Getting to Green
Proposals for a "Green New Deal" in the United States have raised the question of what it will take to meet the emissions-reduction goals outlined in the 2015 Paris climate agreement. While some see climate change as strictly a technical problem, others insist that it will require a deeper economic transformation.
In this Big Picture, Jose Antonio Ocampo argues that the threat of catastrophic climate change has become so urgent that solutions based on traditional economic analysis may no longer suffice. Adair Turner explains why carbon pricing, the conventional solution prescribed by economists, could fall short in bringing down the costs of renewable energy. And Joseph E. Stiglitz notes that the kind of comprehensive intervention envisioned by Green New Dealers will be necessary to spare future generations a full-scale “Hothouse Earth” scenario.
Meanwhile, Bjørn Lomborg points to the promise of geoengineering, and calls for more consideration of how technology can be used to mitigate or reverse global warming in the absence of immediate carbon reductions. But Carroll Muffett warns that the two main geoengineering methods on offer could actually accelerate the pace of climate change.