Is tackling climate change economically viable?

Conventional thinking has it that combating climate change will be a drain on the global economy. But Barclays Capital, a leading investment bank in the us, has recently said that combating climate change could actually boost the world economy and climate change mitigation activities are likely to dominate financial markets. The us has always held that global warming will have devastating impact on economic growth.

Barclays arrived at its conclusion after studying the relationship between global energy market and climate change policy. According to its report, the global energy demand is projected to rise by over 50 per cent by 2030 and most of it will depend on coal. At present, about 60 per cent of total global primary energy needs are supplied by coal and oil. The report claims that without a change in policy regime, humankind's dependence on fossil fuels will continue until then. "This problem lies at the core of the climate change debate,' says Tim Bond, global head of the asset allocation at Barclays Capital and author of the report. "Consequently, co2 emissions will soar,' he adds.

Bond's solution: reduce dependence on hydrocarbons to bring about an energy revolution. "Those who couch the climate change debate in terms of cost to growth are underestimating the impact of an energy revolution,' he says. His assumption is based on the fact that all historical changes in energy supply