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World Bank: Tackling Climate Will Grow the Economy

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Fighting climate change would help grow the world economy, according to the World Bank, adding up to $2.6 trillion a year to global GDP in the coming decades.

The findings, made available in a report on Tuesday, offer a sharp contrast with claims by the Australian government that fighting climate change would "clobber" the economy.

The report also advances on the work of economists who have argued that it will be far more costly in the long run to delay action on climate change.

Instead, Tuesday's report found a number of key policies - none of which included putting an economy-wide price on carbon - would lead to global GDP gains of between $1.8 trillion and $2.6 trillion a year by 2030, in terms of new jobs, increased crop productivity and public health benefits.

The pro-climate regulations and tax incentives would also on their own deliver nearly a third of the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions needed to keep warming below the 2°C (3.6°F) threshold for dangerous climate change, the bank said.

The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the findings put to rest claims that the world could not afford to act on climate change.

"These policies make economic sense," Kim said in a conference call with reporters. "This report removes another false barrier, another false argument not to take action against climate change."    

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