Be it resolved: ending climate change requires the end of capitalism as we know it Guests:
About this episode
The UN deadline of achieving net zero global emissions by 2050 is becoming an increasingly unrealistic goal as many countries fail to impose drastic measures to combat rising emissions. Some believe that capitalism is to blame: perpetual economic growth requires an increase in production, consumption and fossil fuel use. In order to prevent a climate change disaster, free market capitalism must give way to a new eco-fiscal reality that privileges the planet over profits. Defenders of capitalism think the opposite is true: while capitalism has contributed to climate change, it is also uniquely positioned to solve it. By harnessing the dynamism of the market through the pursuit of profit, corporations and individuals will create new technologies and the social change needed to avert the climate crisis and build a sustainable future.
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.