Climate Legislation is Bad For Business?
Both in Canada and in the USA, we often hear (mostly from those of conservative leanings) that any kind of legislation to tackle climate change would be bad for business. It is, for example, the standard argument of the Conservative Party that a carbon tax would be “terrible for the Canadian economy”.
Unfortunately, such an opinion ignores the cost of inaction. According to a report released by DARA, climate change is already costing us 1.6% of global GDP or 1.2 trillion dollars per year with developing nations taking the brunt of those loses. By 2030, the cost will be up to 3.2% of global GDP. In addition, it is believed that 5 million people die each year from our global carbon economy. Of that number, 400,000 die of starvation and disease made worse by climate change, while the other 4.5 million are mostly victims of air pollution.
As part of the DARA report, former president of Costa Rica, José Maria Figueres said:
The prospect of economic losses that rise with every decade could destabilize the world economy far before the worst impacts of climate change set in. Governments and international policy makers must act decisively to combat the spiralling costs to national and global GDP resulting from inaction on climate change. The Monitor shows how failure to do so has already caused unprecedented damage to the world economy and threatens human life across the globe. With the investment required to solve climate change already far below the estimated costs of inaction, no doubt remains as to the path worth taking.
With all of this in mind, here is a very relevant cartoon from the Climate Progress blog.