The United States and European Union want the U.N. to stress the low cost of fighting climate change in a draft handbook on the issue that it is compiling, a leaked document showed on Tuesday.
The United States wants the handbook to do more to show that the costs of action “will be almost insignificant relative to projected growth”, the document showed.
In more than 2,000 comments on the U.N. draft, obtained by Reuters, some governments also suggested more explanation of why the pace of temperature rises since 1998 has slowed even when greenhouse gas emissions have hit record highs.
The 32-page draft drawn up by top climate scientists and due for publication on Nov. 2 after editing next week in Copenhagen will guide almost 200 governments that aim to agree a deal to slow global warming at a U.N. summit in Paris in December 2015.
The synthesis report by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seeks to sum up three studies of more than 1,000 pages each, published since mid-2013 about the risks of warming and ways to limit heat waves, floods and rising seas.
Among comments, Washington said the draft’s findings about the small cost of fighting climate change were highlighted more clearly in a report issued in April.
The European Union also suggested changes to stress that the cost of cutting greenhouse gases, mainly by shifting from fossil fuels towards renewable energies such as wind and solar power, “looks relatively modest”.
TINY BRAKE ON GROWTH
The report says actions to fight climate change will cut global growth in consumption of goods and services by 0.06 percent a year over the 21st century, relative to expected growth of 1.6 to 3.0 percent a year without action.