The Economic Case For Saving The Planet

Seven nations have launched an initiative aiming to highlighting the economic benefits of combatting global warming, as the prevention of world annihilation hasn’t thus far been a convincing argument. The project, called the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate (GCEC), is chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and counts amongst its ranks business leaders, economic experts, several heads of state, and at least one best-selling author (Daniel Kahneman of “Thinking Fast & Slow” fame).

Calderon unveiled the existence of the group, a collaborative effort between seven think tanks in seven different countries, at the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday.

"All this time, we have talked about emissions," Calderon said at the project’s launch. “"But this time, we will try to talk about profits. That could change the equation.”

Its flagship initiative is the New Climate Economy project, a year-long, $9 million study on five continents on the global economic costs and benefits of combatting climate change. After the commission carries out the study, its results will be reviewed by an advisory panel of economists, including Kahneman.

The timing is opportune: Earlier today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon invited world leaders a climate change summit that’s tentatively scheduled for September 2014, the same month the GCEC is set to release its findings.

“The world faces two great challenges: to fight poverty and to fight global warming,” said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who’s also on the commission. “We cannot choose between them.”