Britain’s chief scientist, Sir David King, said the report indicated “that if we don’t take global action … we will be faced with the kind of downturn that has not been seen since the Great Depression and the two world wars”.
“If you look at sea level rises alone, and the impact that will have on global economies where cities are becoming inundated by flooding … this will cause the displacement of hundreds of millions of people,” he said.
“In my view, this is the biggest challenge our global political system has ever been faced with. We’ve never been faced with a decision where collective decision-making is required by all major countries … around risks to their populations that are well outside the time period of any electoral process.”
The International Energy Agency predicts that $US15 trillion ($20 trillion) of investment in new energy sources will be required during the next 15 years. The massive investment program that’s ahead of us is an opportunity for us to move towards a zero carbon energy system.
“The investment process is going to act quite possibly in the opposite direction to an economic downturn,” Sir David said.