Book Review: Climate Change Mitigation, Technological Innovation and Adaptation: A New Perspective on Climate Policy by Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, and Massimo Tavoni.

AuthorAllen, Michael J.
PositionBook review

Bosetti, Valentina, Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, and Massimo Tavoni, eds. Climate Change Mitigation, Technological Innovation and Adaptation: A New Perspective on Climate Policy. Northampton: Edward Elgar, 2014. xiv + 199 pages. Hardcover, $110.00.

The book Climate Change Mitigation, Technological Innovation and Adaptation outlines the complexities associated with addressing climate change including economic structure, technological innovation, and geopolitical willpower. By focusing on global economics, the text considers barriers to climate policy and future energy transformation away from carbon to more renewable sources. Additionally, the authors highlight the role of innovation in mitigation and adaptation.

The main themes of the book emphasize the World Induced Technical Change Hybrid model (WITCH) which assesses both environmental and economic factors related to climate change. Acting as a simulation, the integrated model evaluates a wide-range of economic and environmental influences including research and development, carbon-free technologies, carbon taxes, and different aspects of climate policy. The overarching goal is to evaluate different outcomes based on predetermined interventions. In theory, WITCH incorporates both a tops-down economic growth and bottoms-up policy strategy, as well as provides a challenging critique of modern adaptation and mitigation techniques. The authors consider different methods by which global reduction in carbon dioxide may occur through innovative technologies. In addition to tackling the issue of uncertainty and the latest developments in the green energy sector, the text provides a basic foundation in climate literacy within the subfield of applied climate economics.

As the world approaches, or by some accounts has exceeded, a tipping point in terms of carbon dioxide emissions, the well-being of our planet depends on our ability to mitigate the causes and adapt to the changes in the climate system. While the book offers general knowledge of climate science, little attention is given to the consequences of inaction. Detailed economic and political analysis is provided, but further discussion as to the impacts seems warranted. The impacts are greater than economic stability, for instance, there are the issues of human health, climate extremes, and geopolitical instability. The precautionary principle is applied, suggesting that in order to reduce the cost of climate stabilization...

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