Doing what’s right for the climate while winning public support

Parallel Session D.3 – 16:45 – 17:30, Thursday 2 May, Sala De Gasperi, Villa Salviati, EUI

Abstract: The Paris Agreement on climate change includes commitments by all participating states, regardless of whether they are developed or developing countries. Many states have not yet done much towards meeting their mitigation commitments and all need to do more. If, as scientists advise, we need to transform our economies and radically change lifestyles, how can we reconcile preserving our climate system while retaining public support for action? Economists strongly advocate carbon pricing as the most efficient way of reducing emissions, but carbon taxes are seen as regressive by some, while emissions trading can put the competitiveness of businesses at risk. The alternatives to carbon pricing do not seem more appealing, as strict performance standards add to costs; banning certain goods, such as incandescent light bulbs, has proven unpopular and behavioural measures are seen as too intrusive. So what options are left for policymakers?

Moderator: Jos Delbeke, Professor, School of Transnational Governance, EUI and KU Leuven


Ottmar Edenhofer, Director, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research

Martin L. Weitzman, Research Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Baroness Bryony Worthington, Executive Director, Environmental Defense Fund, Europe Office