Long-Term Mitigation May Cost 0.1% of Average Global Annual GDP Growth – OECD

© OECD18 September 2009: A new book titled The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation: Policies and Options for Global Action Beyond 2012, launched by the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), concludes that a full-fledged global carbon market would cost just one-tenth of a percent of average world annual GDP growth between 2012 and 2050 to achieve moderately ambitious climate targets. Put differently, this would mean a 4% reduction in GDP in 2050 compared to a scenario where no policy action is taken. Over the same period, world GDP growth is projected to grow by more than 250%.

On developing country emissions, the study focuses on removing environmentally-harmful subsidies to energy consumption and production. Removing fossil fuel subsidies could reduce global GHG emissions by more than 10% in 2050 and would also improve economic efficiency. For instance, the budgetary savings could be used to reduce other distorting taxes or to alleviate poverty in a more targeted and efficient way than through a uniform subsidy to fuel consumption. In addition, emissions from deforestation in developing countries amount to about 17% of global GHG emissions. The study also suggests that reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation can be done at a relatively low cost and must be part of a comprehensive climate change agreement. [The study]