Regrets, they’ve had a few: where now for climate politics?
The Copenhagen fiasco combined with the crisis of credibility afflicting climate science offers progressives a vital opportunity to inject a much needed dose of realism into the politics of climate change.
The adoption of a radical green agenda that will have large-scale detrimental effects on the poorer segments of our societies, while condemning millions in the developing world to economic hardship, does not sit comfortably with traditional centre-left principles of social justice and collective prosperity. It is time for national governments and politicians to deliver “no regrets solutions” to the climate change challenge.
Jürgen Krönig is a commentator for the German weekly newspaper Die Zeit and a freelance author for various publications in Germany, Switzerland and Britain.
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.
Rethinking climate change strategy for national governments (Stephen Hale)
Needs must: should the environment trump prosperity? (Clive Soley)