Report: $700 Billion a Year Needed for Climate Change

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According to a new report from the World Economic Forum, an additional $700 billion a year is needed to address climate change through clean-energy infrastructure, low-carbon transport, energy efficiency in building and industry and for forestry. Here are the details.

* Total investment in climate-change mitigration and adaptation in 2011 was estimated at $268 billion from the private sector, with an additional $96 billion from the public sector, the report stated.

* 2011's investment in combating climate change is 93 percent higher than in 2007, the World Economic Forum reported, but "this business-as-usual investment will not lead to a stable future unless it achieves environmental and sustainability goals."

* According to a World Economic Forum blog post from Bruno Berthon, the Global Managing Director of Strategy and Sustainability Services at Accenture, failing to shift from conventional investments to green alternatives will lock the world into high-emission, low efficiency technologies for the next 30 to 50 years.

* "Progress in green investment continues to be outpaced by investment in fossil-fuel intensive, inefficient infrastructure," stated the executive summary of the report, adding that -- as a result -- greenhouse gas levels are on track to create a global average temperature of at least 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

* The higher global average temperatures, the summary stated, the more frequent the natural disasters such as extreme heatwaves, hurricanes and rising sea levels.

* According to the report, the ongoing global economic crisis is constraining the availability of financing for green energy infrastructure, as is market uncertainty and the "unintended consequences of financial market reform."

* The World Economic Forum report stated that closing the green investment gap is affordable, but only with the support of public policy, including grants, increased lending, carbon credit revenues, grant money that is combined with technical assistance and phasing out fossil-fuel subsidies.

* "The transition is financially viable," the report stated. "The incremental costs of greening growth are insignificant compared with the costs of inaction."

* According to Reuters , the World Economic Forum's report, which was compiled by Green Growth Action Alliance, comes in advance of a forum to be held in Switzerland this week in which government and business leaders will talk about who should pay the cost of lowering emissions of greenhouse gas.

* As Berthon explained, the Green Growth Action Alliance was founded at the 2012 G20 meeting in Mexico and is a collaboration of business, governments, civil society and organizations whose mission is securing investment for green growth.

* The World Economic Forum's Green Investment Report 2013 is the first formal output from the Alliance, Berthon stated, and is one of the ways the Alliance is attempting to advance the green growth agenda.

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