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The Economisation of Climate Change
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Book description

The effort to address climate change cuts across a wide range of non-environmental actors and policy areas, including international economic institutions such as the Group of Twenty (G20), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). These institutions do not tend to address climate change so much as an environmental issue, but as an economic one, a dynamic referred to as 'economisation'. Such economisation can have profound consequences for how environmental problems are addressed. This book explores how the G20, IMF, and OECD have addressed climate finance and fossil fuel subsidies, what factors have shaped their specific approaches, and the consequences of this economisation of climate change. Focusing on the international level, it is a valuable resource for graduate students, researchers, and policymakers in the fields of politics, political economy and environmental policy. This title is also available as Open Access.


‘Skovgaard’s excellent book explores how the IMF, OECD and G20 address the global threat of climate change and frame it as an economic issue. It provides a timely analysis of the increasing economisation of climate policy - its strengths and limitations. Most importantly, it shines a light on the questions of power and justice that are often hidden in economic discourses.’

Robert Falkner - London School of Economics and Political Science

‘Climate change can be reduced to the failure of the economic system to adequately recognize and price the short and long term benefits and costs of economic activity. After years of progress on climate change in the scientific, civil society, and environmental sphere, climate change is starting to become ‘mainstreamed’ by the G20, IMF, and beyond. While Skovgaard recognizes that in some ways permeation of core international economic institutions is paramount to tackling the climate challenge, he also shows how these institutions ‘economize’ climate change in a manner that may result in the fox guarding the henhouse. This book is essential reading for those wishing to trace the evolution of climate policy from scientific communities and civil society to the halls of economic power in order to help us understand the nature of the challenge for scholars and policy makers alike.’

Kevin P. Gallagher - Boston University

'The need to shift the way finance operates is now widely recognized as essential for the societal transformations necessary to prevent dangerous climate change. Skovgaard’s careful and sobering analysis shows both the power of three key global institutions - the IMF, G20, and OECD - to influence major financial reforms like ending fossil fuel subsidies, but also how their worldviews reinforce current practices that militate against the needed paradigm shift in climate finance. Anyone who wants to understand the opportunities and limits of these institutions’ economization of climate change will want to read this book.'

Steven Bernstein - University of Toronto

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Full book PDF
  • The Economisation of Climate Change
    pp i-ii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Dedication
    pp v-vi
  • Contents
    pp vii-viii
  • Figures and Tables
    pp ix-x
  • Preface
    pp xi-xv
  • Abbreviations
    pp xvi-xviii
  • Part I - Introduction
    pp 1-30
  • Part II - Setting the Stage
    pp 31-72
  • 2 - A Framework for Studying Institutional Output and Its Alignment, Causes and Consequences
    pp 33-51
  • 3 - The Three Institutions, Their Roles and the Environment
    pp 52-72
  • Part III - Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    pp 73-144
  • 4 - Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    pp 75-86
  • Key Issues
  • 5 - The G20 and Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    pp 87-104
  • The Catalyst
  • 6 - The OECD and Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    pp 105-118
  • The Knowledge Provider
  • 7 - The IMF and Fossil Fuel Subsidies
    pp 119-133
  • The Unexpected Environmentalist
  • Part IV - Climate Finance
    pp 145-216
  • 9 - Climate Finance
    pp 147-160
  • Key Issues
  • 10 - The G20 and Climate Finance
    pp 161-176
  • Introducing Finance Ministries to the Topic
  • 11 - The OECD and Climate Finance
    pp 177-192
  • Development and Investment
  • 12 - The IMF and Climate Finance
    pp 193-205
  • Carbon Pricing Rears Its Head
  • Part V - Conclusions
    pp 217-240
  • 14 - Conclusions
    pp 219-240
  • References
    pp 241-270
  • Index
    pp 271-278


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