British academy

Climate change and public policy futures

By Ian Gough

Climate change poses some of the most pressing and intractable problems facing public policy. The implicit political-economic scenario in Europe and the UK is 'green growth', founded on the belief that economic activity can be decoupled from carbon emissions via big investment in new technology, along with reframed carbon pricing and integrated policies to shift consumer behaviour. This strategy can access support from a range of political constituencies but will require substantial policy integration.

Here, Ian Gough reviews current approaches, focusing in particular on mitigation policies, and argues that the UK's current market-centred approach to climate change is ineffective. A modified and strengthened ‘green growth’ option is the most realistic way forward for social democratic and coordinated market economies.

Download the full report 

Climate change and public policy futures is the first report from the New paradigms in public policy project, chaired by Peter Taylor-Gooby FBA.

The project reviews some particularly difficult issues in public policy: climate change, multiculturalism, recession and recovery, population ageing, neighbourhood problems and the Third Sector, rebuilding democratic engagement and managing the demands of an increasingly assertive public. The series reviews current understanding of the issues, situated within academic theory-building, and discusses possible ways forward.

Working group:

Andrew Gamble FBA
Ian Gough
Tariq Modood
Anne Power
Gerry Stoker
Pat Thane FBA