Actually, There Is an Economic Consensus Around Climate Action
Of all the reasons to support climate action, one of the strongest may be self-interest. Preventing deaths and illnesses caused by carbon pollution makes sense. Protecting our businesses and homes from climate-related impacts makes sense. Safeguarding local jobs through clean-energy and infrastructure projects that can’t be outsourced makes sense. This is why, contrary to popular belief, most economists believe fighting climate change is the financially wise thing to do.
According to a recent survey, 98 percent of economists believe climate change will have a negative impact on the global economy – and 41 percent believe it’s already having a negative effect. The majority believe climate change is a serious threat requiring immediate action. And as this Vox article points out, they also believe most economic models are “systematically underestimating climate change — and thus giving policymakers bad advice.”
This may help explain why there is a pervasive misconception among elected leaders and the general public about the value of climate action. It’s important to help people understand both the scale of the risks from climate change, and the huge benefits (as well as cost savings) associated with solutions.
By David Roberts | Vox
It’s fairly well-established at this point that there’s a robust scientific consensus about the threat of climate change. But analysts and journalists often say (or imply) that there’s less of an economic consensus, that economists are leery of the actions recommended by scientists because of their cost.
Is it true? It turns out there have been very few systematic surveys of economists’ opinions on the subject, and the few that have been done suffer from methodological shortcomings.
Last year, the New York–based Institute for Policy Integrity tried to remedy that situation with just such a large-scale survey of economists who have published work on climate change.
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