Allianz & World Wildlife Federation Study Calls for Swift Climate Action and Protection

BERLIN, Nov. 3 (UPI) — Europe will profit from climate protection measures if they are implemented swiftly, a new study says.

The study, commissioned by Germany-based insurer Allianz and the World Wildlife Federation, looks at the economics behind climate protection.

Early action, the study concludes, is the only way to avert dangerous consequences from climate change at manageable costs. Distributing the costs of climate protection will not overburden any region of the world, but early action will result in advantages.

“The key to affordable climate protection is to create binding political conditions to take effect immediately for the coming decade,” Ottmar Edenhofer, chief economist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, a think tank that helped compile the study, said in a statement. “Climate protection is economically manageable and feasible. For Europe, getting an early start on comprehensive climate protection, even unilaterally, will pay for itself through significantly lower costs.”

Called RECIPE — Report on Energy and Climate Policy in Europe — the study adds that Europe will profit from a leadership role, “even if other countries continue to hesitate.”

Regine Guenther, a climate expert at WWF Germany, said the EU should play a leading role in pushing climate protection efforts.

“Research, development and industrial policy must be infused with clear priorities and resources focused on climate protection,” she said in a statement. “This includes a binding climate protection plan for the period until 2020 mandating ambitious emission reduction targets for Europe. We also need a long-term strategy based on these targets so that we don’t build up CO2-intensive capital stock and lead climate protection down a dead-end road.”

Joachim Faber, an Allianz board member, said that there is no market that needs and will see such drastic growth over the next 10 years as the market for climate protection.

He added that governments should now create reliable investment conditions.

“This includes not only reliable paths toward reduction targets but market-based economic elements such as the auctioning of all CO2 certificates, the establishment of global cap and trade systems, rapid implementation of the EU Directive to promote renewable energies that guarantees investors reliable feed-in tariffs, and stronger subsidies for research into low carbon technologies,” he said in a statement.

World leaders meet next month in Copenhagen, Denmark, for an U.N.-mandated climate conference that is widely seen as a watershed point for climate protection.

The accord to be born at Copenhagen — to feature binding emissions-reductions targets, adaptation measures and their funding — is due to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which runs out in 2012.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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