Increasingly, climate change is becoming a threat to the economic well-being of the global community. During his recent trip to India, Secretary of State John Kerry warned that it is already causing violent disruptions all over the world:
“It is disrupting commerce, development, and economic growth. It’s costing farmers crops. It’s costing insurance companies unbelievable payouts. It’s raising the cost of doing business, and believe me, if it continues down the current trend-line, we will see climate refugees fighting each other for water and seeking food and new opportunity."
At first glance, investing in clean energy seems like an expensive proposition, but that is because we rarely count the real cost of using fossil fuels. Few factor in the price associated with thousands of children with lung diseases, of adults dying of cancer caused by impure air; nor do we take into account the cost of coastal communities destroyed by increasingly violent storms, while elsewhere, unrelenting droughts kill cattle, desiccate crops and destroy the agriculture of entire regions.
No one country can tackle this alone, because this is a global problem. Nor can the major pollution emitting countries solve the problem, because today, more than half of all greenhouse gas emissions are generated by developing countries, said Secretary Kerry.
But it is possible to make a virtue out of necessity. By moving toward a clean energy base, we can create jobs, save lives, reduce damage caused by climate change, and make a profit at the same time, said Secretary Kerry. We have the technology, and we know how to do it. What we need now is political leadership that is prepared to make this choice.
“The choices of climate change offer an unprecedented number of plusses, and frankly, almost no downside. If we make the choices that are staring us in the face, the fact is that a solution to climate change is already here. It’s called sustainable energy policy,” said Secretary Kerry.
“Together, we can create an environment where all of our companies play leading roles in bringing cutting-edge technologies, equipment, capital, and know-how not just to India but to countless countries that need this growth and development now.”