What if we shift the question to our states from “What responsibility does a government have in achieving decarbonization of the global economy?” to “If a government wants to achieve the outcome of decarbonization by the middle of this century, what can it do to achieve that?”

Ilmi Granoff @theilmatic
Director of ClimateWorks Foundation’s Sustainable Finance Program,
A foundation that has created an international network and a global platform for philanthropy to innovate and accelerate climate solutions, climateworks.org

What could be reimagined now?

The role of our states in pursuing a real climate transition. Right now they are powerful entities. States have capital, they have the ability to raise revenue, issue standards and regulations and represent our collective interest. So what could be the role of a fully committed and ambitious state which truly embraces the goals of the Paris agreement?

How could we experiment with a higher involvement of our states in fighting climate change?

First of all, of course, find a state. After that, ask the question “Given all of the tools that you have at your disposal, what impact can you have to achieve the mid-century outcome of global decarbonization?”. So basically it means to push a state to focus on where to put its tools to reach the goals instead of measuring emissions, for example. That kind of reorientation of the methodology can potentially reveal many underemphasized opportunities.

What kind of changes this reorientation in climate policies could lead to our societies in ten years’ time?

By analyzing 19th century global economies we realized that states have comparative advantages in their economic productivity and performance. Therefore it is imaginable that they can compete with other states on decarbonization advantages and, apart from reducing emission in their own jurisdiction, they’ll probably unveil great opportunities and actually achieve an incredibly important target.


Image: Ilmi Granoff, climateworks.org