Summary of The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change

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The Economic Case for Combating Climate Change summary
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In the 2016 Paris Agreement, nations around the world committed to capping the increase in the average global temperature to 2ºC [3.6ºF] by 2050. Experts debate whether countries, individually or cooperatively, can meet this aggressive target. In this incisive overview for policy makers and business leaders, Boston Consulting Group professionals report on their examination of carbon reduction strategies for the seven heaviest-polluting countries. They find that nations acting alone can achieve substantial progress on environmental goals, with significant economic rewards in tow, and the sooner they take action, the greater their gains.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What cuts to carbon emissions the 2016 Paris Agreement requires,
  • How the major polluting countries acting separately can achieve much of that reduction and
  • Why reaching the full 2050 target levels will be difficult without global collaboration.
 

About the Authors

Jens Burchardt et al. are professionals at the Boston Consulting Group.

 

Summary

The global leaders who forged the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change set ambitious targets for 2050. Each country committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by a specific percentage of its 1990s releases. The greatest burdens fall on the seven countries that, in combination, produce more than 60% of all carbon emissions. Based on current courses of action, forecasters project increases in emission levels by 2050 of 3% in Russia, 6% in China, 12% in Brazil and more than 100% in India. Levels for Germany, the United States and South Africa should decline by 45%, 11% and 10%, respectively, by then. Many experts believe that nations must proceed in concert to avoid the economic penalties of acting unilaterally. But extensive analyses of optimal emission-reduction scenarios indicate otherwise.  


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