The costs of doing nothing vastly outweigh the costs of decarbonising a global economy which, since the Industrial Revolution, has been powered by fossil fuels. That may seem self-evident today, when catastrophic fires and floods offer daily reminders of how expensive continued inaction on climate change is. But 15 years ago, that insight was ground-breaking.
The 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, for which I was a senior economist, was the first time a G7 government had used economic analysis to spell out the case for urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A decade and a half on, its conclusions and recommendations are as valid as ever.