The economics and the design of socially just climate policies

The findings from climate economics are clear: transitioning the economy to limit global warming — to 2 degrees or less — is possible. For decades, economists have built detailed models of the economy that estimate what individual countries and individual sectors of the economy would have to do, to prevent global warming. They also include recommendations for what policies are needed to do so (eg carbon taxes or efficiency regulations). These ‘blueprints’ for the climate transition are called ‘transition pathways’, most prominently summarised in the IPCCs WG 3 report.

In this seminar we will, first, understand the various transition scenarios and their core underlying assumptions (such as technology availability, growth, and consumption patterns). Second, given that clear plans for the transition exists, we will try to understand the deeper political economy causes of why countries are not implementing them. One core aspect of this will be to analyse the distribute impacts of policies.  That is: who are the economic winners and losers of climate policies? Third, we will discuss how transition scenarios can be designed in a socially just way, in a given country. This includes reflecting on the moral underpinnings of consumption and economic growth.

Get the seminar briefing pack.

Philosophy and Economics Programme, University of Bayreuth

Summer 2020, with Carsten Jung

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