Climate Change
Private Sector
Global Issues
Quick Access

The complementary relationship between climate action and economic development can serve as a powerful narrative for climate outreach activities of diplomatic services. The article “Economic development, climate and values: making policy” by Lord Nicholas Stern reaffirms that the cost of inaction on climate change is considerably greater than the cost of action. Published on 22 July 2015 by the journal Proceedings B, the article makes a strong case for the economic co-benefits of climate change mitigation.

Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, formulates a strong decarbonization narrative that calls on both research and public policy to tackle the “two defining challenges of this century [which] are overcoming poverty and managing climate change." At the core of Stern’s argument is the necessity to adopt a “more complementary understanding of the relationship between climate, growth and development”. Positive impacts on human health, the environment or production efficiency are among the important co-benefits of the transition to a low carbon economy. Stern sees potential to strengthen international climate cooperation based on greater coordination and mutual support if actors acknowledge these advantages of climate action and integrate them into domestic and international policy making.