Climate change – 9 contentions… testing for truthfulness
As the world marks the five-year anniversary of the Paris Climate Accord, a new report by Oxford University in partnership with the Pictet Group offers a sobering assessment of the environmental problems facing our planet.
The study, by Professor Cameron Hepburn and Moritz Schwarz of the University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, seeks to dispel many of the lingering myths about climate change and sheds new light on the scale of the likely damage if decision makers fail to meet carbon emission targets.
Amid the swirling debate about global warming, governments, businesses and investors “often fail to appreciate the sheer weight of scientific evidence attesting to humanity’s impact on the planet” the report warns.
“Equally, they might not know where further research is required before firm conclusions can be reached about how best to contain or reverse global warming.“
Prof Hepburn’s and Mr Schwarz’s report – supported by Pictet – was written as a response to questions the Oxford team has received from governments, business leaders and investors on the effects of global warming.
Specifically, the report addresses several contentions. For example, that climate change is not happening or that, if it is, it will be mild – or that in any event humans are not causing it.
The authors also reflect on humans’ ability to adapt to the changes brought about by an increase in global temperatures.
“Uncertainty about climate science and economics poses challenges for business and finance,” the authors said. “People often ask us to set out what is known and what is not known about climate change, including research that is sometimes contrary to prevailing societal beliefs.”
Laurent Ramsey, CEO Pictet Asset Management and Partner managing partner of Pictet Group, states: “Climate change affects all of our futures, wherever we are in the world, whatever our standing. The better we all understand the settled facts, the better we can not only plan for the future but change its course for the better.”