Third IPCC report says world can afford climate solutions

The third installment of the IPCC climate assessment is out, and the news is bad-good: it’s going to take a lot of work to combat climate change, but it won’t cost as much as many leaders have been claiming. The 120-nation Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says greenhouse gases, which have risen 70 percent since 1970, must be cut by 50 to 85 percent of year 2000 levels by 2050. Doing so, it says, would cost 3 percent or less of the global GDP, and some changes could even provide an economic boost; incentives such as carbon taxes will be a key part of the picture, the panel says. The report describes emissions-cutting ideas ranging from replacing light bulbs (for real) to burying carbon, and IPCC leaders have also suggested lifestyle changes like eating less meat and dressing casually at work to reduce the need for air conditioning. “This report is all about solutions to climate change,” says co-chair Ogunlade Davidson. “If we continue to do what we are doing now, we are in deep trouble.”