"Is Climate Change Ungovernable?"
- This paper reviews the potential for catastrophic, civilization-threatening climate change within the next 2-3 centuries if climate sensitivity is on the high end of IPCC estimates and the thresholds of various tipping points are crossed. I argue that empirical evidence supports a substantial likelihood of future climate policy reversals by major emitters, resulting in continuing accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. On high-end sensitivity estimates, Paris Agreement pledges to date are insufficient even if fully implemented. Policy is always reversible, and major reversals have already occurred. Climate denialism and misdirection can, and probably will, be amplified by artificial intelligence and social media. Finally, the focus on international governance mechanisms obscures the many levels of jurisdiction that must be engaged for strong climate policy to take effect. The paper concludes that while renewable energy progress presents a hopeful note, chances are high that current structures of climate governance will not succeed in preventing catastrophic levels of climate change.
|Type of resource
|September 14, 2023
|September 14, 2023; September 14, 2023
|Edwards, Paul N.
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- User agrees that, where applicable, content will not be used to identify or to otherwise infringe the privacy or confidentiality rights of individuals. Content distributed via the Stanford Digital Repository may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND).
- Preferred citation
- Edwards, P. (2023). "Is Climate Change Ungovernable?" in Intersections, Reinforcements, Cascades: Proceedings of the 2023 Stanford Existential Risks Conference. The Stanford Existential Risks Initiative.Stanford Digital Repository. Available at https://purl.stanford.edu/yc096zw4572. https://doi.org/10.25740/yc096zw4572.
Intersections, Reinforcements, Cascades: The Proceedings of the 3rd Annual Stanford Existential Risks Conference
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