A Major Financial Institution Warns About Climate Change

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Just based on the facts alone, how can anyone deny Climate Change?

It seems that every other week, another major institution or science-based organization comes out with a carefully studied and well thought-out report warning about the effects of climate change.

citibank signKaren Rives of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) wrote an article recently describing a startling report by the banking giant Citibank on the financial effects of climate change.

In the report, Citibank examined the likely costs of inaction in terms of the potential liabilities from climate change.

Citibank estimates that climate change will cost the global economy a staggering $44 trillion by 2060, unless we take decisive steps now to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.

Citibank admitted that they are not climate scientists, and they made it clear that they were not attempting to take sides in the global warming debate. But, they did calculate the “incremental costs and impacts of mitigating the effects of emissions, to see if there is a ‘solution’ which offers global opportunities without penalizing global growth, whether we can afford it (or indeed we can afford not to), and how we could make it happen”.

The researchers at Citibank determined what our energy-hungry world is likely to spend on conventional power over the next several decades. They then compared that with what it would cost to instead develop low-carbon energy sources, such as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) and energy saving solutions such as Seawater (or Lakewater) Air Conditioning (SWAC).

Onshore OTEC plantAs Thomas Edison presciently pointed out to Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone in 1931, “We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy – sun, wind and tide. I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that.”

Citibank concluded that by transitioning to a clean energy economy, we would likely save an estimated $1.8 trillion by 2040.

In their 2013 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that 95% of the scientific community agreed that humans are to blame for climate change. They further reported that sea levels could rise by a staggering 3 feet if climate change continues unabated. They also calculate that by the year 2100, the predicated surface temperature will increase by 7.2°F.

Citibank’s energy team is pushing the world to focus on these climate change issues and the potentially catastrophic financial effects of doing nothing.

The international climate talks in Paris in December would seem to be a good place to start. The talks are to described as “the last chance” for a deal to avert the 2 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures that scientists say will cause “irreversible” fallout.

Even though all of this news about the effects of climate change seems to be grim, according to a report by Greenbiz.com, Investors seem to be turning away from fossil fuel investments to instead focus on new and promising opportunities in clean energy.

I really hope this is the case. When large financial institutions start sounding the warning bells, we should take notice.

I’m not a scientist either, but I’m an avid reader of reports and articles on global warming and devastating effects it has had on some of the poorest countries of the world – and by all accounts this will only get worse as time goes on.

Even if we accept half of what’s being reported is true, we owe it to our children, grandchildren and future generations to take action now.