Climate Change The New Economy
For the past several months we’ve been basking in the glow of the Paris agreement – a rare triumph for multilateralism, and prompting a variation on Captain Kirk’s report to Commander Scott: “It does seem that there are some signs of intelligent life on this planet after all, Scotty.” The global community has for the first time fully acknowledged the threat of climate change, and has set itself ambitious long term targets for dealing with it. However, most governments have not yet shown the resolve to actually do what is required in the short term. The next five years will be critical to see whether that resolve is forthcoming.
Most of the business community that was gathered in Paris in the margins of the climate summit was much less ambiguous than the negotiators. They, and we, are clear on the direction of travel. The remaining question is whether we can make the change fast enough to save the climate; or rather will we? It is now clear that we have the technology to do so; all that is lacking are the proper frameworks to shift private investment in the right direction, to stop subsidizing fossil fuel consumption and production with hundreds or thousands of billions of dollars every year, and recognize that we need to completely decarbonize the global economy.