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The World Needs Many More Public Servants

The private sector alone cannot make the massive investments required to achieve a carbon-neutral future and hold societies together through the twenty-first century's economic, political, and climate-related crises. To enable governments to do so, policymakers must avoid austerity measures and recruit high-quality personnel.

OXFORD – Policymakers around the world will need to address a confluence of economic, political, and climate-related shocks in 2023. While governments cannot solve these crises alone, deft political leadership will be crucial to holding societies together and enabling communities and businesses to step up and do their part. What the world desperately needs is public servants and politicians who are willing and able to innovate.

At the end of last month’s United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, world leaders agreed that climate change is putting communities everywhere at risk and requires urgent action. Businesses, in particular, must transform the way they use energy and transport. But even companies that have made ambitious net-zero pledges are struggling to present credible plans for achieving this goal.

The lack of clear and enduring regulatory frameworks has made it even more difficult for companies to achieve net-zero emissions. Only governments can put in place the required mechanisms, and they must seek innovative ways to ensure regulatory stability. There is little point in passing climate legislation today if voters and businesses believe it will likely be overturned after the next election.

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