Grantham Institute: Climate Policy Critics ‘Like Those Who Denied HIV’
Politicians who dismiss the need for urgent action on climate change are like the South African leaders who contributed to thousands of unnecessary deaths by claiming that HIV did not cause Aids, a scientist has claimed.
Professor Nilay Shah, of Imperial College London, said that politicians such as Tony Abbott, the Prime Minister of Australia who has raised doubts about the science behind climate change, would be judged as harshly by future generations as those who questioned the medical evidence on Aids.
He made the remarks when launching a report saying that the world needed to spend $2 trillion a year by 2050, or one per cent of GDP, to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels.
Professor Shah, lead author of the report by Imperial College’s Grantham Institute for Climate Change, said: “There’s an interesting parallel with South Africa in the 90s where political capital was being out of HIV denial.Those people must now regret what they did. I suspect that some of the politicians [now arguing against rapid cuts in emissions] will still be around in the mid-2030s and will reflect that they didn’t do enough on climate change.” [...]
His study concluded that the “transition is affordable” to a low-carbon world in which global emissions would fall by 2050 to half that of 2008.
The study said: “This cost, though potentially $2 trillion per annum by 2050, is a relatively small share of projected 2050 GDP.” [...]
Dr Benny Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which argues that the threat from climate change has been overstated, dismissed the Imperial College study.
He said: “Most experts agree that the benefits of moderate warming of up to 2C this century would outweigh the damage. In the meantime, there has been no rise in global temperatures since 1997 and nobody knows if and when it will recommence.
“It is premature to gamble trillions on a speculative alarm that may turn out to be the biggest mis-investment in modern history.”