05 October 2009

Planned Economic Recession: Why Didn't I Think of That?

In my recent paper on the UK Climate Change Act I argued that:
Given the magnitude of the challenge and the pace of action, it would not be too strong a conclusion to suggest that the Climate Change Act has failed even before it has gotten started.
But apparently there is one policy option that I failed to consider: planned economic recession. From the UK Telegraph:

At the moment the UK is committed to cutting greenhouse gases by a third by 2020.

However a new report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research said these targets are inadequate to keep global warming below two degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

This would mean reducing the size of the economy through a "planned recession".

Kevin Anderson, director of the research body, said the building of new airports, petrol cars and dirty coal-fired power stations will have to be halted in the UK until new technology provides an alternative to burning fossil fuels.

Planned recession. That is sure going to help sell action on climate change.