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How inequality fuels climate change: The climate case for a Green New Deal

Green, Fergus; Healy, Noel; (2022) How inequality fuels climate change: The climate case for a Green New Deal. One Earth , 5 (6) pp. 635-649. 10.1016/j.oneear.2022.05.005. Green open access

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Abstract

Recent proposals in the US and elsewhere aim to tackle climate change and socioeconomic inequalities together through a Green New Deal (GND). GND proposals have been criticized by high-profile advocates of carbon-centric climate policies—advocates who do not perceive socioeconomic inequalities to be significant drivers of climate change and who argue that GNDs’ wider agenda will undermine decarbonization efforts. Here, we show that socioeconomic inequalities drive emissions-intensive consumption and production, facilitate the obstruction of climate policies by wealthy elites, undermine public support for climate policy, and weaken the social foundations of collective action. This suggests that integrating certain carbon-centric policies into a wider program of social, economic, and democratic reforms would achieve decarbonization more effectively than carbon-centric policies alone. We show that common policy components of GNDs do indeed tackle the causal mechanisms by which inequalities fuel climate change, and we argue that GNDs enable more effective political strategies than carbon-centric policies.

Type: Article
Title: How inequality fuels climate change: The climate case for a Green New Deal
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2022.05.005
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oneear.2022.05.005
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. under a Creative Commons license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: green new deal, climate change, inequalities, justice, just transition, capital, wealth, labor, consumption, collective capacities
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149771
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