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Climate Capitalism: Global Warming and the Transformation of the Global Economy [Paperback]

Peter Newell , Matthew Paterson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

27 May 2010
Confronting climate change is now understood as a problem of 'decarbonising' the global economy: ending our dependence on carbon-based fossil fuels. This book explores whether such a transformation is underway, how it might be accelerated, and the complex politics of this process. Given the dominance of global capitalism and free-market ideologies, decarbonisation is dependent on creating carbon markets and engaging powerful actors in the world of business and finance. Climate Capitalism assesses the huge political dilemmas this poses, and the need to challenge the entrenched power of many corporations, the culture of energy use, and global inequalities in energy consumption. Climate Capitalism is essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand the challenge we face. It will also inform a range of student courses in environmental studies, development studies, international relations, and business programmes.


Product details

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (27 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521135281
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521832076
  • ASIN: 0521127289
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'The question of whether and under what terms capitalism can cope with climate change is the most important and challenging of our age. Climate Capitalism addresses this issue in an accessible and timely manner. It is required reading for all.' Sir David King, University of Oxford

'In commentary on global climate change, the issue of whose views to trust is itself one also now fraught with increasing uncertainty. The views of Newell and Paterson in this helpful book Climate Capitalism are trustworthy and important. They need to be considered widely, seriously and urgently.' Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute, London

'This is the best book yet written on the complex connections between climate change policy, markets and capitalism more generally. Written in an impartial and balanced way, the work should become a standard text in the field.' Lord Tony Giddens, London School of Economics and Political Science, and author of The Politics of Climate Change

'Climate Capitalism by Peter Newell and Matthew Paterson provides a comprehensive review of the market in carbon reductions as well as the challenges that tackling climate change poses to capitalism more generally. While accepting that the model of global capitalism being followed so far in most of the world may need to be changed to a new, more sustainable, paradigm in the longer term, we need to start from where we are and harness the positive forces of capitalism towards solving the climate change problem rather than exacerbating it. It is an excellent book that anyone interested in the economics of climate change should read.' Saleemul Huq, Senior Fellow, Climate Change Group, International Institute for Environment and Development

'Governments, businesses and people the world over are grappling with how to tackle climate change, preferably without sacrificing living standards and lifestyles. Is 'green capitalism' possible or a contradiction in terms? Will emerging forms of governance manage the potential and pitfalls of carbon markets in ways that achieve climate justice? Informed by two decades of climate scholarship, the authors provide an accessible entry to these big policy questions of the day. Backed by careful research, their balanced analysis will help inform not only all those interested in climate regulation but all those who see climate change as a harbinger of broader debates and choices about forms of global governance and the future shape of the global economy.' Farhana Yamin, former Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex

'It is now clear that capitalism as usual is not up to tackling the challenge of climate change. Under what conditions might capitalism be transformed to generate growth through low carbon development? Climate Capitalism addresses this most pressing of issues in an informed and accessible way. It is essential reading for governments, businesses and concerned citizens alike.' Rt. Hon Michael Meacher MP, former UK Minister of the Environment

'Climate change we know is intrinsically linked to the model of economic growth in the world. Neo-liberal economists today accept that climate change is the market's biggest failure. But still the world is looking for small answers to tinker its way out of the problem of growth. It is time we looked for new ways of 'business unusual'. This is why this book, Climate Capitalism, is timely. It helps us understand the crisis, but also the opportunity to reinvent growth without pollution. Read it because you must.' Sunita Narain, Director of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi

'Climate Capitalism examines whether capitalism can survive the challenge of addressing global warming induced by emissions of greenhouse gases … Can the market and private capital develop new governance mechanisms, such as carbon trading, and deliver new low-carbon technologies that will decarbonize the economy while ensuring growth and full employment? … the authors … adopt a political economy approach that locates climate change as a problem rooted in the way our production is organized, our economy is structured, and our patterns of growth and consumption … the result is an excellent review of the shifting business response to climate change and the emergence of market-based efforts to address GHG emissions … [the] style … is lucid, informative, and relatively free of jargon, though with enough detail (and comprehensive glossary) of the multitude of organizations and initiatives that it can serve as a guide to 'speaking carbon'.' David Levy, Climate Inc. (climateinc.org)

Book Description

What are the best economic policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change? Climate Capitalism assesses the politics and economics of market-led solutions to climate change. It is important reading for anyone wanting to better understand the challenge, including students on courses in environmental studies and business programmes.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tobias
Format:Paperback
In their book Climate Capitalism Newell and Paterson analyze the current international agreements on climate change, which they see as largely market based approaches born out of a neoliberal mindset and ask whether such approaches will lead to a successful decarbonization of the world's economies and whether capitalism can be reframed to create a more sustainable word economy.
Overall, Newell and Paterson provide a comprehensive and critical analysis of Carbon Capitalism and show the strengths and weaknesses of the current market based approaches to tackle climate change that are the result of neo-liberal policies. The strongly advocate a "Green New Deal," analogous to European style classical social market economies, where the state sets the frame for free actors to respond to the demands of the market. Climate change is predominantly a social issue and it is paramount that we find solutions. As we are unlikely to find a better way to organize our societies than reasonably free, but regulated markets, we should probably embrace approaches that help to successfully deal with climate change in this context. Newel and Paterson's book Climate Capitalism is an important contribution to this debate.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says, does it very well. 18 July 2010
Format:Paperback
These two experienced and useful academics, who admit they are "highly skeptical of the idea that capitalism can deliver either a socially just or sustainable future" have written a complex and challenging book that does indeed do what it says on the tin. In ten chapters they take the reader through "the history of climate, histories of capitalism" through "mobilising investors", the limits and 'perverse incentives' of carbon trading and (perhaps less well) the 'limits of climate capitalism. The four possible scenarios they sketch out in chapter 9 (climate capitalist utopia, stagnation, decarbonised dystopia and climate keynesianism,) are useful tools for thought. There's a good list of abbreviations to help readers through the alphabet soup, a so-so index and a very handy glossary. What's missing? Well, cartoons, humour, pithy quotes and, to be fairer to a book that is after all published by Cambridge Uni Press, mention of Jevon's Paradox - that increased efficiencies in resource use do not automatically (or even often) lead to an overall reduction in the consumption of that resource- , and an acknowledgement that even if the Climate crisis were mysteriously sorted out, we have plenty of other overwhelming environmental problems. Verdict: a must-read for anyone wanting more than the standard denunciations and jeremiads.
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0 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars climate communism 12 May 2012
Format:Paperback
This book is not for the faint-hearted: it argues that business must change to save the world. Of course we have to accept their assumption that the climate really is warming, and that human beings are the root cause. That is the central tenet of the various IPCC reports, despite growing empirical evidence that the world has been cooling in the last decade. The last report abounded with errors, such as absurd claims of premature melting of Himalayan glaciers, even giving specific dates of when that process would be complete! Yet the authors (who are not scientists) repeat the hysterical predictions of floods, famine, fire and whatever else the alarmists can mention so as to grab out attention. They have been predicting armageddon for many years now but the world seems to be surviving fine, apart from tsunamis (which are quite unrelated to CO2 levels in the atmosphere). On the contrary, developing countries such as China have been growing faster than ever, thanks to their exploitation of coal, oil and gas to power their economies. Indeed, they have been keeping the global economy afloat, while so-called advanced economies like the EU have been wallowing in a self-inflicted recession. Yet the EU has been in the forefront of trying to impose carbon taxes not just on the hapless members of the club, but also recently on the rest of the world. China, India and the USA are vehemently opposed to the airline carbon taxes proposed by the EU, and one can only hope that they succeed in sinking the proposal. It may be that the EU itself will collapse from within as a result of failing countries such as Greece and now Spain, their economic problems exacerbated by carbon taxes as well as a single currency which throttles any attempts to devalue themselves back to reality. Read more ›
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