Books

Greenprint: A New Approach to Cooperation on Climate Change

10/31/12
Aaditya Mattoo and Arvind Subramanian
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“This important book sets a sensible and specific way forward. It should be read by all involved in economic development and international action on climate change.
—Lord Nicholas Stern, author of the Stern Review

International cooperation on climate change has floundered. With mutual recrimination between rich and poor countries, the zero-sum arithmetic of a shrinking global carbon budget, and shifting economic and bargaining power from old CO2 emitters to new—what Aaditya Mattoo and Arvind Subramanian call the “narrative,” “adding up,” and “new world” problems—the wonder is not the current impasse but belief that progress might be possible at all.

Each of these problems must be addressed in a radically different way. First, the old narrative of recrimination must give way to a narrative based on recognition of common interests. Second, leaders must shift the focus away from cutting emissions to generating technology. Third, the old “cash-for-cuts” approach must be abandoned for one that requires contributions from each country calibrated in magnitude and form to its current level of development and future prospects.

“Global negotiations on climate change have been hampered as much by a neglect of scientific facts as a lack of objective analysis. Greenprint fills a large gap and provides a useful departure from standard literature on the subject.”
—R. K. Pachauri, Nobel Prize–winning chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

“Mattoo and Subramanian are the masters at rethinking global compacts in a way that is free of the wishfulness, abstraction, and process-obsession that sometimes bedevil the debate.”
—Sebastian Mallaby, Center for Geo-Economic Studies, Council on Foreign Relations