Skip to main content

Child's hands imposed with sunset.

The Climate’s Point of No Return

When it comes to climate change, the world has reached a point of no return. That may sound ominous, but it is precisely where we need to be: unable to continue retreading old ground, we must resolutely set our future path.

MADRID – When it comes to climate change, the world has reached a point of no return. That may sound ominous, but it is precisely where we need to be: unable to continue retreading old ground, we must resolutely set our future path.

An important first step will come at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris in November and December, where world leaders will agree on the most important international agreement on climate governance in more than 20 years. Yet important decisions remain to be made in charting a course toward a new and dynamic low-carbon economy, one capable of supporting a fast-growing and increasingly prosperous global population in the long term.

With citizens, business, and governments worldwide finally recognizing the universal nature of climate change, the outlook for this year’s conference is substantially more positive than it was prior to the last attempt to reach a comprehensive global agreement, at the 2009 Copenhagen summit (COP 15). To be sure, the challenge ahead is as broad as it is complex; but it is becoming increasingly clear that making the transition to a low-carbon economy will bring considerable economic benefits.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/lQDD3cH;

Handpicked to read next

  1. mallochbrown10_ANDREW MILLIGANAFPGetty Images_boris johnson cow Andrew Milligan/AFP/Getty Images

    Brexit House of Cards

    Mark Malloch-Brown

    Following British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's suspension of Parliament, and an appeals court ruling declaring that act unlawful, the United Kingdom finds itself in a state of political frenzy. With rational decision-making having become all but impossible, any new political agreement that emerges is likely to be both temporary and deeply flawed.

    0
  2. sufi2_getty Images_graph Getty Images

    Could Ultra-Low Interest Rates Be Contractionary?

    Ernest Liu, et al.

    Although low interest rates have traditionally been viewed as positive for economic growth because they encourage businesses to invest in enhancing productivity, this may not be the case. Instead, Ernest Liu, Amir Sufi, and Atif Mian contend, extremely low rates may lead to slower growth by increasing market concentration and thus weakening firms' incentive to boost productivity.

    4

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions