Cameron Hepburn

7 December 2009

Financial Times – The Economics and Politics of Climate Change

Cameron Hepburn

The Economics and Politics of Climate Change

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Copenhagen is almost upon us. Preparations for it have attracted unprecedented public debate on climate change and what should be done about it. There is always a long and unsteady bridge between the science underlying a problem and the economics and politics involved, all the more so when the issues are truly global. Everything is further complicated by the continuing financial and credit crisis.

There has already been a deluge of books on climate change. The Economics and Politics of Climate Change (Edited by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn) brings together over 30 experts, nearly all economists, who in different ways set out a kind of primer for Copenhagen on the economic, political and social implications.

Even if they do not always agree with each other, they successfully illustrate the immense complexity of the problem and its connection with global issues such as human population increase, resource depletion and economic development in its crudest sense – in short, human impact on the earth since the industrial revolution.