Nicholas Stern: Climate change will create billions of refugees, extended world war

Lord Nicholas Stern, British economist and academic who is most known for the Stern Review said, during an improvised speech at a Cape Town hotel in South Africa, that if we don't act quickly and determinedly to address climate change the world will face billions of climate refugees and extended world wars in a near future:

"If the world's nations act responsibly, Stern said, they will achieve "zero-carbon" electricity production and zero-carbon road transport by 2050 _ by replacing coal power plants with wind, solar or other energy sources that emit no carbon dioxide, and fossil fuel-burning vehicles with cars running on electric or other "clean" energy.

Then warming could be contained to a 2-degree-Celsius (3.4-degree-Fahrenheit) rise this century, he said.

But if negotiators falter, if emissions reductions are not made soon and deep, the severe climate shifts and sea-level rises projected by scientists would be "disastrous."

It would "transform where people can live," Stern said. "People would move on a massive scale. Hundreds of millions, probably billions of people would have to move if you talk about 4-, 5-, 6-degree increases" _ 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. And that would mean extended global conflict, "because there's no way the world can handle that kind of population move in the time period in which it would take place.""


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Simon Leufstedt
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