New climate change evolution narratives

Climate change policies and forecasts must be created under presumption of selfish behavior of most participants focused on short term optimal perspective. The higher real or perceived social costs of transition, the more efforts will go into resisting and fighting against the green economy and transition policies.

That is why “just transition” is not only the matter of ethics in net-zero transition, but the factor to achieve success. Subsequently I wish to propose new “sorrow” narratives for climate change evolution forecasts:

  • Net-zero boom and bust cycles (society can’t keep up). Social effects of carbon transition are perceived to be so high that after initial efforts the governments will give up and allow climate warming to accelerate. There may be a few cycles of attempts that accumulate both physical and transition risks.
  • Divergence and climate clubs of countries. Some countries team up based on preferred climate policy (net-zero or “no action”) and will wall themselves off with import carbon tax, tariffs policies, carbon trading mechanisms and even export carbon compensation mechanisms. Clubs of countries create barriers in trade and energy with significant divergence of climate transition policies (one club stays in coal and oil, while another club transitions to renewables).
  • National mandatory “climate risk” insurance. National governments introduce “climate insurance” tax to support non-insurable assets due to intensified physical risks (residential and maybe also commercial property). Scheme will spread the climate risk mandatory among all citizens and residents of the country. Approach removes incentives for the transition to a green economy and society accepts climate change as inevitable.
  • Energy transition reversed due to economic suffering. Introduction of the carbon tax plus policies channeling investments into new energy technologies raise energy prices and create a real drag on regional and global economies. The assumed transit to efficient renewable energy technology will not follow through due to social protests, technology issues and poor economic scaling. That will push governments to remove renewable energy support and carbon tax policies and stimulate fossil fuels industries.

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Dr. Tymur Khusainov
Sustainable Finance and ESG Consultant