Green and clean? Lord Stern on COP21 and the world economy

Written by Olivia Arigho-Stiles on . Posted in Current features, Features

Last week Professor Lord Stern delivered a lecture at the European University Institute on ‘A world economy in profound structural change and the logic, urgency and promise of tackling climate change’. His lecture comes in the run-up to COP21 in Paris, where world leaders will convene to forge an international agreement on limiting global warming below 2°C. Lord Stern is I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government and Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE.

In his interview with EUI Times, Lord Stern talks frankly about the limitations and potential of the Paris conference.  ”We know that the sum total of the emissions that are indicated for 2030 are too high for [the target of] 2°C. For me the test of success in Paris is not that by itself, but is learning from that, recognizing that there is a big gap and therefore discussing carefully and credibly how we raise our ambition beyond Paris. So in other words, Paris is the beginning of a process.”

He also argues that the link between consumption and production on the one hand, and carbon emissions  on the other, must be broken if the world is to move towards a low-carbon future.

Rejecting de-growth arguments, Stern emphasizes market based instruments such as carbon pricing as essential ”incentive structures’’. In the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, Stern likewise remains optimistic about the progressive role businesses can play in adapting to the need for a green economy.

You can watch the EUI Times’ interview here:

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