1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Citi report: slowing global warming would save tens of trillions of dollars

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Invisible Fan, Aug 31, 2015.

  1. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    42,874
    Likes Received:
    24,886
    Pictures/graphs are in the pdf report.

    http://www.alternet.org/environment...bal-warming-would-save-tens-trillions-dollars

    Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (GPS), a division within Citbank (America’s third-largest bank), recently published a report looking at the economic costs and benefits of a low-carbon future. The report considered two scenarios: “Inaction,” which involves continuing on a business-as-usual path, and Action scenario which involves transitioning to a low-carbon energy mix.

    One of the most interesting findings in the report is that the investment costs for the two scenarios are almost identical. In fact, because of savings due to reduced fuel costs and increased energy efficiency, the Action scenario is actually a bit cheaper than the Inaction scenario.
    What is perhaps most surprising is that looking at the potential total spend on energy over the next quarter century, on an undiscounted basis the cost of following a low carbon route at $190.2 trillion is actually cheaper than our ‘Inaction’ scenario at $192 trillion. This, as we examine in this chapter, is due to the rapidly falling costs of renewables, which combined with lower fuel usage from energy efficiency investments actually result in significantly lower long term fuel bill. Yes, we have to invest more in the early years, but we potentially save later, not to mention the liabilities of climate change that we potentially avoid.
    The following figure from the Citi report breaks down the investment costs in the Action ($190.2 trillion) and Inaction ($192 trillion) scenarios.

    This conclusion soundly refutes the main argument against climate action – that it’s too expensive, with some contrarians even having gone so far as to claim that cutting carbon pollution will create an economic catastrophe. To the contrary, the Citi report finds that these investments will save money, before even accounting for the tremendous savings from avoiding climate damage costs.

    What about those avoided climate costs? As shown in the bottom left corner of the above figure, the difference in climate damage costs between low (1.5°C) warming and high (4.5°C) warming scenarios could be as high as $50 trillion. Even moderate (2.5°C) warming could cost $30 trillion less than a business-as-usual high global warming scenario.

    As a result, the Citi report concludes that taking action to cut carbon pollution and slow global warming would result in a positive return on investment.

    By comparing the cost of mitigation to the avoided ‘liabilities’ of climate change, we can derive a simple ‘return on investment’. On a risk adjusted basis this implies a return of 1-4% at the low point in 2021, rising to between 3% and 10% by 2035.​

    This isn’t a groundbreaking finding. Other reports have arrived at the same conclusion, and have found that a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be modestly beneficial for the economy (again, before accounting for the economic benefits of curbing global warming). This is why there’s a consensus among economists that we should be reducing carbon pollution.

    The Citi report then asks the trillion-dollar question – if tackling global warming is such an economic no-brainer, what are we waiting for?

    With a limited differential in the total bill of Action vs Inaction (in fact a saving on an undiscounted basis), potentially enormous liabilities avoided and the simple fact that cleaner air must be preferable to pollution, a very strong “Why would you not?” argument regarding action on climate change begins to form … Coupled with the fact the total spend is similar under both action and inaction, yet the potential liabilities of inaction are enormous, it is hard to argue against a path of action.​

    Dave Roberts at Vox took a stab at answering that question, and the answer is touched upon in the Citi report:

    The clear loser between the scenarios is coal, which sees its total investment bill fall by some $11.5 trillion over the next quarter century. Gas investment also reduces though by a far smaller amount, $3.4 trillion in total​

    While the global economy would clearly benefit from climate action, it would create “stranded assets” for the fossil fuel industry, because a large percentage of known fossil fuel reserves must be kept in the ground if we’re to avoid dangerous climate change.

    Some studies suggest that globally a third of oil reserves, half of gas reserves and over 80% of current coal reserves would have to remain unused from 2010 to 2050 in order to have a chance of meeting the 2°C target.​

    The fossil fuel industry has extensive influence over many world governments. They hire Merchants of Doubt to spread disinformation and uncertainty about the science and economics of climate change, and spend billions of dollars in campaign contributions to American political candidates in order to delay the low-carbon transition that would benefit the global economy and most people.

    They can’t, however, change the scientific and economic realities that clearly indicate we must take action to minimize the damages from human-caused global warming. As the Citi report concludes, the international climate conference in Paris at the end of this year will be a critical opportunity for world leaders to finally commit to curbing global warming for the benefit of the vast majority, at the expense of the few wealthy and powerful fossil fuel interests.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    21,342
    Likes Received:
    18,142
    Those $ are mind numbing.
     
  3. Dei

    Dei Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    7,362
    Likes Received:
    335
    How do they justify those numbers?
     
  4. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    30,564
    Likes Received:
    14,016
    we have to force people to save money you see
     
  5. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    21,342
    Likes Received:
    18,142
    This makes no sense
     
  6. Ottomaton

    Ottomaton Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2000
    Messages:
    18,128
    Likes Received:
    13,256
    Its all about who gets the money.

    Cab companies protest against Uber. Auto dealerships lobby to keep Tesla from selling directly to consumers. Luddites protested in the 19th century because automated machines made textile workers useless. If farriers and makers of broughams didn't protest the automobile, it was only because they were too arrogant and blind to see what was coming.

    Saving a ton of money on cheap, clean energy will make new fortunes for a bunch of new parties, and destroy an existing money machine for others such as companies that have been strip mining coal in West Virginia and Tennessee for more than a hundred years.

    No matter how beneficial to everybody else, coal mining concerns aren't getting paid from solar and wind farms. They will get paid as long as demand for coal remains. They will do everything possible, therefore, to convince everybody that coal remains the best, cheapest option, no matter whether it is true or not.

    Vested interests hate change, because the status quo is how they got rich. Changing conditions means they have to start over.

    As long as vested interests have money to control the soap box, it actually does make sense, a bit, even though Commodore thought he was being witty.
     
  7. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    14,500
    Likes Received:
    1,829
    I-banks produce research acknowledging anthropomorphic global warming, energy companies subsidize research questioning it.
     
  8. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    21,342
    Likes Received:
    18,142
    I don't doubt the 2nd part. They aren't really ack AGW. They are simply working on two main paths and comparing their costs over a 25 year period. Too much to read and I don't understand how they come up with their # yet.
     
  9. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    65
    This report is basically a Jenga tower, with a lot of fancy statistical bricks but lacking a strong foundation of facts and any assumptions breaking down will destroy the structural integrity.

    The weakest link is projected costs. Wet have yet to see any climate change related costs that can be proven to be related to acg rather than weather. The oceans aren't rising more than 2-3 mm (0.1 inches) a year. We cannot predict weather or any long term weather patterns, and have no idea if any changes would be beneficial or harmful.

    It's getting warmer? Great, we get more farmland in Russia and Canada - two huge countries. It'll get wetter in some areas and drier in others? Why do you assume that hurts instead of helps?

    Overall, the report predicts a net benefit of 2 trillion dollars. Sounds like a massive win, right? Oh, you mean 2 trillion on 200 trillion? Now it sounds like 1% or a rounding error. Regardless, that's well within the margin of error based on the major assumptions and long term time scale of this report.

    I'd say to get within 95% certainty, you'd have to give those numbers with +/- 20 trillion. And these economists are listing them to a tenth of a trillion? Please. If you are a mathematician, statistician, scientist or thinker, you have to disregard this report.

    It's a SWAG dressed up for the environmental Oscars.
     
    #9 Gutter Snipe, Sep 1, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  10. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 1999
    Messages:
    48,946
    Likes Received:
    1,365
    Citigroup: that long-standing bastion of liberalism. :rolleyes:
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    65
    I'm not looking at the motives, I'm looking at the fact that they are guessing at every single number in the report. If it were science, it would be poor science with no predictive value. Calling it economics doesn't give it any extra credibility, if anything it lessens the credibility.

    This report has no ability to predict the future, its only merit lies in its use as propaganda to people who don't understand how numbers and probability work. I do find it humorous that like most global warming predictions, by the time it it's proven correct or incorrect, the authors will probably be dead or forgotten.
     
  12. Amiga

    Amiga 80s
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    Messages:
    21,342
    Likes Received:
    18,142
    Their estimate costs of a low-carbon energy have nothing to do with climate change. You are mixing up things.

    They have an estimate cost of a low-carbon energy path vs a today-carbon energy path. It does not take into account anything related to climate change. Just the estimated costs of each path. There is a 2 Trillion differences between them.

    They have an estimate on the damage to GDP from negative effects of various warming (1.5c vs 2.5c vs 4.5c) . This is a different cost estimate. This is in the range of 20 to 72 Trillion.
     
  13. Gutter Snipe

    Gutter Snipe Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,987
    Likes Received:
    65
    Yes, they are all estimates of damage from change from now to 45 years from now with zero solid evidence for any of the alleged costs. But don't mind the voice of reason, I'm old enough to know better than to argue with religion. I'm out.
     
  14. mtbrays

    mtbrays Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    7,553
    Likes Received:
    6,222
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    42,874
    Likes Received:
    24,886
    Given how tightly integrated global markets and trade has become, those fluctuations will be felt as suppliers, supply chains, and storefronts adjust.

    That's just the tip of how your example of "more farmland" will be felt. Land and water rights have been fiercely fought and negotiated for hundreds of years. So what if a river dries up, another one pops out of nowhere, and floods entire basins and towns ill equipped to handle it?

    But those are pseudoscientific forecasts and predictions. It doesn't matter if Pentagon sponsored studies warn that sharp changes in densely populated areas such as Bangladesh could ripple into a refugee tsunami where liberal speaking nations close down their borders to stem the exodus. Or the several different wars and plagues that could happen as boundaries are forcibly re-drawn because of climate change.

    Stopping all or any of it through adopting sustainable investments with high upfront costs just means your predictions were wrong by virtue of its success.

    Shoot, it can happen already, so why bother rite?
     
  16. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,433
    Likes Received:
    1,092
    Why is that "humorous"? History is full of scientists, artists, politicians, etch. who didn't see the end result. So people shouldn't aspire to greater things?

    "I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. "

    -MLK
     
  17. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 1999
    Messages:
    62,448
    Likes Received:
    55,954
    I don't know why people would want to argue with these facts that the CEOs of many huge companies are driving. There are ways to save money and produce less environmental impact AT THE SAME TIME!

    This is very calculable and demonstrable from proven energy efficiency programs being conducted right now by Fortune 500 companies who have the biggest energy spend.

    This is what my software does, and it is rolled out to dozens of Fortune 500s, and I have access to the changes they are making and their impacts on actual energy spend and carbon.

    This research is right in line with what we are seeing, and is from numbers that are being reported by the big companies.
     
  18. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2007
    Messages:
    30,564
    Likes Received:
    14,016
    you're right, it makes no sense that profitable behavior would require coercion
     
  19. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,374
    Likes Received:
    15,795
    Why? Individuals and companies generally don't look at 50+ year time horizons.

    And what's profitable/beneficial for a country may not necessarily be profitable for individual companies. Those companies will lobby against it while the companies that will benefit may not even exist yet.
     
  20. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    37,654
    Likes Received:
    18,874
    Doesn't sound like you ever read it - the payoff isn't even dependent on forecasting the economic impact of global warming - negative or as you like to fantasize - positive. It's considering the net impact from a purely economics standpoint (not environmental).

    As for climate models, they are turning out to be more and more accurate as time goes on, and increases we are seeing now are being accurately predicted.

    The world will warm, it's because of man-made reasons, and the evidence is more than strong, it's at a point where the scientific community isn't even debating whether or not we are doomed for a warmer future because the consensus is that it's going to get hotter.
     

Share This Page