How to Fix the Climate: A Boston Review Forum

Charles Sabel and David G. Victor in the Boston Review:

Can the world meet the challenge of climate change?

After more than three decades of global negotiations, the prognosis looks bleak. The most ambitious diplomatic efforts have focused on a series of virtually global agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 and the Paris Agreement of 2015. With so many diverse interests across so many countries, it has been hard to get global agreement simply on the need for action; meaningful consensus has been even more elusive. Profound uncertainty about the effectiveness of various mitigation measures has made it difficult to estimate the cost of deep cuts in emissions.

What is not uncertain is that cuts will pose a threat to well-organized high-emitting industries. Prudent negotiators have delayed making commitments and agreed only to treaties that continue business as usual by a more palatable name. Between the delays and superficial compacts, emissions have risen by two-thirds since 1990, and they keep climbing—except for the temporary drop this year when the global economy imploded under the coronavirus pandemic.

More here.