Global panel to make economic case on climate change

Sep 24, 2013
Mexican outgoing President Felipe Calderon waits for the arrival of his successor Enrique Pena Nieto during the inauguration ceremony at the Congress in Mexico City, on December 1, 2012.

Mexico's former president Felipe Calderon said that climate action can boost both developed and emerging countries as he led a new commission bringing together government and business leaders.

In an initiative being launched Tuesday on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly, Calderon will chair a report that aims to make the business case for addressing climate change.

Calderon said that serious questions about the science of climate change had already been settled, but that businesses and governments needed greater assurances on the impact of curbing blamed for the planet's rising temperatures.

"We will demonstrate that it is possible to have economic growth, business opportunities, and at the same time mitigate emissions and tackle climate change," Calderon said on a conference call.

Calderon said that the panel would make recommendations both for wealthy and developing countries, which traditionally argue that they cannot be expected to make the same type of cuts in emissions.

"It is possible to get the right that can foster economic growth without threatening the environment," said Calderon, who pushed through a law on fighting climate change during his 2006-2012 presidency.

Calderon said it was "absolutely clear" that the climate was changing and action was necessary, pointing to twin that recently killed some 100 people in Mexico.

The so-called New Climate Economy project set a goal of publishing an analysis in September 2014, a year ahead of talks in Paris that aim to finalize a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on cutting emissions.

The study's authors hope to complement the closely watched Fifth Assessment Report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a science-focused report that comes out on September 27 this year and is expected to conclude with near certainty that human activity is causing rising temperatures.

Members of the New Climate Economy project include British economist Nicholas Stern, the author of a major 2006 study on climate change, New Zealand's former prime minister Helen Clark, former Indonesian finance minister Mulyani Indrawati, Chilean ex-president Ricardo Lagos and Kris Gopalakrishnan, president of the Confederation of Indian Industry.

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