An interview of Lord Nicholas Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at London School of Economics (UK), and head of the India Observatory and Chairman of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, recorded during the International Conference "An innovative society for the XXI century" held at Paris on July 12 & 13.
To reduce emissions, we do need radical changes in how to consume and to produce. From Nicholas Stern's point of view, this process is an attractive process: it's a process of innovation, discovery, investment, growth which is cleaner, safer and more energy secure. "We will find it is a very attractive route and the only growth story on offer".
Some people argue that we have to stop growth, but for Nicholas Stern this is a mistake, as we are already emiting far too much. The fundamental point he underlines is to break the link between economic activity, production, consumption and emissions. And it would be much too late if any political decision to make these radical changes is made by the next 2,3 or 4 decades.
We have to show so far that this alternative route is a very attractive one. In particular, we have to argue that for the markets of developing countries, this transition to the low carbon economy ca be part of the fight against poverty.
Nicholas Stern concludes this interview saying "Ethic demands we marry the low carbon economy with growth, the analytics show that we can do it, and without marrying the transition to the low carbon economy and growth poverty reduction, we will never get the political will to afford it".
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