Keywords: environmental economics, green economics, economics of the environment, climate change economics, The Stern Review, intergenerational equity, Copenhagen Summit, technological innovation, carbon use, market trading, economic growth, incentives, de-carbonisation, natural resource accounting, life style changes, Copenhagen climate conference
Climate change: economics or science? The importance of the Copenhagen Summit. Technology innovation, reduction in carbon use or market trading and economic growth? The economics of the environment at a cross roads
This paper introduces this special issue on the 'Economics of climate change' and describes contemporary policy attitudes in the economics of climate change, it explores features and differences in some examples from a variety of economic policy approaches in the run up to the Copenhagen Climate Conference. These include market based incentives, technological innovations, de-carbonisation and natural resource accounting as well as proposing that life style changes are necessary. The paper explains the significance of reaching agreement at the Copenhagen Conference and critiques some of the policies being suggested, (mainly in Europe) and some neo-liberal approaches to the economics of climate change. It puts forward a set of Green Economics policy ideas which are holistic, complex and multi-disciplinary and take a longer term perspective.