In order to control climate change, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that greenhouse gas emissions will need to fall by about forty percent by 2030.
Achieving the target goals will be highly challenging. Yet in Greening the Global Economy, economist Robert Pollin shows that they are attainable through steady, large-scale investments—totaling about 1.5 percent of global GDP on an annual basis—in both energy efficiency and clean renewable energy sources. Not only that: Pollin argues that with the right investments, these efforts will expand employment and drive economic growth.
Drawing on years of research, Pollin explores all aspects of the problem: how much energy will be needed in a range of industrialized and developing economies; what efficiency targets should be; and what kinds of industrial policy will maximize investment and support private and public partnerships in green growth so that a clean energy transformation can unfold without broad subsidies.
All too frequently, inaction on climate change is blamed on its potential harm to the economy. Pollin shows greening the economy is not only possible but necessary: global economic growth depends on it.
Robert Pollin is Distinguished Professor of Economics and Codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.