The Global Deal
Climate Change and the Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity
Nicholas Stern, Public Affairs, 260 p. (2009)
In 2009, the same year as the original 'A Blueprint For A Safer Planet' was published, LSE Prof. Stern renews his well-known (2006) Stern Report in Global Deal. The Vice President of the World Bank (2000- 2003) again points out the increased risk for future generation due to climate change. He emphasizes the need for global collective action and the political will to do so, and provides numerous scientific findings.
Stern shows that poverty reduction and climate change are closely linked and that the necessary joint action must take into account differences in, for example, the stage of development of countries in order to achieve a common optimum. In addition to global analyses, he also provides interesting local examples of adaptation to the changing environment.
Nicholas Stern's warnings and outlook are very serious. If we do not achieve the avoidance of global warming by more than 2° and the necessary adaptations in time, he says, we can expect a 'radical transformation of the world' as we know it today. Hope can be given by new technologies and energy sources as well as the increasing awareness of ecological changes and the social and political activities, such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). With his book, he wants to give an outline of how the greatest risks, such as increasing droughts, storms and floods, and their consequences, e.g. migrations of billions of climate refugees, can be reduced and at the same time we make adaptations to the inevitable change. Stern reflects on what is economically necessary as well as ethically justifiable. He cautions that the significant questions in particular will only find an answer if the 'principles of decision-making are placed on an ethical footing.' In Stern's observation, too many economists still avoid the necessary inclusiveness and detail, especially when it comes to ethical components such as values, rights, and responsibilities.
Ecologically, the focus is on reducing greenhouse gases, which he sees as the biggest market failure in world history and an essential intergenerational ethics issue. A landmark climate strategy, he says, must bring together 'effectiveness in reducing emissions' as well as 'efficiency in keeping the cost' of the transformation low (an estimated 2% of 2009 global GDP per year) and 'equity' in recognizing differences.
Tripl3Leader recommends the book because it presents well-supported facts as well as solutions in a compelling way. Nicholas Stern devotes a portion of the book specifically to corporate and executive action, highlighting the responsibility to reduce CO2, the emerging risks, but also the opportunities in product development and cost savings.