A presentation by Claude Henry and Patrick Bolton, during a series of events in anticipation of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. This event is co-sponsored by the Columbia Maison Française, Alliance Program, and Earth Institute, with funding provided by the Cultural services of the French Embassy.
Writing about climate change in the June 10, 2015, issue of the Financial Times, Martin Wolf, chief economics commentator, makes a chilling observation: "Humanity is unwilling, possibly simply unable, to overcome the political, economic and social obstacles to collective action. The costs to current generations seem too daunting. So those costs have to fall."
Claude Henry and Patrick Bolton will discuss two powerful economic approaches to helping reduce the costs of addressing climate change. In public finance, it is by largely substituting taxes on polluting activities – on CO2 emissions in particular – to traditional taxes on productive activities. In private finance it is by having investors substitute decarbonized assets for carbon-loaded ones in the portfolios they control. This would boost innovation and encourage the adoption of climate-friendly technologies. Panelists will discuss the examples of the Nordic countries with regard to public finance, and the recent acceleration of the decarbonization trends in financial markets to show that these approaches are both feasible and efficient.