MOSCOW, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Shifting to a low-carbon economy over the next 15 years could save worldwide financial and environmental costs, a report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate said on Tuesday.
"The next 15 years will be critical, as the global economy undergoes a deep structural transformation that will determine the future of the world"s climate system," the report states.
The commission launched Better Climate, Better Growth: The New Climate Economy Report on Tuesday which claims the next 15 years are crucial since the global economy is expected to grow by more than half and a billion more people are expected to inhabit cities. The report urges the $90 trillion expected to be spent in new infrastructure investment be shifted to low-carbon systems.
"The wealth of evidence presented by the report shows that there is now huge scope for action which can both enhance growth and reduce climate risk," the report says.
The report suggested a low-carbon focus costing an additional $270 billion a year offset by lower costs in other sectors such as fuel.
Global warming could reach over 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century if significant changes are not made involving renewable energy, energy efficiency, smart growth, and cleaner transportation.
The report also claimed that air pollution was to blame for health and deaths detrimental to economies such as in China which is estimated to have lost more than 10 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) as a result.
The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate co-chaired by former Mexican president Felipe Calderon was commissioned by seven countries – Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as an independent initiative to report the economic benefits and costs of acting on climate change.
The report precedes the UN climate summit in New York on September 23, a meeting between international leaders which UN chief Ban Ki-Moon hopes will build momentum for the conclusion of an international agreement at the 2015 climate summit in Paris.