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What is Climate Change Policy Now Trying to Achieve?


  • David Campbell


Almost all advocates of international climate change policy hope and expect that the Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris in November–December 2015 will reach an agreement to reduce global anthropomorphic greenhouse gas emissions. Yet more than 25 years of international climate change policy has failed to reach such an agreement; emissions, far from having been reduced, have greatly increased. In the author's view, no such agreement will be reached in Paris. Anticipating this, Lord Stern, a highly influential figure in international climate change policy, has restated the case for continuing with this policy while relinquishing the objective of reaching such an agreement, though it had previously been claimed that this was essential to ‘save the world’. Advocating the continuation of climate change policy while disavowing a formerly acknowledged condition of its success seems to represent a further stage in the abandonment of rationality in climate change policy formulation.

Suggested Citation

  • David Campbell, 2015. "What is Climate Change Policy Now Trying to Achieve?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(3), pages 428-442, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecaffa:v:35:y:2015:i:3:p:428-442

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stern, Nicholas, 2015. "Why Are We Waiting? The Logic, Urgency, and Promise of Tackling Climate Change," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262029189, March.
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