Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stern calls for “industrial revolution” to tackle climate change

Nicholas Stern

Lord Nicholas Stern delivered a public lecture at the School on “The Low-Carbon Industrial Revolution” last Thursday, 17th March, as part of the events series, LSE Works. 

Lord Stern is chair of the School’s Grantham Research Institute of Climate Change and the Environment, and author of the Stern Review on Climate Change. He opened the lecture by outlining the magnitude of climate change, which he cited as one of the defining problems facing our generation.

“This isn’t a small probability of something uncomfortable, it’s a high probability of something catastrophic”, Stern said, adding climate change has the potential to cause mass migration and “extended global conflict”.

“High carbon growth is not a serious option”, he argued, as “business as usual will create a situation so horrible that it will halt and reverse human development”.

Stern called for an “industrial revolution”, while condemning sceptics’ arguments as “logically, obviously flawed”.

Michael Jacobs and Gerard Lyons also spoke at the event. Jacobs, a visiting professor at the LSE, reinforced Stern’s statement, saying, “the evidence for climate change is now pretty unequivocal” and “there is absolutely no question given the impact of climate change that we have to go down the low carbon path”.
Both Stern and Jacobs said politics of this issue are unavoidable, which Stern said is problematic given governments tend to be more concerned with getting reelected than making difficult choices regarding the environment. More >>>