Climate Futures Workshop 2021: Climate Solutions, Money, and Politics

Asynchronous / Online / June 16-30

https://cfi-onlineworkshop.net/2021-cfa

All solutions to climate change—whether mitigation, adaptation, or compensation—play out against a backdrop of domestic and global financial, economic, and political systems. Proposed climate solutions raise issues of justice as well as politics and finance. The complex interplay of these issues calls for conversation and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries.

Visions of a Just Transition, a Green New Deal, or a Green Recovery from COVID-19 have captivated imaginations: but to what extent should responses to climate change be intertwined with radical social, economic, or political transformation? Fossil fuel companies facing asset stranding have obstructed climate solutions: but do they hold the key to developing carbon dioxide removal technologies? Renewable energy remains generally capital-intensive: how can we incentivise breakthrough innovations? Future generations will benefit significantly from action on climate change today: should we “borrow from the future” to fund a clean energy transition?

Facilitating conversations addressing such questions is the aim of this year’s Climate Futures Workshop. We outline some other possible questions below:

Broad

  • What role should we take self-interest to play in climate finance and politics, and how should self-interested motivations be constrained and channeled?
  • Is it feasible or desirable for future generations to bear any of the costs of current mitigation measures?
  • How do climate solutions connect with social movements for political and climate justice?

Narrow

  • Can fossil-fuel firms transform themselves from part of the problem to part of the solution? Can and should they be forgiven for their past roles in causing climate change and obstructing action to mitigate it? What kinds of constructive contributions can they offer? How can the various resources of fossil-fuel companies be redirected for developing climate solutions?
  • Developed countries agreed in Paris to a goal of “mobilising” $100bn per year by 2020 in climate finance. How should “mobilisation” be understood? How can climate finance be made more effective?
  • Can payments for ecosystem services such as natural carbon sinks be both just and effective?
  • What balance of command-and-control or pricing instruments will best achieve climate justice?
  • What role should economic measurements of the social cost of carbon play in setting climate policy, given the theoretical and practical difficulties of an accurate assessment?
  • Is buying fossil fuel reserves in order to keep them in the ground a feasible strategy?
  • Can changes in corporate governance incentivise increased investment in climate change adaptation?

Presenters

  • Robert Keohane
  • John Broome
  • Rebecca Henderson
  • Michael Oppenheimer
  • Simon Caney
  • Alyssa Bernstein
  • Paul Kelleher
  • Rachel Kyte
  • Angel Hsu
  • Alexandre Gajevic Sayegh
  • Matto Mildenberger
  • Jessica Green
  • Thea Riofrancos

Organizers

The Climate Futures Workshop 2021 is sponsored by the Climate Futures Initiative, the High Meadows Environmental Institute, and the Center for Human Values at Princeton University.

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