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Rethinking climate change strategy for national governments

Rethinking climate change strategy for national governments

Stephen Hale

27 February 2010


Copenhagen has been seen by many as a setback for global action on climate change. But in truth it could provoke the rethink that has long been needed. National governments hold the key to our long-term prosperity, acting domestically and in concert with others. Social democrats can lead successful domestic transitions by articulating climate change policies that deliver on economic and social grounds as well as environmental ones.

Fostering public support is key: the opportunity to secure wealth creation and employment from the process of low-carbon transition is waiting to be grasped. Internationally, we need to rebuild momentum by stepping up co-operation in areas where there is already agreement, and in other areas by developing a shared analysis of the need for action.

Stephen Hale is the director of Green Alliance, a thinktank based in the UK that aims to make solutions to environmental issues a priority for political leaders. He is the author of The new politics of climate change: why we are failing and how we will succeed. His new pamphlet, Post Copenhagen: the commandments of climate change strategy, will be published in March 2010.

Essay series: climate change: the challenge for social democracy

The urgent challenge of climate change poses a significant test for democratic politics.

New growth models, taxation, energy prices, access to transport, global governance and the implications for social justice are only some of key issues at stake. In the wake of Copenhagen's failure and as public support for dramatic emissions cuts wanes, the progressive reaction must be to sharpen our policy and political arguments in order to create a new, legitimate climate politics.

This new Policy Network essay series aims to shape this debate through informed critique and fresh thinking. Each piece provides a different perspective on how to overcome the present impasse and secure public support for equitable, just and effective climate change policies.

Regrets, they’ve had a few: where now for climate politics? (Jürgen Krönig)

Needs must: should the environment trump prosperity? (Clive Soley)

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