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Houston Chronicle: Global Warming Fight Helps Economy-Report

Oct. 12, 2006, 12:13PM
© 2006 The Associated Press

LONDON — Combating global warming won’t bankrupt Britain’s economy and could be worth billions for business, says an oil company-sponsored report released Thursday.

The cost of action will amount to 0.3 percent of Britain’s economic output, but that works out to business opportunities worth $55 billion over the next decade, said the report published by Shell UK, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, as part of its Springboard project to encourage business action on global warming.

Globally, the report said the market could be worth a trillion dollars in the next five years, the report said.

The report said business opportunities were mainly in developing products and systems to comply with regulations designed to cut energy use. That includes tighter building standards, supplying biofuels for road transport and renewable energy generation.

“The cost-benefit equation of action to tackle climate change is favorable. That’s true not just for the U.K. but internationally as well,” Shell UK Chairman James Smith said in an interview with British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

To encourage innovation, the report proposed that the government offer prizes _ as it did in 1714 when it offered a reward to the person who solved the problem of measuring longitude.

“The main value of the prize would not be in the prize money itself, but in having some of the most important problems addressed, and in helping the prize-winner to achieve a reward in recognition of his or her innovation,” the report said.

It suggested prizes might be offered in several categories, including energy supply, industry, mobility and buildings.

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