You can read George Monbiot’s column on capitalism and climate change here
You can read Andrew McAfee’s argument about how capitalism can help combat climate change here
Andrew mentions the 1970 Clear Air Act
. The US legislation aimed to prevent air pollution and gave the EPA more power to fight against environmental pollution. The CAA has been hailed as a success: total emissions of six major air pollutants decreased by 63% between 1980-2015
The Paris Climate Agreement was a adopted as a global effort to combat climate change. The goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well 2 °C. The agreement was adopted in 2016 with 195 signatories from around the world. In 2017, President Trump announced he intended to withdraw the US from the agreement.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists
, the top 5 most polluting countries are China, The United States, India, Russia, and Japan.
Many countries have cut their emissions by outsourcing much of their carbon pollution overseas, importing goods rather than producing them domestically. Here
is a look at how many developed nations have ‘outsourced pollution’
George talks about adopting a climate commons which would reframe government and societal institutions and effectively combat climate change. You can read more about it here
Both George and Andrew agree that nuclear energy can help lower carbon emissions. Nuclear power plants release much less greenhouse gas emissions compared to a natural gas-fired power plant. This
is an in depth look at the benefits and drawbacks of nuclear energy.
The effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 has led to a sharp decrease in greenhouse gas emissions due to global shutdowns, cancelled flights and closed businesses. However, many environmental scientists are not hopeful
about this latest development; history has shown that while emissions decrease during economic downturns, they will continue to rise once the economy bounces back, meaning this current crisis will have little to no impact on the effort to combat global warming.