The New Environmental Economics

By Éloi Laurent

On September 18th, 16 years old climate activist Greta Thunberg appeared before the United States House of Representatives. When asked to submit a formal version of her inaugural statement, she replied that she would be giving lawmakers a copy of the IPPC special report on … Read More

Green Utopias

In the shadow of looming climate crisis and political failures to tackle climate change in the wake of the Paris climate agreement it might seem that there is not much hope around for a better, greener future. But visions of sustainable and satisfying societies have emerged in strange places over … Read More

Thoughts on the Second Edition of China’s Environmental Challenges

Since the publication of the first edition of China’s Environmental Challenges in 2015, the most common question I am asked is whether I think China will be able to resolve its environmental problems. The answer, of course, is complex, but the simplest response is simply, “It must.” As I outline … Read More

The Metaphysics of Climate Change

The task of philosophy today, according to Slavoj Žižek, is not to provide answers but rather to show how our perception of a problem is sometimes part of the problem itself.  If we look at the field of climate politics today, Žižek’s critique does appear relevant. This field of politics is … Read More

Climate policymaking in the developing world

The mantle of climate leadership is shifting to developing and emerging economies. In the past, if one wanted to find the best examples of ambitious climate policymaking, they would have looked to states such as Denmark, Finland or the United Kingdom. China, Brazil, South Korea and Ethiopia would not have … Read More

Is there a global freshwater crisis?

Drought, floods, contaminated streams and depleted groundwater supplies … daily headlines draw our attention to these and other water problems. Are they isolated incidents or symptoms of a global crisis? I contend that they are inter-connected threats to our livelihoods and welfare.

What links them is the concept of sustainability: … Read More

China’s environmental future

China’s huge environmental challenges affect not only the health and well-being of China but the very future of the planet.  I wrote China’s Environmental Challenges to provide students, teachers, and the general public with a way of organizing a topic of utmost importance and great complexity.  

I hope that … Read More

The hidden wealth of wood

Wood is a material fundamental to world history, which is important to examine, and of which everybody has their own discoveries and experiences. ‘Ötzi’ the ice-man needed it when he was climbing his Alpine glacier; so did medieval cathedral-builders; so does today’s growing green economy.

From time immemorial, the skill … Read More

Climate change and the social

In Climate Change and Society the ‘social’ is positioned at the heart of the analysis of why climates are changing and of assessing and developing alternative futures. This book especially demonstrates the importance of social practices that over time are organised into powerful ‘socio-technical’ systems. In the fateful twentieth century, … Read More