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Deep Decarbonization: A Realistic Way Forward on Climate Change

February 3, 2020 by Anant Jain

David G. Victor

Professor, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California

(Published by Yale Environment 360)

In 1969, in the middle of the spiralling U.S.-Soviet arms race, international relations expert McGeorge Bundy wrote a prescient article in Foreign Affairs about how to “cap the volcano” of armaments. Success in arms control, he explained, required a laser-like focus on the strategic incentives for both sides to change behaviour and stick with their agreements. Awareness of the dangers of arms racing, by itself, wasn’t enough.

Today, the same kind of laser focus is needed on climate change. The problem is a lot more complicated than strategic arms control, of course — there are many more relevant countries, not just two duelling superpowers, and the problem of heat-trapping emissions is deeply embedded in the modern industrial economy. Cutting emissions to nearly zero isn’t merely an activity, like redirecting the purchase of armaments, that governments can control directly. But the point remains: Success requires less moralizing and more strategizing. Read full article…

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