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Report Says Global Economy Threatened By Climate Change

A steel smelter in Russia's Nizhny Tagil (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) October 30, 2006 -- Climate change threatens to cost more than either of the 20th century's world wars, or the Great Depression.

That is the conclusion of a major study commissioned by the British government that is due to be released today.

The 700-page study focuses on the economic -- not the environmental -- consequences of global warming, and is said to conclude that inaction could cost the world up to $7 trillion.

Prime Minister Tony Blair said today it is "the most important report on the future which I have received since becoming prime minister."

Combating climate change, the report says, will cost about 1 percent of global gross domestic product.

The report also calls for a successor to the Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gases to be signed next year -- not in 2010 or 2011, as planned -- because the problem is so urgent.

(compiled from agency reports)

Global Climate Change

Global Climate Change

View a photo gallery summarizing some key findings of the Stern report on the economic costs of global warming (epa)

THE STERN REPORT: In October, former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern issued a 700-page report on the economic impact of global warming. The report, which was commissioned by the British government, estimates that climate change could cost between 5 and 20 percent of global GDP by the end of the century....(more)


The Stern Report

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Scientists Argue About Need For Urgent Action


RFE/RL's coverage of the environment.