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Nicholas Stern wins award for 'pioneering' report on economics of climate change

LSE economist, Lord Professor Nicholas Stern, has won the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Climate Change category. This was given in recognition of his 'pioneering report' which the award jury said 'shaped and focused the discourse on the economics of climate change'. The advanced economic analysis applied by Stern has been the means to quantify the impacts and costs arising from climate change, as well as providing a unique and robust basis for decision-making.

This is the third edition of the awards, set up by the BBVA Foundation, which seek to 'recognize and encourage world-class research and artistic creation.'

Commenting on his success, Lord Stern said, "I feel very privileged to receive a prize that is dedicated specifically to climate change research"

"It is certainly a very clear statement of the importance that the BBVA Foundation attaches to an area so vital for the future existence of human beings on this planet".

Considered a groundbreaking study, The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, has been hugely influential in international scientific and decision-making circles. 

 It contained some compelling figures on the economic threat of climate change. For example, world economic growth would contract by at least 20 per cent if no action were taken, while a switch to a low-emissions economy would cost around one per cent of global GDP each year. 

 Although, Lord Stern said he would now revise these numbers:

"The cost of cutting back emissions is more than we estimated, but that is because the consequences of climate change are already here."

 "Emissions are rising rapidly, and the capacity of the ocean to absorb carbon is less than we thought. Also, other effects, particularly the melting of the polar ice, seem to be happening much faster. We need to take more drastic steps, so the costs will inevitably be higher". 

 But this should not be seen as an economic millstone. On the contrary:

 "Climate change economics is the next industrial revolution. The countries who invest now in this new growth market will gain the advantage of a first mover. Those who don't risk being left behind".


Posted on Friday 14 January 2011

Notes to editors:

For more information on the award please visit:http://www.fbbva.es/TLFU/tlfu/ing/microsites/premios/fronteras/index.jsp#0