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6 - How to Beat Climate Change

from Part II - Strategies and Obstacles: The Solutions We Need, and What’s Preventing Them from Being Realized

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 October 2022

Michael D. Bess
Affiliation:
Vanderbilt University, Tennessee
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Summary

The top priority in addressing climate change is to reduce net emissions of greenhouse gases to zero as swiftly as possible. Among the policy instruments for achieving this goal: carbon markets and carbon taxes; subsidies and incentives for energy conservation and for developing renewable energy technologies; building a new network of advanced nuclear reactors to provide carbon-free energy; imposing restraints on deforestation and planting large numbers of new trees; developing powerful new technologies for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; incentivizing private citizens to reduce the carbon footprint of their lifestyles; and introducing new governmental policies for decarbonizing national economies. By combining all these strategies, humankind could realistically reach net zero emissions by the middle years of this century. From that point forward, it can start actively removing existing accumulations of carbon dioxide, eventually bringing global warming to a halt and reversing some of the damage that’s already been done.

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Chapter
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Planet in Peril
Humanity's Four Greatest Challenges and How We Can Overcome Them
, pp. 79 - 97
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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