(Bloomberg News) Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said the impact of the global financial crisis would last for another two to three years, and that investment to reduce the impact of climate change may help to spur recovery.

The crisis has been "every bit as bad as I anticipated," Stiglitz said in a speech Monday in the South African capital, Pretoria. Foreign currency reserves built up by Asian governments, such as China's, should be reallocated to help with "global needs," such as addressing climate change and boosting jobs, he said.

South Africa is due to host a United Nations conference on combating climate change in the eastern port city of Durban this year, following up from December's gathering in Cancun, Mexico. At that meeting, UN envoys agreed to tackle the issue by protecting forests and opening a $100 billion Green Climate Fund. Stiglitz has called for better pricing of carbon emissions and a tax on polluters.

"Addressing climate change can be part of the recovery" in the global economy, said Stiglitz, a former World Bank chief economist. "Addressing the two can be complementary."

Stiglitz also said that government's should "manage exchange rates" to keep them "stable and competitive" in an environment where quantitative easing in the U.S. is contributing to uncompetitive currencies.