the vulnerability of developing countries to climate change.

Rich people and places can deal with any coming changes better than the poor. So we must (counter-intuitive though it may seem) encourage the poor economies to grow.

Quick question: do we know of anything, something that can be done unilaterally, to aid poor countries in their growth? Why, yes, we do. Called trade. So as we can do this on our own, without any of the difficulties of international co-ordination, we should, no, must, for the sake of the planet, for Gaia herself, immediately strike down our own tariffs and quotas on imports.

That'll give Peter Mandelson something to discuss, won't it?

In Africa, for example, the 500km coast between Accra and the Niger delta will likely become a continuous urban megalopolis with more than 50 million people by 2020.17 It does not follow from this that policies to slow urbanisation are desirable. Urbanisation is closely linked to economic growth and it can provide opportunities for reducing poverty and decreasing vulnerability to climate change.

Quite so.


Given the strong correlation between growth and poverty reduction (see Box 4.3), a climate-driven reduction in GDP would increase the number of people below the $2 a day poverty line by 2100, and raise the child mortality rate compared with a world without climate change. This is illustrated below by modelling work undertaken for the Stern Review. This analysis assumes reductions in poverty and child mortality are driven primarily by GDP growth.84

But, but, we're predicting huge growth in GDP in those countries over the next century: that's what is giving us the CO2 numbers that imply the climate change that we're talking about!

Sorry, I find this chapter very confusing. Yes, agreed that only with wealth can the poor either cope with or adjust to whatever warming is already going to happen. But by then using the SRES models to show that mitigation will reduce poverty....the SRES models already assume that this century poverty will, to all intents and purposes, be eradicated: without mitigation.

Chapter 5 here.

October 30, 2006 in Climate Change | Permalink


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