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Climate Change: Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut Views Essay


Climate change is a global issue that has raised a lot of interest among academics. This paper discusses the contributions of two renowned professors, Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut. The first section is about the gifts that Stern has made in connection to climate change. In the second section, the paper discusses Garnaut’s contribution to climate change. The last section is a comparison of how Nicholas and Garnaut have contributed to the issue of climate change. The paper shows that both scholars have contributed positively to climate change by publishing articles that talk about policies that can reduce climate change.

The Contribution of Nicholas Stern to the Climate Change

Stern is a professor who has dedicated much of his time to writing about climate change. He has been invited to share his thoughts and findings during various conferences, such as the “Copenhagen Climate Conference.” In addition, Stern shares his thoughts through media houses, such as ‘The Guardian’. His comments have been received positively by the public, although various governments have seen him as a threat to the stability of their leadership.

Among the contributions made by Stern is the article that he wrote in ‘The Guardian’ on his views about the ‘Copenhagen Climate Conference’. Stern emphasized that countries needed to come together and unite in the regulation of carbon emissions into the atmosphere (Stern & Monbiot 2009). In his argument, Stern acknowledged that there would not be any achievement in the control of emissions. Therefore, a united approach is required so that the target emission levels that are set by conferences, such as the Copenhagen Climate Conference, are realized (Stern & Monbiot 2009).

According to Stern and Monbiot (2009), there is a need to support and encourage innovations and inventions that are geared towards the reduction of carbon emissions. This kind of innovation has resulted in equipment that can give the exact levels of emissions. Other innovations have assisted in the reduction of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. It was Stern who recommended more innovations and inventions. However, he admitted that these kinds of innovations might require more resources. Therefore, there is a need for various nations to join hands in support of such changes. Most developed countries have been urged to show the way when it comes to innovations and inventions (Stern & Monbiot 2009). This has been attributed to the fact that the developed countries have the capacity to carry out sophisticated innovations that can be useful in the regulation of carbon emissions. Stern adds that strong and dedicated leadership is required for innovations and inventions to be carried out successfully.

Stern and Monbiot (2009) admit that particular issues must be addressed during the conference that is intended to discuss carbon emissions. He says that there is a need to reduce the number of emissions that are discharged in any given year. It is believed that this reduction can be below 35 bn tons by 2030 if there are dedication and commitment from all the participating countries. Stern continues to say that there is a need for the most developed countries to dedicate more efforts to the reduction of emissions because these countries have more industries than the developing countries. In order to promote fairness, Japan, the European Union, and the United States ought to reduce their emissions by at least 80%.

Countries like China have already taken strict measures to address this global issue. Stern closes his remarks by giving the estimates that the developed countries should aim to contribute towards reducing emissions.

Stern (2010) provides several ways that can contribute significantly to the reduction of emissions of carbon and other harmful substances. He says that countries need to put in place strict policies that every industry should follow within its territory. He adds that the international community needs to come up with policies that are workable and attainable regarding climate change. Stern (2010) says that there is a need to be consistent in the way countries address the climate change, because some countries work hard to reduce the degree of emissions, but fail to keep up with the initial reduction pace in the subsequent years.

The Contribution of Ross Garnaut to the Climate Change

Garnaut is an Australian professor who, like Stern, has contributed significantly to climate change as a sensitive matter that is affecting mankind. Garnaut has appeared on several media programs, where he has been invited to give his professional insight on climate change. Apart from the media contribution, Garnaut has written articles for several journals. Among his recent publications is his review of climate change.

According to Garnaut (2014), there are countries that have not shown a commitment like other countries have done in combating climate change. Garnaut gives a comparison between Australia and the United States. According to Garnaut (2011), the US has done a commendable job in efforts to reduce emissions. On the other hand, Australia has done little on the same, yet it is among the most developed nations in the world. This is a worrying scenario, as the global target of a reduction in total emission by 2 degrees will never be realized if some countries like Australia are not as committed as their counterparts in other regions. Garnaut attributes this situation to the lapse in the Australian law on climate change

Garnaut (2013) does not only identify various challenges that Australia is facing in terms of emissions, but he also gives practical solutions to address this issue. He says that the current law on emissions should be revised to include a reduction in the price of carbon emissions. He admits that the current fixed pricing is hampering the Australian efforts to reduce the emissions successfully.

In his review on climate change, Garnaut (2014) identifies various aspects that have to be addressed wholly if the world is to realize its set targets on minimal reduction of emissions. Among the issues discussed by Garnaut (2014, p. 2) is the significance of China in the global concern about climate change. China is said to be the most industrious nation in the world. The amounts of emissions that come from China are so significant that if they go unaddressed, then the climate will change heavily due to the interference with the stratosphere. In this regard, Garnaut (2014, p. 3) admits that China needs to be among the leading nations that are formulating policies on how emissions should be reduced. Encouragingly, China is said to be addressing the issue of greenhouse emissions. In recent years, China has managed to reduce the levels of emissions to the recommended levels.

Apart from the greenhouse emissions, Garnaut (2014, p. 5) has been able to identify other contributors to the emissions made to the environment. He says that the emissions from electricity are significant enough to be studied and discussed. China is said to have most of its current emissions coming from power. The increased emissions from electricity are attributed to the fact that decarbonization from electricity is emitted, which leads to higher emissions from this energy sector.

The transport industry has also been identified as important in the number of emissions that are released into the environment. According to Garnaut (2014, p. 11), un-roadworthy vehicles and vehicles that use poorly purified petrol are partially to blame for the increased emissions in the transport industry. The oil tycoons are also to blame for the continued rejection of alternative methods of supplying energy to the local transport means. There have been better innovations that can replace petroleum as a source of energy for vehicles, but such innovations have been met with stiff opposition. Garnaut (2014, p. 14) recommends that there is a need to support the alternative forms of petrol, as doing this will significantly reduce the number of emissions made to the environment due to the combustion of fuel.

Comparison and Contrast between Stern and Garnaut on their Contributions to the Climate Change

The contribution made by the two authors can lead to a better world. The policies proposed can tame mankind’s actions and untamed emissions that lead to climate change. Therefore, one can admit that it is not easy to single out one academician as being the best over the other two. Their judgment can only be made in reference to what effect their contributions have achieved by the participating governments.

Both Stern and Garnaut have recognized the need to have China at the center of any discussion that pertains to climate change. This is attributed to the fact that China is among the nations that have the highest levels of emission into the environment, yet it has done marvelously in the reduction of it. In addition, these two academicians have included the United States in at least one of their articles. This proves that the US has been supportive of embracing international agreements on climate change.

On the other hand, Stern is seen to be more knowledgeable and has a lot of experience when dealing with the topic of climate change. This is mainly attributed to the fact that he has published numerous articles on the latter. He has co-authored many books, as well as those concerning climate change. Garnaut has also published articles on climate change, but not as many as Stern has done. The most significant publications that Garnaut can be said to have made is his recent review on climate change. Therefore, one can conclude that the two professors have been pivotal in contributing to the prevention of climate change. However, one can be tempted to be of the thought that Stern is more knowledgeable and experienced in the same field than Garnaut.

List of References

Garnaut, R 2011, ‘Australia in the global response to climate change: The transition to a low carbon economy’, Garnaut Climate Change Review. Web.

Garnaut, R 2013, ’14 China’s climate change mitigation in international context: Issues for Australia and China’, China: A New Model for Growth and Development. Web.

Garnaut, R 2014, ‘Changing climate on climate’, Pathways to Growth: 2014 Economic and Social Outlook Conference. Web.

Garnaut, R 2014, ‘, The Conversation. Web.

Stern, N & Monbiot, G 2009, ‘’, The Guardian. Web.

Stern, N 2010, ‘, The New York Review of Books. Web.

Stern, N 2010, ‘Climate Changer’, Insight South China Morning Post. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Climate Change: Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut Views." June 13, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/climate-change-nicholas-stern-and-ross-garnaut-views/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Climate Change: Nicholas Stern and Ross Garnaut Views'. 13 June.

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