Cutting carbon won't cripple economy, expert tells Kansans

The Kansas City StarSeptember 4, 2008 

TOPEKA, Kan. _ Limiting the carbon emissions causing global warming won't be easy, but there's no reason it should cripple the economy.

That was the message that environmental economist Robert Repetto gave to Kansas energy officials Wednesday. Repetto, formerly a professor at Yale University, now works for the United Nations Foundation. His research is about how governments and economies respond to climate change.

He told the Kansas Energy Council that cooperation, political courage and a good grasp of economics will be essential if the state and nation are to enact measures to reduce carbon emissions. But he said such measures could actually benefit the economy by spurring innovation while reducing the risks of climate havoc. And he said the costs passed on to consumers and businesses are likely to be smaller than if the nation does nothing at all.

Society has wrestled with big changes in energy before, Repetto said, aAnd some companies and governments will find themselves better off.

But the cost of doing nothing? “Just having a policy of waiting and hoping, I don’t think is adequate to the challenge,” he said.

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