Tackling climate change and other environmental hazards is affordable but urgent action is needed to avert irreversible damage, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said yesterday.

The 30-nation OECD said possible environmental safeguards might slow world growth by just 0.03 percent a year — meaning that by 2030 the global economy would be 97 percent bigger than in 2005 instead of almost 99 percent larger with no measures.

“This is not a lot to pay,” said Angel Gurria, head of the Paris-based OECD. “The consequences and costs of inaction…would be much higher,” he said. “If no new policy actions are taken, within the next few decades we risk irreversibly altering the environmental basis for sustained economic prosperity.”

The report recommended overhauling sectors that cause most damage — energy, transport, agriculture and fisheries. “Removal of environmentally harmful subsidies, particularly for fossil fuels and agricultural production, is a necessary first step,” Gurria said.

When the OECD says it time to remove subsidies to fossil fuels, you know that it really is time to act….