Global climate diplomacy—from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris Agreement—is not working. Despite decades of sustained negotiations by world leaders, the climate crisis continues to worsen. The solution is within our grasp—but we will not achieve it through top-down global treaties or grand bargains among nations.
Charles Sabel and David Victor explain why the profound transformations needed for deep cuts in emissions must arise locally, with government and business working together to experiment with new technologies, quickly learn the best solutions, and spread that information globally. Sabel and Victor show how some of the most iconic successes in environmental policy were products of this experimentalist approach to problem solving, such as the Montreal Protocol on the ozone layer, the rise of electric vehicles, and Europe’s success in controlling water pollution. They argue that the Paris Agreement is at best an umbrella under which local experimentation can push the technological frontier and help societies around the world learn how to deploy the technologies and policies needed to tackle this daunting global problem.
A visionary book that fundamentally reorients our thinking about the climate crisis, Fixing the Climate is a road map to institutional design that can finally lead to self-sustaining reductions in emissions that years of global diplomacy have failed to deliver.