Stimulating report

“Does the worldwide economic slowdown warrant letting up on measures to arrest climate change? We argue the contrary,” concludes the former chief economist of the World Bank, Nicholas Stern (aka Lord Stern of Brentford), and three leading economists in a new report.

Governments worldwide need to commit to spending at least $400 billion—and fast—on “green” measures within their fiscal stimulus packages, say the researchers. That $400 billion, which they say should be spent by mid-2010, represents about 4 percent of the global gross domestic product and should include spending on energy-efficient buildings and power sources and cleaner transportation.

They state their case in “An Outline of the Case for a ‘Green’ Stimulus,” released this month through the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change.

Stern said in a statement: “With billions about to be spent by governments on energy, buildings and transport, it is vital that these public investments do not lock us for many more decades into a costly and unsustainable high-carbon economy. The rich industrialized countries need to show leadership this year by committing to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 percent by 2050, compared with 1990, and their economic recovery plans need to be consistent with this target.”