According to at least one US commentator, Senate climate and energy legislation is now as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch. Without rehearsing the possible scenarios for introducing the bill at a later stage or the ins-and-outs of ‘lame duck sessions‘ and their possible voting scenarios, why is even such an apparently lame climate change bill so difficult to pass in the US?
Some of course blame it’s very lameness and the Democrat leadership’s unwillingness to push hard on the issue of climate itself. Others are dancing on the bill’s grave, arguing that putting cap and trade at its heart was a fatal flaw. And a further phalanx of pro-climate action views direct their anger at the ‘moral cowards‘ defending ‘narrow electoral interests’ in the Senate. Continue reading
An update on our most recent post – on Monday the UK’s independent statutory climate advisory group, the Climate Change Committee chaired by Adair Turner, brought out a new report on low carbon innovation. One of its main findings is Continue reading
In the UK the new coalition Government is beginning to swing the spending axe, and despite that fact that this will apparently be the “greenest government ever”, low carbon innovation is not spared. A number of technology support programmes have been axed, including £12.6 million from the Carbon Trust and £2.9 million from the Low Carbon Technology Programme. This comes on top of the culling of the Regional Development Agencies, which have been champions of low carbon innovations from electric vehicles to carbon capture and storage. Continue reading
Would more security and more equality help improve climate politics? One recent analysis that has attracted a lot of attention – The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett - argues that more inequality leads to greater consumerism and individualism, which in turn is a block on co-operation to tackle climate change. Meanwhile, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger argued in their book Break Through that a precondition for a concern with environmental sustainability is genuine economic security.
Is there evidence to support these ideas? Continue reading
What’s the right response to the politics of climate change – realism about the current impasse or holding out for the change that must surely come? A couple of weeks ago foreign policy expert Alex Evans posted a long piece on the Global Dashboard website, partly in response to an argument he was having with Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute at a recent ippr event. Here’s our perspective. Continue reading