Solving the Problem of Climate Change

As discussed by each of our professors, climate change is an incredibly complicated problem. From Professor MacAvoy, I learned that much of the damage is irreparable and mitigation must be swift. From Professor Jinnah, I learned that international climate change negotiations hinge on the principles of sovereignty, consensus, and allocation of responsibility. From Professor Eisenstadt, I learned that domestic politics and economic structures delay and impede progress on an international level. After learning the difficulties of climate change policy, I had two opportunities to attempt to come up with a solution. First, in the mock negotiation, I had the task of representing China. I had to balance ensuring effective mitigation while avoiding accepting undue responsibility. Along with the representative from Nepal, I developed a two tier algorithm for emission reduction targets. This strategy would create progress in climate change mitigation while maintaining the differentiation between the developing and developed world. My second chance to problem solve came on Professor Eisenstadt’s final exam question. When asked how state governments and private businesses can collaborate, I advocated subsidies for renewable energy and a carbon tax. I believe this solution would internalize the negative externalities associated with the fossil fuel industries, empower individual consumers to make a more sustainable choice, and create a regulatory structure that would encourage clean innovation and discourage maintaining the status quo. While I did not have the opportunity to evaluate and refine these strategies. I believe there is much to say for the ability to problem solve on the spot. Although much of my instruction focused on the difficulties of climate change mitigation, I appreciated the opportunity to attempt to solve one of the most challenging problems of our time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *