Thursday, July 28, 2011

Global Climate Change Policy Momentum

In April, I attended the Fortune Brainstorm Green Conference in Newport Beach.  At the dinner, I met Mark Fulton and his wife.  We had a very nice talk about many issues.  So, I was very happy to see that his team at Deutsche Bank has just issued this stimulating new report that benchmarks nations with respect to their willingness to engage in serious carbon mitigation measures.

Here are some key points from their report;

  • Countries such as Germany, China and increasingly the UK continue to develop strong domestic policies that contribute to global climate change mitigation,
  • Whilst others, such as the US, Russia, Spain and Canada (Ontario) either fail to initiate, or in some cases, even reverse or threaten to reverse, crucial climate policy initiatives.
  • Thus, some policy regimes have succeeded while others have failed, and the key for investors is to identify the winning policy structures which reduce uncertainty.  Within this context, we continue to develop our 'best-in-class' climate policy framework, with emphasis on policies directed at clean energy technologies and efficiency.
I like that California is classified as a "nation" on page 10.

This report card raises an interesting issue.  Do nations look to other nations to learn about "best practices"?  As Australia launches its carbon tax, will other nations learn from the lessons this "field experiment" will generate?   When nations make policy choices are these choices "independent"? or is there a "domino effect" such that if the United States leads, then other nations will follow?   While sociologists and economists work on peer effects at the "micro" level, I don't know of much "macro policy" work on nations imitating other nations that they admire.