The Stern Report, written by former World Bank economist and head of the UK Government Economics Service Sir Nicholas Stern, was released on 30 October 2006. The 576-page report summarizes the economic impacts of climate change and the economic consequences of inaction. According to the report, the cost of doing nothing right now means that the future cost of addressing climate change will be much higher, because it will take even more global effort to reduce the effects of global warming. The report used economic models to analyze the costs of global warming. If countries do nothing about climate change and continue along the current trajectory, the overall costs may reduce the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 5% each year. A broader estimate puts the losses at almost 20% of the GDP.

The report includes technical details such as warming trends, global projections of carbon dioxide levels, and the effects it will have on surface temperatures across the globe. The report summarizes political and consumer actions that can reduce the economic and environmental impacts of climate change. The report calls for global community response in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating incentives for low-carbon technology. British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the report, "demolished the last remaining argument for inaction," according to one news source. The Stern report was released as the European Union (EU) begins to unveil a new energy package that will focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency. The EU will release the complete energy plan in January 2007.

The United States released an official response addressing the Stern report. According to European news sources, White House spokesman Tony Snow stated that President Bush "has, in fact, contrary to stereotype, been actively engaged in trying to fight climate change and will continue to do so." According to James Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, "Hundreds of billions of dollars of investment are going into this very important issue, and trillions more will go into it in the coming decades."

 


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