Nicholas Stern welcomes President Obama’s Clean Power Plan
Welcoming the announcement today (3 August 2015) by President Obama of details of the Clean Power Plan, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science and President of the British Academy, said:
“This is a very important announcement by President Obama which will reinforce the credibility of the commitment by the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as a new international agreement on climate change is being finalised. It shows the determination of the world’s richest country to maintain better economic growth while also cutting greenhouse gas pollution. President Obama has recognised in particular the enormous damage caused by pollution from the burning of coal in power stations. Coal emits twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas per unit of electricity generated when it is burned in a power station, and also releases other pollutants that threaten the lives of Americans. Recent estimates suggest about 200,000 Americans die prematurely each year due to air pollution, and a quarter of those deaths are attributable to emissions from power stations. The International Monetary Fund published figures last week that the failure by the United States to take into account the full impacts of coal on human health and the environment represented a subsidy of more than $200 billion each year, or about 1 per cent of its GDP. Curbing pollution from power stations in the United States will improve the health of Americans, strengthen its economy, spur innovation and growth, create jobs and opportunities, set a powerful example for the rest of the world, and promote the prospect of a more ambitious international agreement on climate change at the summit in Paris at the end of this year.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, as well as I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since July 2013, Lord Stern has been President of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Lord Stern was with HM Treasury between October 2003 and May 2007. He served as Second Permanent Secretary and Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of the economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007.
- The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy (http://www.cccep.ac.uk/) is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (http://www.esrc.ac.uk/). The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
- The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).
- The British Academy is the UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences. Its purpose is to inspire, recognise and support excellence in these disciplines throughout the UK and internationally, and to champion their role and value. More information about the Academy’s work is available at www.britac.ac.uk. Follow the British Academy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/britac_news.