- The impact of economic recession on climate change: eight trends
- Climate and Development
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In the context of deadlocked climate change negotiations, and the expectation that legally binding targets may only set in as early as 2020, this paper addresses the question of whether the current economic recession in major economies in the North can help us buy time by reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). This review paper examines the vast literature on the subject to extract eight key trends that are broadly connected to GHG emissions, green economy, climate change policy and public opinion, and the impact on the economies of developing countries. The eight trends amount to two story lines. The first is that the perception of the public during a recession focuses narrowly on recovery and climate change appears framed in their minds as hampering recovery. This leads to reduced societal emphasis on building the green economy both in the North and the South. The counter story that the recovery process following a recession should emphasize restructuring the economy towards a green one appears a more wishful thinking than a fact in the absence of leadership and buy-in from the public.
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