A safe operating space for development?
Authors: Will Lamb, Narasimha Rao
Abstract: Human development achievement and global climate change policy are intimately linked though the provision of basic goods and services. Given prevailing technologies, such provisions will require an expansion of energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In this paper, we attempt to quantify a fair ‘operating space’ for development – a body of energy consumption and GHG emissions that may be necessary for developing regions to spend in order to preserve their future access to basic goods and services. We assess ‘development as usual’ (“DAU”) projections using an elasticity approach for four regions: Africa, India & South Asia, China & Centrally Planned Asia, and Latin America. The respective sizes of each operating space are significant in comparison to the global carbon budget, have varying dynamics over the following four decades, and are highly consequential for the equitable allocation of global emissions rights.
Failures of Green Growth as a Means for Addressing Climate Change
Authors: Clive Spash
Abstract: This paper offers a critical appraisal of recent moves to promote Green Growth as the answer to human induced climate change. In the build-up to the Conference of the Parties to be held in Paris, December 2015, a substantive lobbying exercise has been undertaken to present what is claimed to be a scientific, independent and objective case for massive financial investment to secure future energy requirements while preventing loss due to toxic fossil fuel assets. The paper analyses the case using the 2014 “Better Growth Better Climate” report. The paper covers the framing of the debate, getting the prices right, energy and material throughput, growth versus human health and the environment, the ethics of a growth society, and the conflicts between corporate interests, government and civil society. One conclusion is that planning is back on the agenda, but this raises serious questions of governance that are not being addressed.
The innovation impact of the policy mix for renewable power generation: a survey analysis of German technology providers
Authors: Karoline Rogge, Joachim Schleich
Abstract:The decarbonization of energy systems constitutes one of this century’s key challenges for human society. In such a transition so-called policy mixes play a crucial role in redirecting and accelerating technological change towards low-carbon solutions. Yet precisely how policy mixes affect technological innovation remains poorly understood. In this paper we present new insights into the link between policy mix and innovation based on a company survey among German manufacturers of renewable power generation technologies which was conducted between April and July 2014. Based on a bivariate Tobit model we confirm the positive innovation effect of demand pull and technology push instruments. In addition, we find that perception of companies regarding the consistency of the instrument mix and the credibility of the overarching policy mix are positively associated with the level of their future innovation expenditures. Based on these findings we derive policy recommendations and point to future research needs.
Beyond the Zeitgeist: energy and climate policy assuming the laws of physics trump the rules of economics
Authors: Kevin Anderson, Alice Bows-Larkin
Abstract: Set against the hubris of the political and economic hegemony and palpable failure of the market Zeitgeist to oversee anything other than an exponential rise in emissions, this paper will begin to frame an alternative vision. Not one of abstract optimisation, hidden algorithms and black box models, but rather one based on IPCC carbon budgets, transparent arithmetic, iteration and humility in the face of many uncertainties. Such an agenda not only opens up a new framing of climate change but also asks questions as to the appropriateness of the reductionist and disciplinary institutions of academia for resolving systemic and globalised issues.