The risks of inaction over climate change far outweigh the turmoil of the global financial crisis, a leading climate change expert said on Monday, while calling for new fiscal spending tailored to low carbon growth.
"The risk consequences of ignoring climate change will be very much bigger than the consequences of ignoring risks in the financial system," said Nicholas Stern, a former British Treasury economist, who released a seminal report in 2006 that said inaction on emissions blamed for global warming could cause economic pain equal to the Great Depression.
"That's a very important lesson, tackle risk early," Stern told a climate and carbon conference in Hong Kong.
As countries around the world move from deploying monetary and financial stabilization measures, to boosting fiscal spending to mend real economies, Stern said the opportunity was there to bring about a new, greener, carbon-reducing world order.
"The lesson that we ...