The New Climate Economy’s starting point has been the perspective of economic decision-makers: government ministers, particularly ministers of finance, economy, energy and agriculture; business leaders and financial investors; state governors and city mayors.
For such decision-makers, climate change is rarely a primary concern. Their motivations are to promote short-term economic growth and job creation, increase market share and profitability, improve energy and food security, build competitive cities and reduce poverty. Yet their decisions powerfully influence the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.
So the core question the project has sought to answer is: how can decision-makers achieve their economic and social goals while simultaneously reducing the risk of dangerous climate change?
Engagement with these decision-makers has been central to our approach. We have talked to key public and private sector institutions in different countries to understand how they make choices about policy and investment. How do they see the risks and opportunities presented by climate change? What might change their decisions made under conditions of uncertainty? What might lead them to reappraise their assessment of short and longer-term economic trade-offs?
The project’s approach has combined such engagement with new research. We have sought to bring together and synthesise work done by a large number of research institutes, international organisations and others from around the world. The New Climate Economy work programme work has been organised into six workstreams: Cities, Land Use, Energy, Economics of Change, Finance and Innovation.
We have shared the findings of our two global reports, Better Growth, Better Climate and Seizing the Global Opportunity, and our country- and sector- specific work with leaders around the world, including heads of state and ministers of development, economy, energy, environment, finance, planning and urban affairs. As of January 2016, the New Climate Economy has been featured in over 11,000 news articles in 119 countries since September 2014.