Combating Climate Change and Economic Growth Can Co-Exist
Posted at 8:52 a.m. on April 18, 2014
Paul Krugman notes that there is some good news from the recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“There is one piece of the assessment that is surprisingly, if conditionally, upbeat: Its take on the economics of mitigation. Even as the report calls for drastic action to limit emissions of greenhouse gases, it asserts that the economic impact of such drastic action would be surprisingly small.”
“What’s behind this economic optimism? To a large extent, it reflects a technological revolution many people don’t know about, the incredible recent decline in the cost of renewable energy, solar power in particular.”
“The climate change panel … notes that “many RE [renewable energy] technologies have demonstrated substantial performance improvements and cost reductions” since it released its last assessment, back in 2007.”
“Thanks to this technological leap forward, the climate panel can talk about ‘decarbonizing’ electricity generation as a realistic goal — and since coal-fired power plants are a very large part of the climate problem, that’s a big part of the solution right there.”
Krugman asserts “there’s no reason we can’t become richer while reducing our impact on the environment.”