Breakthrough Institute: Ecomodernism 2021
Here as elsewhere, we have referred to climate policy as “quiet” if it swims with the tide of existing sociopolitical institutions and economic growth, if it uses technology and infrastructure as its main lever, and if it disrupts, rather than exploits, political partisanship. Such are the qualities, after all, of the types of government policy that have driven investment and deployment of lower-carbon technologies for decades—in short, the types of policies arguably responsible for most decarbonization to date.
At Ecomodernism 2021, taking place between a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and the next United Nations Climate Change Conference, we will consider whether quiet policy is enough. And if it is not, what will supplement it or, even, take its place? Is it credible to imagine political support for such an alternative? What other avenues towards climate action are available to us, on either the political Left or political Right, or via foreign policy? And even if COVID failed to reorient our politics as much as many would have preferred, are there political or policy lessons yet to glean from our response to the pandemic?