Sensible decision making should include costs

writes in Stuff:

Before we decide if a zero-carbon economy by 2050 is worth the cost, we must know what the damage to our economy from global warming will be if we do nothing. …

Estimates of the cost of global warming as a percentage of GDP to New Zealand are elusive. I drew a nil response when I asked for that information from James Shaw, the Minister for , and from the Ministry for the Environment. Both said such an estimate was too hard to calculate.

So the Government is saying it wants taxpayers to spend tens of billions of dollars on climate change mitigation yet it has no idea what the costs of the impact of climate change will be!

It is time for the Government to fund an estimate of the cost of global warming to New Zealand.

If it is as small as the OECD suggests, a zero-carbon economy is simply not worth the cost. I cannot see how the Government can do a benefit-cost analysis of the zero-carbon economy without calculating the cost of doing nothing and the global warming avoided by us having a zero-carbon economy in 2050.

This should be absolutely mandatory – the benefits and costs of actions vs the benefits and costs of the status quo.

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