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Global warming could cost trillions

india Updated: Nov 04, 2006 14:29 IST

Global warming will cost the world up to seven trillion dollars in the next decade unless governments take drastic action soon, a major British report will warn according to a newspaper report published on Sunday.

Former World Bank chief economist Sir Nicholas Stern was commissioned last year by finance minister Gordon Brown to lead a review into the economics of climate change and will deliver his findings Monday.

But the Observer newspaper published Sunday excerpts from his 700-page report, which adds that unchecked global warming could make 200 million people refugees from drought or flood.

According to the Observer, the Stern report says that unchecked climate change would cost up to £3.68 trillion pounds – more than World Wars I and II and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It also warns that the entire world needs to spend about one per cent of global gross domestic product — equivalent to about £184 billion — on the issue now or face a bill up to 20 times higher than that in future, the paper says.

Stern also calls for a successor to the Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gases to be signed next year, not in 2010 or 2011 as planned, because the problem is so urgent, it adds.

Failure to act quickly would trigger a global recession, he reportedly adds, and calls for an international framework to tackle the issue. The Observer says that Stern’s report is the first heavyweight contribution to the debate on climate change by an economist rather than a scientist.