Are Elites Waking Up to the Threat of Climate Change?
The World Economic Forum (WEF), a key meeting ground for corporate and governmental elites, is not known for its leadership on climate change. But its new Green Investment Report expresses a high level of concern about the harmful potential impacts of climate change. The report advocates dramatically mitigating climate change through major “green” investments in new infrastructure for all major sectors of the world economy and adopting a multi-stakeholder approach to prioritizing these investments. Acknowledging the insufficiency of private investment commitments, it stresses the need for large public investments to stabilize the climate. The report further urges governments and international financial institutions to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, enact long-term carbon price signals, and enable greater free trade in green technologies. The report, however, leaves some significant issues unaddressed. For example, it provides no assurance that its the stakeholder engagement process it recommends would be subject to democratic control, and it does not grapple with the question of whether continued economic growth in industrial countries is, in fact, reconcilable with climate stabilization.