Looking for hope on the climate? Here’s where to start.

Carbon pricing and emissions-trading schemes (ETS) are increasingly being implemented globally, such as in the state of Gujarat, India, where economist Michael Greenstone, affiliate of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), and researchers from University of Chicago, Yale University and the University of Warwick found that a J-PAL Climate Lab-led ETS pilot project reduced emissions by 20-30% among participating industrial plants. The programme is being replicated in other Indian states based on its success, while the Indian central government has begun developing a national carbon market.


After a summer of climate-related disasters, the latest report from the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change is a dire warning for the world. The planet faces a “rapidly narrowing window” to avert catastrophic levels of warming. Even if countries fulfill existing pledges, the Earth is projected to warm by 2.4 degrees Celsius by the turn of the century — a smaller increase than was projected a few years ago but still well past the 1.5-degree threshold scientists say the globe shouldn’t cross.

In the lead-up to the annual U.N. climate conference (COP28) starting next month, this forecast should put policymakers and business leaders on notice. On top of that, early analyses show the month of September breaking a global heat record by a wide margin. Yet the news is not all dread and despair. The U.N. report also touts the progress made since the Paris agreement was negotiated in 2015, including “early signs of transformation and urgency” that could remake the climate fight. To be sure, these green shoots of innovation are not enough — but they can provide evidence-based building blocks for the crucial next decade of climate action.

One glimmer of progress is that more places are starting to price carbon emissions. A market-based approach that requires those who pollute to pay for it remains the most efficient way to reduce the emissions that drive global warming, because it forces individuals and companies to think about reducing their carbon footprints without clunky government mandates.

The Washington Post

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