An effective climate-centric economic model in the world could yield trillions of dollars, create tens of millions of jobs, and save many lives by 2030.

Saturday, Sept. 8, was an international day of action on climate, as protesters around the world responded to the “Rise for Climate” call and took to the streets to ask political leaders for a fossil fuelfree world.

Before that, and on numerous occasions, scientists, intellectuals, and artists have penned open letters to voice their concern over climate change and to call for immediate action.

Leaving aside the worldwide popular demand, and scientists alerts, and even the growing environmental pressures, which all don’t seem to motivate policymakers to take bold climate action, maybe their profit-making sense will urge them to give an inch.

Trillions of Clean Dollars and Millions of Low-Carbon Jobs

A new report estimates that a profound change in the global economic model will deliver substantial economic benefits that foster social inclusion.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC) is an international initiative gathering former political leaders and financial ministers, business chiefs, and economists to inform governments on economic growth in relation to climate action, through its New Climate Economy project.

The initiative has been releasing yearly reports since 2014, all centered around climate economy, and its latest one, titled “Unlocking the Inclusive Growth Story of the 21st Century”, was published on September 5.

The subtitle of the report reads: “Accelerating Climate Action In Urgent Times”, stressing, even more, the fact that time is ticking by so fast.

Per the report, the benefits of a new economic growth model with climate-resilience as the focal point are hugely underestimated.

Will the Lure of Lucre Make Decision-Makers Move?

A new climate-economy could yield on a global scale $26 trillion in twelve years (by 2030), and enable the creation of 65 million jobs while saving about 700,000 lives that otherwise would have perished due to atmospheric pollution.

Through the reform of fossil fuel subsidies and carbon pricing, states would also save an additional $2.8 trillion in annual revenue by 2030, which they can reinject into their economy.

On the social inclusion side of things, a climate-centric approach to the economy would increase the economic inclusion of women with better employment chances.

To reap these benefits, GCEC calls on governments and financial institutions to “accelerate the transition to a better, more inclusive, new climate economy in five key economic systems: energy, cities, food and land use, water, and industry”.

The report identifies four key areas that need to be tackled “over the next 2-3 years”:

  • Ramp up efforts on carbon pricing and move to mandatory disclosure of climate-related financial risks.
  • Accelerate investment in sustainable infrastructure.
  • Harness the power of the private sector and unleash innovation.
  • Build a people-centered approach that shares the gains equitably and ensures that the transition is just.

The report was presented to the UN Secretary-General on the same day of release, ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit, to take place in San Francisco, CA, between 12 and 14 September.

If neither the environmental crisis, nor science, nor popular pressure, nor economic seduction makes decision-makers act, what will?

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