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Climate Capitalism [BOOKS] ✸ Climate Capitalism By Peter Newell – Thomashillier.co.uk Confronting climate change is now understood as a problem of decarbonising the global economy ending our dependence on carbon based fossil fuels This book explores whether such a transformation is und Confronting climate change is now understood as a problem of decarbonising the global economy ending our dependence on carbon based fossil fuels This book explores whether such a transformation is underway, how it might be accelerated, and the complex politics of this process Given the dominance of global capitalism and free market ideologies, decarbonisation is dependent on creating carbon markets and engaging powerful actors in the world of business and finance Climate Capitalism assesses the huge political dilemmas this poses, and the need to challenge the entrenched power of many corporations, the culture of energy use, and global inequalities in energy consumption Climate Capitalism is essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand the challenge we face It will also inform a range of student courses in environmental studies, development studies, international relations, and business programmes.


About the Author: Peter Newell

Librarian Note There isthan one author with this name in the Goodreads databasePeter Newell is Professor of Development Studies, University of East AngliaCurriculum Vitae.



10 thoughts on “Climate Capitalism

  1. Julien Leger Julien Leger says:

    Climate capitalism or why we should sign up Goldman Sachs in the fight against climate change If we accept the premise that climate change entails clear and present dangers that we humans can prevent, should we proceed by giving up on our current economic model and choose a new direction, or join forces with the leaders of our capitalist economy to reform the model and help them make money on the way This question is not just theoretical it has a fundamental impact on the best strategy If yo Climate capitalism or why we should sign up Goldman Sachs in the fight against climate change If we accept the premise that climate change entails clear and present dangers that we humans can prevent, should we proceed by giving up on our current economic model and choose a new direction, or join forces with the leaders of our capitalist economy to reform the model and help them make money on the way This question is not just theoretical it has a fundamental impact on the best strategy If you take climate change seriously, should you join an anti capitalist group and organize a protest at the next G8 meeting, or join forces with Goldman Sachs For Peter Newell and Matthew Patterson, the latter is a necessary step As the title suggest, this book is about market based policies essentially, cap and trade systems and carbon taxes meant to decarbonise our economy their roots in neoliberalism, their development in the 90 s and 00 s, and their potential and limits to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet For the authors, these mechanisms are appealing for essentially political reasons the alliance between environmentalists and financiers has the potential to create a powerful constituency that benefits from market based climate change policies They argue that in the context of a capitalistic society, this is the only viable option to make the urgent changes quick enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change Abandoning our capitalistic ways is simply not realistic at the moment, so we must find a way to grow our economies while replacing coal, oil and gas Turning our climate into a commodity for financiers to trade is the way to go.For everyone but a Stephen Harper Conservative, this approach is not new Businesses currently treat the environment as if it is worth nothing Pricing nature and incorporating that price into the cost of production creates an economic incentive for its protection Of course, the process doesn t end there Once the commodity is created, bankers, traders and speculators step in, and nature goes through the securitization food chain Imagination is the only limit to the many financial products that can be created and traded, as the recent financial crisis has revealed But this is the ideal scenario We re not quite there yet, especially in North America The novelty of their argument is mostly in the subtext and aimed at the academic lefty type financiers are unavoidable actors of our society, so we should try to harness their power to create a low carbon economy The authors are careful, and repeatedly point out that by themselves, market based mechanism will not be enough to decarbonise the economy Left to their own device, the good people at Goldman Sachs will not save the planet We need the protesters to pressure businesses and governments to set ambitious targets and act with transparency We need governments to set high standards and efficient regulations, and to enforce the rules All these actors have a role to play in the governance of climate capitalism, and should not be seen as outside the dynamic of carbon markets This is a clear and refreshing denunciation of the naive neoliberal faith in the efficiency of markets But even then, many things could go wrong warn the authors The first experiment with a large scale emissions trading scheme in Europe is a case in point Too many emissions permits were initially allocated, so the price of carbon collapsed and did not create the desired incentive on polluters Some of what I found most interesting is when the authors explore in details the mechanics of emissions trading Neoliberals bewaremarkets do not mean less government here Emissions trading require heavy regulatory infrastructure and the development of considerablycomplex rules than a carbon tax or a simple cap on emissions These are good lessons for policymakers Sadly, were not even at the point of having the cap and trade v carbon tax debate in Canada What I found disappointing is that thefundamental criticism to market based mechanisms is mentioned, but not developed It s clear that the roots of climate change are found in the development of industrial capitalism Turning nature into a commodity can be seen as a new stage of financial capitalism, where capital is colonizing and transforming every aspect of our life and nature for its benefit Everything must be aligned with the goal of capital accumulation nowadays, even our education I cringe every time I hear a politician say that we must train our brains for the needs of the market Karl Marx would say that we are completing our alienation process, alienating ourselves from our fundamental human nature, and Mother Nature itself He s not far off base To me, the book does not capture how truly extreme and radical turning our climate into a commodity is as a solution People are right to ask if all these fancy cap and trade systems and financial abstractions are in reality counter productive Isn t this just feeding the process that s driving the crisis, and distracting our attention from the profound changes that are necessary to create a truly sustainable and fairer society Perhaps, would answer the authors But we re in damage control mode, so we must act quickly Neoliberalism is the lingua franca of our age and will inevitably shape our response to climate change People in the Marxist tradition, such as David Harvey, and proponents of d croissance , of moving away from the imperative of economic growth, will not like the arguments at the heart of this book But overall, the book provides an excellent review of the development and potential future of market based climate change policies, a powerful argument in their favor given the political context, and good lessons for their governance An excellent read so long as the reader accepts that what we should be doing is not designing the ideal sustainable and just society, but finding the right buttons to push given our current situation


  2. Melissa Melissa says:

    I read this for research paper, and while it was well written,because it was published in 2011, the bulk of information in it was out of date It did offer a wealth of information about the process of funding for projects and the flow of funding for alternate energy projects.


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