Rajendra Pachauri, head of the IPCC, told the The Guardian that the cost of tackling climate change will be negative overall because of the monetary benefits of cutting carbon emissions. This seems obvious in the long term–reducing global warming will prevent costly weather-related disasters that leave cities ravaged. But the benefits go beyond that. Pachauri claims technologies like plug-in hybrid cars and biofuels will shield consumers from rising oil prices, alternative energy sources will lead to energy security, and other climate change security measures could create new jobs, lead to more productive agriculture, and lower air pollution.
Again, these are obvious assumptions, but Pachauri assures us that dealing with them now will be much cheaper than in, say, 10 years when climate change has really begun to take effect. Forward-thinking companies already know this and have begun to prepare. Even longtime climate change skeptics like Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson have resigned themselves to taking immediate measures. Tillerson, who once referred to biofuels as “moonshine”, invested $600 million in algae-based biofuel just last week. At this point, any company that refuses to prepare for imminent climate change might be saving cash in the short term, but their long-term prospects look grim.
[Via The Guardian]