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Stern: Climate change could be worse than expected

Nicholas Stern said he should have been ‘more blunt’ about the effects of global warming and its impact on the economy

Author of the landmark 2006 UK government report on the effects of climate change on the economy, the economist and academic said he feared the impact of a rise in temperture could be worse than he initially predicted.

The original report predicted global temperature increases of more than 2° by 2035 and is attributed by many for driving today’s climate change policies.

Speaking in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Stern said the world was ‘on track for something like 4° [of global warming].’

His 2006 report stated that attempts to stabilise global emissions would cost 1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP). The research also warned thatextreme weather could reduce GDP by up to 1 per cent.

In an interview with The Guardian he said: ‘Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then.’

Stern called for more to be done to force societies to look to more environmentally sustainable economies.

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