Alternative political and policy pathways to tackling climate change challenge

In tandem with the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21)* in Paris, explore insight shared by CSPO faculty and affiliates regarding climate change and social impacts.
*(Refers to countries that signed up to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.)

Daniel Sarewitz is a Professor with ASU’s School for the Future of Innovation in Society and Co-director of CSPO. His work focuses on revealing the connections between science policy decisions, scientific research and social outcomes.

For decades, action on climate change has been held hostage to political disagreement at every level from the local to the international. But climate change also offers enormous political opportunities that are only beginning to be discovered. Since its inception in 1998, CSPO has been at the core of a network scholars and organizations working to identify pragmatic approaches to climate change that create political alternatives and opportunities for effective action. The key idea behind these approaches is that successful social responses to climate change will address a wide range of societal challenges that can mobilize diverse political, social, and economic constituencies. A world that is successfully confronting climate change will also be a world that fosters wealth-creating innovation in all sectors of the economy, universal access to abundant, cheap and clean energy, global protection from a wide range of natural hazards, and sustainable management and protection of natural resources. When action on climate change is understood and pursued in such terms, it evolves from a politically intractable problem that creates winners and losers in a zero-sum world, to a politically inclusive opportunity for the advance of human well-being and equity.


Related publications:


Breaking the Global-Warming Gridlock

World view: Curing climate backlash

Climate change e-mail scandal underscores myth of pure science

Learning to Live with Fossil Fuels

Climate policy robs the world’s poor of their hopes (subscription)

Our High-energy Planet – A Climate Pragmatism Project

High-energy Innovation – A Climate Pragmatism Project

The Hartwell Paper – A new direction for climate policy after the crash of 2009

Liberalism’s Modest Proposals – Or, the Tyranny of Scientific Rationality

Does climate change knowledge really matter?