AIf the climate crisis gets worse,Many people are swinging from despair to denial. It was not common for people to deny climate change, downplay its severity, or say it is too early to be concerned about it. Now many people say it’s too late. We can’t stop the apocalypse from happening, and it is already upon us.
Despair is just as dangerous and perilous as denial. It is equally false. It is equally false. Humanity has immense resources at its disposal, and if we use them wisely, it is possible to prevent ecological cataclysm. But just how much? CostTo stop the apocalypse If humankind wanted the apocalypse to be stopped Climate change can be catastrophicHow big would a check we need to write?
Of course, no one knows the answer. My team and I have spent hours poring over academic papers and reports, living in a cloud full of numbers. Although the models behind these numbers are complex and dizzyingly detailed, the bottom line should be enough to cheer us up. According to International Energy AgencyTo achieve a net-zero emission economy, we would need to spend only 2% of our global GDP annually. This is less than what we do on our own. energy system. Recent polls of climate economists were conducted by Reuters. They agreed that reaching net zero would only cost 2% to 3%. Global GDP annually. Other estimates estimate that decarbonizing the economy will cost a bit. LowerOr a little higherThey are, however, all in the low single-digits of global GDP.
These numbers echo the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark assessment. 2018 report stated that in order to limit climate change to 1.5°C, annual investments in clean energy needed to increase to around 3% of global GDP. Humankind currently spends approximately 1% of global GDP annually on clean energy. We just need an additional 2% sliceYou can have it all!
The above calculations consider the cost of transforming transportation and energy sectors. These are the most important. However, there are many other sources of emissions, including land use, agriculture, forestry, or even mining. You may be familiar with the famous cow farts. The good news? Many of these emissions can be reduced with behavioral changes like Reduce your meat and dairy intakeYou should rely more on a plant-based diet. It doesn’t cost anything to eat more veggiesIt can help you (and the rain forest) Live longer.
Continue reading: Why We Must Revolutionize Food Systems To Save Our Planet
We can debate endlessly about numbers, tweaking the models in this way and another. We need to look at the bigger picture and not just the math. The important news is that the cost of preventing the apocalypse lies in the single digits of global GDP. It isn’t 50% of annual global gross domestic product, and it isn’t even 15%. It is much lower than 5% and could even be as low as investing 2% of global GDP in the correct places.
Also, note the word “investing”. We aren’t talking about burning piles of banknotes in some huge sacrifice to the spirits of the earth. It is about investing in new technologies, infrastructure, and batteries that can store and distribute solar energy. These investments will create many new jobs and economic opportunities and are likely to be economically lucrative in the future. long runPartly by reducing health care costs and saving millions from sickness air pollution. We can help the most vulnerable people from climate catastrophes, make our ancestors better, and create a more prosperous society.
This amazing piece of news was somehow left out of the heated debate about Climate Change. It is important to bring it into focus not only to give people hope but also because it can be translated into concrete plans of action. We have learned in recent years to define our goal in terms of one number: 1.5°C. The means to achieve this goal can be defined using another number: 2. Increase investment in ecofriendly technologies, infrastructure and infrastructure by 2 percentage point above 2020 levels
Of course, unlike the 1.5°C figure, which is a scientifically robust threshold, the 2% figure represents only a rough guesstimate. It is useful to understand the range of possible figures, which will help us frame the type of political project that humanity needs. It shows that preventing catastrophic climate changes is possible, even though it would be costly. Global GDP stands at $85 trillion USD. This means that 2% of the global GDP currently amounts to $1.7 trillion. It means that to save the environment, we don’t need to completely derail the economy or abandon the achievements of modern civilization. We just need to be clear about our priorities.
Signing a checkThis is far from the end of the story. It won’t solve all our ecological problems, such as oceans brimming with plastic or the continued loss of biodiversity. And even to prevent catastrophic climate change, we’ll need to make sure that the funds are invested in the right places and that the new investments don’t cause their own negative ecological or social fallout. We might lose as much if we destroy ecosystems in order to mine rare metals needed for the renewables sector. We will also have to change our thinking and behavior, from how we travel to what we eat. None of this will be easy. But that’s exactly why we have politicians—their job is to deal with the hard stuff.
Politicians are very skilled at moving 2% of their resources from one place or another. It’s what they do every day. The difference in policies between right-wing and left wing parties can often be as small as a percentage point of GDP. Political leaders quickly shift more resources to combat a crisis. In 1945, for example. The United States spent 36% of its GDP to win the war. Second World War.
During the 2008–09 financial crisis, the U.S. government spent about 3.5% of GDP to save financial institutions deemed “too big to fail.” Maybe humankind should also treat the Amazon rain forest as “too big to fail”? The current price of South American rain forest land and the size and importance of the Amazon rain forest would mean that buying the entire area to protect local forests and biodiversity from business interests would cost $800 billion. This is a one-time payment of less than 1% of the global GDP.
In the first nine months 2020, nearly 14% of the global GDP was spent on stimulus measures by governments around the globe to address the crisis. Pandemic COVID-19. Politians can also respond to the ecological crisis if citizens are persistent enough. So too can investment Bankspension funds. Pension funds contain approximately $56 trillion USD. What’s the point of having a pension if you don’t have a future?
Currently, neither are businessesNeither governments nor the private sector are willing or able to make the additional investment of 2% to prevent climate catastrophe. Where should the money go?
In 2020, $2 trillion USD was spent by governments on their infrastructure Militaria—that’s 2.4% of global GDP. An additional 2.4% of global gross domestic product is spent on food each year. Waste. Governments also spend about $500 billion annually on—wait for it—direct subsidies for fossil fuels! Which means that every 3½ years, governments write a nice fat check for an amount equivalent to 2% of annual global GDP, and gift it to the fossil-fuel industry. It gets worse. When you factor in the social and environmental costs that the fossil-fuel industry causes but isn’t asked to pay for, then the value of these subsidies actually reaches a staggering 7% of annual Global GDPEach year.
Consider this: tax evasion. The E.U. The E.U. estimates that the money hiding in tax havens by the wealthy is worth approximately 10% Global GDP. Corporate profits offshore amount to $1.4 trillion every year. This is equivalent to 1.6% of global GDP. To prevent the apocalypse, we’ll probably need to impose some new taxes. But, why not start by collecting the old taxes?
The money is available. Collecting taxes, cutting military budgets and stopping food wastage is difficult, especially when faced with some of the largest lobbies around the globe. But it doesn’t require a miracle. It takes determination and organization.
So we shouldn’t succumb to defeatism. Whenever someone says, “It’s too late! The apocalypse is upon us!,” reply, “Nah, we can stop it with just 2%.” And when COP27 convenes in November 2022 in Egypt, we should tell the assembled leaders that it is not enough to make vague future pledges about 1.5°C. We ask them to get out their pens and sign an agreement for 2% of the annual global GDP.
Harari is the author Sapiens, Homo deus and Sapiens: A Graphical History.This article has data sources. bit.ly/2-percent-more
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