Building a more functional conversation among researchers, policymakers, citizens and industrial leaders is critical to address the global challenge of climate change, argued panelists at the “Rescuing Climate Policy” panel at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability on Feb. 5. Kristen Hwang, a journalism student at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, reported on the panel for Slate magazine’s Future Tense channel.
At the event, panelists argued that to prevent environmental wars and global unrest, the international community needs to work together to aggressively combat climate change and remove CO2 from the atmosphere.
Government and business leaders are beginning to realize that good climate policy is good economic policy. Panelist Yongsheng Zhang, an economist and team lead for the Chinese government’s “Climate Change and Green Growth” research initiative, has found that an economy based on renewable energy is more productive than one dependent on oil and other fossil fuels, he said. “In international negotiations, the idea is to let other countries reduce emissions more, and for your own country to reduce less. To reduce less is of national interest,” Zhang said. “This is a strategic misjudgment.” Citizens can play a role in realigning climate and economic policy by demanding major changes to policies around energy generation and use, but Hwang stresses the need for all parties to “wake up” and begin this high-stakes dialogue now, before major consequences become unavoidable.
To learn more about the obstacles to global climate policy change and about the experts’ proposed solutions, read the full article at Future Tense.
Future Tense is a collaboration among ASU, the New America Foundation and Slate magazine that explores how emerging technologies affect policy and society.