MILAN – the saying prevention is better than cure is not a myth but a certainty to follow with more and more conviction. The latest confirmation of which comes from a study conducted by the Asian Development Bank, which measured how much local policies in place to reduce emissions and global policies on climate change mitigation to contain the increase of average global temperature to 2°C offers greater benefits than costs required.
In the fight against climate change, you may get an 11-dollar return on every 5 dollars invested even as early as 2040. These conclusions are contained in the report "SouthEast Asia and the economics of global climate stabilisation", conducted by the Asian Development Bank and jointly funded by the Governments of Great Britain and Japan. The survey was conducted with the scientific collaboration of the CMCC (Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change) after evaluating the costs and benefits of strategies of greenhouse gas emissions reduction on a region comprising five countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) which together account for 90% of the emissions of the whole of Southeast Asia.
The measured benefits
The research has verified that the costs concerning mitigation policies are estimated at between 2.5% and 3.5% of overall GDP of the region in the period 2010-2050, and will rise if the action on the mitigation is delayed. A delay of ten years in theimplementation of policies and strategies consistent with the scenario compatible with 2°C, for example, could increase the bill in 2050 by 60%. In the long run, however, cost reduction would bring benefits from the introduction of technologies in the energy sector aimed at increasing fuel efficiency, and substituting fuels from fossil sources with cleaner and renewable alternatives: to remain within the +2°C, investment of more than $ 2 billion a year starting from 2020 would be needed. In 2010 the governments of the countries considered in the report, spent more than 3% of GDP on subsidies regarding fossil fuels, a much higher figure than the estimated costs for reducing emissions. Reducing these subsidies in a gradual and targeted manner, as Indonesia started to do in 2015 - the report says - can free up the resources needed to fund a transition to a low carbon content energy system.
by Salvatore Galeone