Category archives for Climate change

The Coming Crisis: political economy and the ‘other crisis’

Martin Craig

How we diagnose and respond to the ‘socio-ecological’ crisis is essential to our understanding of any ‘coming crisis’ These are anxious times for political economists, as this blog series attests. A crisis is coming (if it’s not already upon us). Decisive changes are needed to avoid dire consequences. But what exactly is this ‘coming crisis’? At first sight the prior … Continue reading

1 June 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Leave a comment

The Coming Crisis: planetary instability

Peter Dauvergne

To solve the escalating environmental crisis the unsustainability of global wealth creation must be confronted, argues Peter Dauvergne in our new ‘coming crisis’ blog. Last year was the hottest ever recorded. And for the first time average global temperatures reached 1°C above pre-industrial times. This was but one sign in 2015 of an escalating global environmental crisis. Rivers of plastic … Continue reading

27 April 2016 by
Categories: Climate change, Environment, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, The coming crisis | Tags: , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit V

Martin Craig

From the politics of climate summitry to the political economy of climate-change mitigation Today, the 21st ‘Conference of the Parties’ to the UNFCCC begins in Paris. The climate of international affairs has changed dramatically in recent weeks. Yet the four contributors to this blog series point to troubling continuities. They highlight, in different ways, the ongoing failure of multilateral climate … Continue reading

30 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Development, Economics, Europe and the EU, SPERI Comment, UN Climate Summit | Tags: | Leave a comment

SPERI Spotlight on the UN climate summit III

Matthew Patterson

Beyond ‘Deadline Multilateralism’ UN climate change negotiations have been temporally structured around a series of crunch moments: Rio, Kyoto, The Hague, Bali, Copenhagen and now Paris.  The lessons of Rio and Kyoto seemed to be that, if you give a clear deadline, you could structure the expectations of negotiators around that deadline and thereby produce a deal. At Rio it … Continue reading

25 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Kyoto mechanisms, SPERI Comment, UN Climate Summit | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

SPERI spotlight on the UN climate summit II

On climate change ontologies and the spirit(s) of oil As we know, preparations are underway for the 21st time for a United Nations Conference of Parties (COP) on Climate Change, intended to produce a ‘deal’ for the management and prevention of anthropogenic climate change. Every edit of the text by government negotiators is being scrutinised by those with varying interests … Continue reading

19 November 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, UN Climate Summit | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Resource security and energy abundance

John Mathews

Unless Western countries intervene in their economies to build green energy and resource systems, they will continue to go down to defeat in this field to China Why is China becoming a renewable energy superpower – even as it becomes the world’s largest carbon emitter?  This is surely one of the more interesting and challenging questions in international political economy … Continue reading

28 May 2015 by
Categories: China, Climate change, Economics, Environment, SPERI Comment, Sustainability, trade | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Inequality Redux II

Martin Craig

The ‘trilemma’ of equality, accumulation and ecology The view that inequality is a barrier to economic performance, rather than a ‘social justice issue’ rendered moot by economic growth, has returned to public debate (if not, alas, the party-political agenda).  A growing chorus of voices considers greater equality to be a pre-condition of a more stable growth model, as this blog … Continue reading

26 February 2015 by
Categories: Climate change, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Leave a comment

Capitalism, greening and political economy

Matthew Patterson

China and other countries in the global South are leading the way in the uptake of renewable energy and the pursuit of green growth Hints that we maybe undergoing profound transformations in capitalism as it grapples with the unprecedented challenge of taking the fossil fuels out of the global economy are rapidly becoming clearer.  In our book Climate Capitalism, published … Continue reading

25 February 2015 by
Categories: China, Climate change, Development, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Locating Naomi Klein in the political economy of climate change

Martin Craig

She sits somewhat uneasily between ecological Marxists and pro-market ecological economists Naomi Klein’s new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, offers a distinctive political economy perspective on the slow rate of policy responses to the scientific consensus that emissions of greenhouse gasses must be reduced if hazardous and irreversible changes to the earth’s climate are to be avoided.  … Continue reading

22 December 2014 by
Categories: Climate change, Economics, Global crisis, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | Leave a comment

The CGIAR: the most important international organisation you’ve never heard of?

This little-known organisation is at the forefront of efforts to alleviate hunger and end poverty  Recently, the Economist carried a briefing on the ‘new green revolution’ in which it highlighted the work being done by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to develop new strains of rice that can be grown under changing climatic conditions. IRRI is one of 15 … Continue reading

17 June 2014 by
Categories: Climate change, Development, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , | 1 comment

Part of the problem or part of the solution? Migration as adaptation to climate change

Andrew Geddes

We need to begin thinking about migration as a response to the combined pressures of climate change and economic insecurity Can migration allow people in some of the poorest parts of the world to sustain their lives and livelihoods in the face of environmental and climate change?  Too often migration both within states and internationally is seen as a crisis, … Continue reading

29 April 2014 by
Categories: Climate change, Development, Environment, India, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , | 4 comments

The ‘carbon bubble’

Dan Bailey

Overvalued fossil fuel assets reveal the ecological limitations of the economic recovery It’s disconcerting that the return to GDP growth may have, for now at least, obfuscated the analysis of the unstable dynamics underpinning Britain’s pre-crash growth model. The insights of numerous political economists have explicated that behind the GDP statistics lay a dysfunctional growth model with tendencies towards financial … Continue reading

1 April 2014 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Climate change, Finance, Politics and policy, SPERI Comment | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Floating voters’, rules of rescue and the challenge to austerity discourse

Matt Wood

The onset of massive flooding is throwing up some uncomfortable challenges for the UK Coalition government’s austerity agenda Andrew Neil’s quip on Thursday night’s episode of This Week about the government’s concern for ‘floating voters’ in south-west England was among his best. Like a lot of good jokes, it resonates with an unacknowledged truth. This winter’s extraordinarily prolonged period of … Continue reading

20 February 2014 by
Categories: British growth crisis, Climate change, SPERI Comment, Uncategorized | 1 comment

Placing bets on the climate

Jo Bates

Developments in ‘big data’ science and the weather risk industry are transforming the political economy of climate change The recent news story regarding Monsanto’s US$930million acquisition of the data science company, Climate Corporation, raises important questions about the form of political economy that is being developed in response to the challenge of climate instability. A new generation of data analytics … Continue reading

24 October 2013 by
Categories: Business, Climate change, Inequality, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 comment

The Great Uncertainty: thinking through environmental threat

Colin Hay and Tony Payne

That we find ourselves in the environmental ‘red zone’ has profound implications for how we think about growth In the penultimate blog of this series we consider the third dimension of this era of ‘Great Uncertainty’, the profound environmental challenge we face.The story of our environmental crisis is the story of a series of symbolic breaches.  On 10th May this … Continue reading

11 July 2013 by
Categories: Climate change, Great Uncertainty, SPERI Comment | Leave a comment

China’s emerging new development model

As China grows rapidly alongside India and Brazil, can rising living standards coexist with a sustainable green development model? China – and to some extent Brazil and India (which may be christened the BICs) – are staging a ‘Great Convergence’ in terms of industrial strength and incomes. This reverses the past two centuries of the Great Divergence which had separated … Continue reading

16 April 2013 by
Categories: China, Climate change, Development, SPERI Comment, Sustainability | Leave a comment

What’s happening on the climate change and energy front? Part 2

The energy landscape is changing rapidly, but the path towards renewable energy will be long and challenging In the second part of my contribution I pick out a couple more big themes of the past year on the climate change and energy front. Renewable energy encounters head winds The last five years have seen remarkable growth in renewables, especially wind, … Continue reading

1 February 2013 by
Categories: Climate change, SPERI Comment | Leave a comment

What’s happening on the climate change and energy front? Part 1

There is a growing acceptance of the climate threat, but international consensus over the right policy responses remains elusive With 2013 now underway it is worth pausing to take stock of recent developments on the climate change and energy fronts.  The last few years have probably represented the most difficult conjuncture to confront environmentalists for a generation – with governments … Continue reading

25 January 2013 by
Categories: Climate change, SPERI Comment | Tags: | 1 comment

The U.S. Elections and the climate silence

Jeremy Green

Obama defeats Romney, but the politics of climate change was the real loser in this election As hurricane Sandy battered the Eastern coast of the U.S. last week, campaigning ground to a halt. A force beyond the control of party politics had made a spectacular intervention, with commentators anticipating that Sandy could have a major impact upon the elections outcome. … Continue reading

9 November 2012 by
Categories: Climate change, Global crisis, SPERI Comment | 1 comment