May 22, 2010

Biodiversity & Climate Change

Price Waterhouse Coopers published this report on the impact to business of biodiversity loss. 

They include a statement that biodiversity loss will become more important than climate change. 

"Using the implied social cost of carbon from the Stern report ($85 per tonne CO2), the long run economic cost of 2008 net greenhouse gas emissions could be in the region of $1.7trillion*. For the same year, the economic cost of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation was estimated to be between US$2 and US$4.5 trillion† (3.3 – 7.5% of global GDP). While these numbers are not directly comparable, the fact that they are in the same order of magnitude should give pause for thought."

Of course, the two are intimately related, but this is a very interesting statement none the less. 


Here is the UN's recent take on biodiversity from their Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 Report

"The news is not good. We continue to lose biodiversity at a rate never before seen in history — extinction rates may be up to 1,000 times higher than the historical background rate. The assessment of the state of the world's biodiversity in 2010, ... should serve as a wake-up call for humanity.

Business as usual is no longer an option if we are to avoid irreversible damage to the life-support systems of our planet. And the linked challenges of biodiversity loss and climate change must be addressed with equal priority and close cooperation." 
Ahmed Djoghlaf
Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity

"Humanity has fabricated the illusion that somehow we can get by without biodiversity or that it is somehow peripheral to our contemporary world: the truth is we need it more than ever on a planet of six billion heading to over nine billion people by 2050."
Achim Steiner
Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme
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