In a letter to the New Yorker, friend of Sightline and Climate Solutions political director, KC Golden refutes a claim by Harvard professor Robert Stavins (in Elizabeth Kolbert’s article on Van Jones) that when it comes to climate policy and equity, it’s just too much to try to do both.
Here’s KC Golden:
If climate were purely a technical issue—an efficiency challenge—he might be right. But climate disruption is at least as much about equity as efficiency. The prosperity that some of us enjoy is powered primarily by fossil fuels. If we are to deliver real climate solutions, we must build a new prosperity powered by efficient use of clean energy. This new prosperity must be “sustainable” not only in the sense that it can last but also in the sense that it works for a lot more people than our current (faltering) prosperity does. This is both a moral imperative and a practical political one.
If reducing emissions amounts to hoarding wealth, the coal and oil lobbies will successfully resist effective climate policy by appealing to the economic interests of the poor and the middle class. In order to avoid catastrophic climate disruption, our economic vision must include more broadly shared prosperity.
We couldn’t agree more.