90 Miles From Tyranny : ‘Carbon cure cost more painful than the illness’, says Bjorn Lomborg

Sunday, April 20, 2014

‘Carbon cure cost more painful than the illness’, says Bjorn Lomborg

THE economic cost of tackling climate change with known technologies would be three times higher than taking no action, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s own reports, Danish
academic Bjorn Lomborg said yesterday.

Dr Lomborg’s analysis of the IPCC’s latest report on mitigation challenges the IPCC’s key argument in favour of early intervention.

The IPCC report said cutting CO2 emissions to limit global temperature rises to 2C would cost up to 4 per cent of GDP in 2030, 6 per cent of GDP in 2050 and 11 per cent in 2100.

The IPCC estimates were widely welcomed by climate scientists, media and green groups as evidence that the cost of carbon dioxide emissions mitigation would be minimal.

“We have a window of opportunity for the next decade, and maximum the next two decades, to act at moderate costs,” said Ottmar Edenhofer, co-chair of a Berlin meeting of the IPCC. “I’m not saying it’s costless. I’m not saying climate policy is a free lunch, but it’s a lunch worthwhile to buy.”

However, Dr Lomborg said the cost to global GDP of average temperatures rising by 2C had been estimated by the IPCC at 0.2 to 2.0 per cent.

“If we don’t do anything, the damages caused by climate change will cost less than 2 per cent of GDP in about 2070. Yet the cost of doing something will likely be higher than 6 per cent of GDP, according to the IPCC report,” he said.

Dr Lomborg said a full cost-benefit analysis of taking action using known technologies was justified. He said the situation was worsened by the fact that the IPCC estimates of the cost of mitigation assumed that “all countries of the world begin mitigation immediately, there is a single global carbon price, and all key technologies are available”.

“The assumption is that governments will do things well but they have a habit of doing things badly,’’ Dr Lomborg said.

“The exorbitant high costs of current actions reported by the IPCC are a best-case scenario.

“If we don’t make these incredibly optimistic assumptions, the costs will skyrocket.”

Dr Lomborg said the better option was to invest in developing new technologies.

However, the IPCC report argues that delaying action would increase costs.

“We cannot play a waiting game where we bet on future technological miracles to emerge and save the day,” UN climate chief, Christiana Figueres said in a statement.

Climate Institute chief executive John Connor said big carbon pollution reductions were possible by 2030 and if action was not taken now the costs of achieving these goals would increase significantly.

“Turning our coal, oil and gas based energy system to one based on clean energy sources like wind and solar, improving the energy efficiency of our buildings, industries and transport sector, stopping deforestation and developing carbon removal technologies are all essential ingredients to effective action,” Mr Connor said. However, Benny Peiser of British-based Global Warming Policy Foundation said the latest IPCC report would be largely ignored.



  1. We can round up and eliminate all these crybaby Climate Conspirators today, for almost nothing.

    The longer we wait, the more expensive it will become. By 2025, it will cost 12% of our GDP.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


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