Making Climate Policy Work
Making Climate Policy Work
For decades the world’s governments have struggled to move from talk to action on climate. Many now hope that growing public concern will lead to greater policy ambition, but progress depends on sound strategy. Yet the most widely promoted climate policy—the use of market-based programs to reduce climate pollution—hasn’t been working and isn’t ready to scale. 

Danny Cullenward and David Victor show why the elegant theory of markets has failed to have much impact in practice. The reasons, they argue, are deeply rooted in the politics of creating and maintaining effective markets—forces that have caused low prices and led to few climate benefits in nearly every program to date. These problems are structural and won’t disappear with increasing demand for climate solutions. Confronting them requires counterintuitive reforms, but even reformed markets are unlikely to drive the scale of change needed to stabilize the climate. Facing that reality, Cullenward and Victor argue, requires relying more heavily on regulation and industrial policy—strategies that ultimately turn on strengthened government capacities to deliver the benefits markets promise, but rarely deliver.
Show More
Buy Now


Order Exam Copy

For Lecturers Only

More Info
  • December 2020
  • 256 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509541799
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509541805
  • Open eBook $22.95
  • 9781509541812
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tables
1. A turn toward markets?
2. Ambition
3. Coverage and allocation
4. Revenue and spending
5. Offsets
6. Market Links
7. Getting the most out of markets
8. Rightsizing markets and industrial policy
9. Conclusion
About the Author
Danny Cullenward is Policy Director at Near Zero, a Research Associate with the Carnegie Institution for Science, and an Affiliate Fellow at Stanford Law School.
David G. Victor is Professor of International Relations at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at UC San Diego. He co-heads the initiative on energy and climate at the Brookings Institution.
Show More


“This is a must-read for policymakers, especially the climate intelligentsia who believe that market-based policies are a panacea for the existential threat of climate change. Cullenward and Victor shatter that myth and chart a better course based on proven models that achieve real and tangible results, not magical groupthink.”
Kevin De León, California Senate President Emeritus, Policymaker-in-Residence at UCLA, and Distinguished Senior Fellow at USC

“I have spent my career trying to answer the question posed by Cullenward and Victor – how to make climate policy work. This book provides a compelling answer: the deep decarbonization the world needs will only be achieved when governments commit to a vision of transformation that all actors can work towards."
Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), Founder of IDDRI

“Cullenward and Victor provide a refreshingly honest and pragmatic perspective on this complex field. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in climate policy and carbon pricing.”
David Wright, University of Calgary

Show More