European Economic Governance in the Age of Turbulence
Edited by Carlo Secchi and Antonio Villafranca
Chapter 7: Feeling the Heat: Towards a Revised Governance of Climate Change
Antonio Villafranca 1. INTRODUCTION The search for a new economic governance, not reflecting the post-war order but rather the new balance of power which is emerging in the era of globalization, lies at the core of the current international debate. The economic crisis has made this search more urgent. The world economy needs a revised and better-shared governance which also allows the qualified participation of big emerging countries. This seems to be a prerequisite for solid and sustainable recovery leading to a new era of economic cooperation. But the recovery of industrialized countries and the return of emerging countries to a path marked by impressive growth rates raise doubts on their future sustainability in global warming terms. As a consequence, the anomalous and striking rise in world temperatures has included the climate change issue in the seeking of a new world governance. It is now quite clear that climate change is at least partially a human-induced phenomenon, and as such it requires human intervention which cannot be limited to ‘business as usual’. In other words, the debate over the new world economic order needs to be coherent with a more intense and shared fight against climate change. The high costs borne to exit today’s crisis must not hamper individuation of new, stronger tools with which to face this challenge. Indeed, the intensive use of renewable resources and the development of new ‘green technologies’ represent a unique economic opportunity, especially in view of the inevitable depletion of fossil fuels and increase...
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