Despite decades of activism and scientific consensus about the perils of climate change, our economies remain deeply dependent on fossil fuels. How are we to meet the challenge of global warming before it is too late? Climate Action asks what we must do to begin realizing a green future today.
Leading off a forum, Charles Sabel and David G. Victor argue that global climate change diplomacy—from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to the 2015 Paris Agreement—has monopolized policy thinking but failed to deliver significant results. Instead, the authors suggest we must embrace what they call “experimentalist governance.” Taking inspiration from the pragmatist philosophy of John Dewey as well as from the Montreal Protocol’s successful approach to another environmental crisis—ozone depletion—they contend that deep decarbonization of the economy can only be achieved by integrating bottom-up, local experimentation and top-down, global cooperation.
Respondents consider how that program might work in practice, where it fits alongside plans for a Green New Deal, and what political forces climate action must reckon with. Other contributors explore the limitations of carbon pricing, the prospects of recent corporate commitments to rein in emissions, and the nature of life on a polluted and overheated planet. Together they sketch an urgent vision for climate action—now.