Close Reading “In future, a transformation in the scale of, and institutions for, international carbon finance flows will be required to support cost-effective emissions reductions. The incremental costs of low-carbon investments in developing countries are likely to be at least $20-30 billion per year. Providing assistance with these costs will require a major increase in the level of ambition of trading schemes such as the EU ETS. This will also require mechanisms that link private-sector carbon finance to policies and programmes rather than to individual projects. And it should work within a context of national, regional or sectoral objectives for emissions reductions. These flows will be crucial in accelerating private investment and national government action in developing countries. “There are opportunities now to build trust and to pilot new approaches to creating large-scale flows for investment in low-carbon development paths. Early signals from existing emissions trading schemes, including the EU ETS, about the extent to which they will accept carbon credits from developing countries, would help to maintain continuity during this important stage of building markets and demonstrating what is possible.” -HM Treasury, the Stern Review
Close Reading What is the argument of the paragraph? What framing devices does the author use? How does this relate to other readings and debates covered in course materials? What are the author’s specific points that help you identify these places of intersection, dialogue, and tension? What are the key words of the paragraph? What are their definitions? Are these definitions sources of debate within particular fields? Does the author betray any biases in his/her writing, or does the author strive for neutrality? Identify particular sentences, phrases, or even single words that help you answer this question. Who is the audience? What is the source text? Where was it published and who published it? Some Questions to Ask:
Topic #1: The Stern Review How does the Stern Report present and treat uncertainty in the scientific models of climate change? How does it present uncertainty in the economic models of climate change? What “market-based” instruments or approaches does the Stern Review advocate? Who are the actors involved in these market-based approaches? What assumptions about participation in the environmental policy process are built into these approaches?
Topic #2: Reactions to the Stern Review What are Lomborg’s critiques of the Stern Review? Are these valid? What do they suggest about his ideas of citizenship/the role of the individual in environmental problems and policy? The Stern Review asserts that climate change is “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen” (p. viii). Can problems that the market has created be solved with market-based approaches? In other words, can we trust market solutions to remedy market failures? Why or why not?
Topic #3: Market-Based Mechanisms Does “solving the climate problem” require more than a market approach? What are the potential problems of following such a policy? Who are the actors involved in each “market-based” approach? What assumptions about environmental citizenship and participation in the policy process are built into each? Can “lay” or “local” knowledge be incorporated into economic knowledge or policy? Why or why not? You may wish to draw on our previous readings by Gupta, Jasanoff, Corburn, and Wynne.