Past Event

Political Economy of Implementing Net Zero Emissions

April 15, 2021
8:10 AM - 10:00 AM
Online Event

The Paris Agreement aims to limit global warming well below 2 degree Celsius, and preferably to 1.5 degree Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. A recent estimate suggests that net zero commitments by governments cover 60% of global greenhouse emissions, 68% of the global economy and over 50% of the global population. Targets are important to marshal action; they are the means to an end. However, a paucity of immediate action and focus of governments (and of companies) on distant targets suggests a real danger of targets becoming ends in themselves.

In this roundtable the speakers will debate ideas on the pragmatics of marshalling action to meet socially inclusive net zero global emission by 2050. In what ways can targets be usefully employed? What should be the nature of planning and of instruments including market mechanisms, industrial policies and tariffs? What forms of coalitions, respecting the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, would yield the most progress? What are some ways of leveraging differing political economies, governance forms and development unevenness to limit global warming?

The event is co-hosted by the European Chair for Sustainable Development and Climate Transition of PSIA and School of Public Affairs at Sciences Po and by SIPA and Earth Institute/Climate School at Columbia University.

Guest speakers:

Scott Barrett, Vice Dean, School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University and Lenfest-Earth Institute Professor of Natural Resource Economics

Frannie Léautier, Senior Partner at SouthBridge Group and CEO of SouthBridge Investments, finance and development expert

Jeffrey Sachs, University Professor at Columbia University, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, SDG Advocate under UN Secretary-General Antoìnio Guterres

Leena Srivastava, Deputy Director General for Science at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), former vice chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies, New Delhi

Lola Vallejo, Climate Programme Director at IDDRI (Institut du développement durable et des relations internationales).


Alex Halliday, Director of the Earth Institute, Columbia University; Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Shiv Someshwar, Head of the European Chair for Sustainable Development and Climate Transition at Sciences Po

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