Climate action won't break the bank, report says

Global efforts to tackle climate change won't break the bank, and devastate economic growth, according to a new report from international leaders.

The report from 24 former and current global government, economic, academia and business leaders, concludes that countries at all levels of income can "build lasting economic growth" and reduce "risks of climate change."


The leaders make the case that tacking global warming is possible due to technology changes and opportunities for more economic efficiency.

"The New Climate Economy report refutes the idea that we must choose between fighting climate change or growing the world’s economy. That is a false dilemma,” said former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

“Today’s report details compelling evidence on how technological change is driving new opportunities to improve growth, create jobs, boost company profits and spur economic development. The report sends a clear message to government and private sector leaders: we can improve the economy and tackle climate change at the same time," Calderon said.

The report comes one week before 125 heads of states are scheduled to meet in New York for the United Nations climate summit to discuss policy efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

In the next 15 years, the report estimates that $90 trillion will be invested in infrastructure in cities, agriculture and energy systems across the globe.

Out of such investments, the group expects $4 trillion will go to "low-carbon growth" targeting reductions in emissions over the next 15 years.

After factoring in the benefits of cleaner policies, such as lower fuel costs, less air pollution and fewer medical bills, the mitigation efforts will likely save more money than investing in new power plants, according to the findings from the report.

At an event on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said he expects next week's summit to "deliver" on recommendations highlighted in the report.

"The summit should help lay the framework for putting a price on carbon," Ki-Moon said. "It will seek to promote innovative climate instruments, make the case for moving policy and the summit will generate momentum for initiatives that will de-carbonize key sectors."

All eyes will be on the U.N. summit on Sept. 23, which is being touted as a "major turning point" for negotiations as leaders enter the final 15 months before the critical climate talks in Paris next year.