What does our energy use look like for now? How much energy does a Kenyan use compared to an Australian? How much does it take to produce goods and services in China compared to India? How much pollution is all this causing?
Climate change has stirred controversy since scientists first started debating it. Cop15 seems to signal a new consensus – or at least the beginnings of one. But many big questions remain : How will climate change actually affect people’s daily lives? What’s the best way to attack the problem ? Who should pay the bill?
Agreeing that climate change is a world problem requiring world cooperation is only the first step, and many of us watching the summit wonder what real solutions will emerge.
As political leaders settle in to negotiate an agreement, we should be aware of a basic economic fact: the costs of tackling climate change are moderate provided that we start lowering emissions now. OECD calculations show that the longer we wait, the more expensive the bill.