Message 3) Long-term strategy Rapid, sustained, and effective mitigation based on coordinated global and regional action is required to avoid “dangerous climate change” regardless of how it is defined. Weaker targets for 2020 increase the risk of crossing tipping points and make the task of meeting 2050 targets more difficult. Delay in initiating effective mitigation actions increases significantly the long-term social and economic costs of both adaptation and mitigation.

The point is that business and government need to accelerate the massive reductions in carbon emissions, regardless of perceived impact on the bottom line today. Sir Nicolas Stern made it quite clear, in 2006, that global warming will shrink the economy 20% (at a minimum), but if we invest 1% of global GDP now we can dramatically reduce this over time. Mitigating climate change through business innovation needs to be a core business objective: the long term view. And it’s starting to happen, with companies like Gap, E-bay Symantec, Nike, Timberland, Sun Microsystems, Starbucks Coffee Company and Levis Strauss founding or joining The Business Coalition for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy. The goal is to bring business and congress together to pass ‘meaningful’ energy and climate change legislation.

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