Sunday, April 5, 2009

"A Blueprint for a Safer Planet"

Lord Nicholas Stern, climate change advisor to the U.K. government and former chief economist at the World Bank, has just published, "A Blueprint for a Safer Planet: How to Manage Climate Change and Create a New Era of Progress and Prosperity."
Lord Stern is best known as the author of The Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change, a 2006 700-page assessment of the economic impact of climate change.  
In his new book, Lord Stern argues, "When we emit greenhouse gases we damage the prospects for others and, unless appropriate policy is in place, we do not bear the costs of the damage.  Markets then fail in the sense that their main co-ordinating mechanism -- prices -- give the wrong signals."
A review in the Financial Times ("A timely prophecy," April 4, 2009), says, "Stern's prescription for a low-carbon future includes putting a price on carbon, investing in renewable energy, and providing funding for poor countries to keep their forests intact...Other sections, such as the one on changes to current forms of carbon financing, will be strictly for the nerds."
The reviewer, Fiona Harvey, the FT's environment correspondent, goes on to say, "If this year's crucial climate change negotiations are to be successful, this book will be required reading for all participants.  Perhaps the experience of bailing out the banks will persuade them that an early market intervention for the climate may avoid an even more disastrous bust in future."
As of today, the book is available on Amazon's U.K. website, but not on its U.S. website.

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