“A toast to the end of the Bush Era…” That was the first sentence of an amazing presentation held by Sir Nicholas Stern in São Paulo at the Federation of the Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP) on Tuesday this week. In less than an hour, Dr. Stern discoursed on his mighty report “The Stern Review”.
Released in 2006 on behalf of the United Kingdom, “The Stern Review” is a 700-page document that stands by the conversion of our economy into a new low-carbon one. In short, the report proposes that the climate changes under a “business-as-usual” scenario will consume about 20% of the worldwide Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with adaptation and mitigation initiatives costing about 1.5% in the same period.
In a very casual yet direct manner, Dr. Stern reaffirmed his opinion for the need of an economical transformation into a low-carbon system. According to him, a high-carbon economy, one based on petrol and non-sustainable processes, must be re-evaluated immediately. He talked about the “Bush Legacy” – high-carbon products without long-term responsibility – and how to replace this outdated model. One of the most controversial of Dr. Stern’s proposals is the pricing of carbon within the products and services. In other words, it would be similar to establishing a “carbon tax” on the system.