r/science Oct 07 '22

Why some countries are leading the shift to green energy. The findings offer important lessons as many governments around the world race to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the devastating impacts of climate change. Economics


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u/DrJGH Oct 07 '22

One way to help insulate policymakers from political pushback is to hand over regulatory power to independent agencies that are less subject to the demands of voters or lobbyists. The California Air Resources Board (CARB), a relatively autonomous agency that has been tasked with implementing many of California’s climate goals, is a prime example of such an institution. Thanks in part to CARB, California is often considered a global leader in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, despite being a state within the U.S.

Germany, another global climate leader, is instead using compensation to achieve its ambitious climate goals. For example, the Coal Compromise brought together disparate groups — including environmentalists, coal executives, trade unions and leaders from coal mining regions — to agree on a plan to phase out coal by the year 2038. To achieve this goal, the country will provide economic support to workers and regional economies that are dependent on coal, while bolstering the job market in other industries.


u/Wagamaga Oct 07 '22

Oil and gas prices skyrocketed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in spring 2022, creating a global energy crisis similar to the oil crisis of the 1970s. While some countries used the price shock to accelerate the transition to cleaner sources of energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal, others have responded by expanding the production of fossil fuels.

A new study appearing today in the journal Science identifies the political factors that allow some countries to take the lead in adopting cleaner sources of energy while others lag behind. The findings offer important lessons as many governments around the world race to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the devastating impacts of climate change.

“We are really interested in understanding how national differences mediate the responses of countries to the same kind of energy challenge,” said study lead author Jonas Meckling, an associate professor of energy and environmental policy at the University of California, Berkeley. “We found that the political institutions of countries shape how much they can absorb costly policies of all kinds, including costly energy policies.”



u/DrJGH Oct 07 '22

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted energy markets, producing price spikes reminiscent of the 1970s. Many suggest that the crisis may accelerate transitions away from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Yet, governments have responded very differently to the price shock. Though some are prioritizing clean energy, others are doubling down on fossil fuel production. Why do countries respond so differently to the same problem? Access to domestic fossil fuel resources is only part of the story. Countries also vary in the political sources that enable transformational change in energy and climate policy,” it says in this aforementioned article in Science of yesterday (06 Oct 2022)


u/rickymourke82 Oct 07 '22

Here in America, the most environmentally friendly people are currently distracted wanting to settle a territorial dispute via war. US military is what, the world’s number 1 offender of carbon emissions? Fire up the war machine boys, we can always shift the blame elsewhere. I’d say the constituents stand in the way of progress as much as governments do.


u/[deleted] Oct 07 '22



u/rickymourke82 Oct 07 '22

To add to it, the endgame is to protect Russian oil and gas flowing through the Ukraine. Their economy depends on it. So no matter what, it’s a war being fought where both sides are fighting for ultimately the same thing. Nothing like the smell of JP8 in the morning.


u/Test19s Oct 07 '22

For example, Meckling said, many countries in continental and northern Europe have created institutions that allow policymakers to insulate themselves from pushback by voters or lobbyists or to pay off constituencies impacted by the transition. As a result, many of these countries have been more successful at absorbing the costs associated with transitioning to a clean energy system, such as investing in greater wind capacity or upgrading transmission grids.

Hopefully these institutions can be replicated in places with different origins. I really don’t want us going back to the days of Northern European cultural supremacy.