Sir Nicholas, former Chief Economist at the World Bank, says it's a "false economy" to postpone climate change action since costs will only rise, with the impact of global warming costing as much as 20 per cent of the world's GDP.
Climate change risks raising average temperatures by over 5°C from pre-industrial levels, transforming the physical geography of our planet.
All countries will be affected by climate change and the response must be an international one - but it is the poorest countries who will suffer earliest and most.
Sir Nicholas concludes on an optimistic note:
"There is still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally. Governments, businesses and individuals all need to work together to respond to the challenge. Strong, deliberate policy choices by governments are essential to motivate change."
Key recommendations include:
- Expanding and linking emissions trading schemes around the world
- Doubling support for energy research and setting international product standards for energy-efficiency
- Fully-integrating climate change adaptation into development policy, so that rich countries honour their pledges to increase support.