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Your main article “Do not let climate goals get lost in cultural wars” (FT View, 31 August) and Martin Sandbu’s column “Climate action must navigate through cultural wars” (Opinion8 September) it is right not only to emphasize the importance of policy, but also to ‘get politics right to provide broad support for what needs to be done’.
But ‘what needs to be done’ should not be put in place only in terms of decarbonisation or up to ‘net zero’. To do so by 2050 (since 80 percent of the world’s energy consumption now comes from fossil fuels), carbon emissions every decade require approximately. China, India, Russia, Japan and others are now making huge investments in fossil fuels, and the world population will increase by 2 billion by 2050. even by 2075.
This means that efforts to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy complement large investments in techniques to remove carbon from the atmosphere, increase the reflectivity of the earth and adapt to the rise in global temperatures already baked.
This broader agenda is likely to be more effective in delaying global warming and mitigating the cultural wars – and interstate wars – that global warming is likely to bring.
Robert H Wade
Professor of Global Political Economy
London School of Economics
London WC2, UK