Despite commitments to renewable energy and two decades of international negotiations, global emissions continue to rise. Coal, the most damaging of all fossil fuels, has actually risen from 25 per cent to almost 30 per cent of world energy use. And while European countries have congratulated themselves on reducing emissions, they have increased their carbon imports from China and other developing nations, who continue to expand their coal use. As standards of living increase in developing countries, coal use can only increase as well – and global temperatures along with it.
In this hard-hitting book, The Carbon Crunch, Dieter Helm looks at how and why we have failed to tackle the issue of global warming and argues for a new, pragmatic rethinking of energy policy – from transitioning from coal to gas and eventually to electrification of transport, to carbon pricing and a focus on new technologies.
Lucid, compelling and rigorously researched, The Carbon Crunch will have a lasting impact on how we think about climate change.
"Helm's credentials couldn't be more impressive [...] This intelligent though depressing tome should inform future debates."
– Publishers Weekly
"An optimistically levelheaded book about actually dealing with global warming."
– Kirkus, starred review
"The Carbon Crunch is a powerful and heartfelt plea for hard-nosed realism. And it also suggests a worrying truth – that the environmental movement is often more interested in pursuing a soft-focus vision of a greener world than in actually fixing climate change."
– Fred Pearce, New Scientist
"[Dieter Helm] has turned his agile mind to one of the great problems of our age: why the world's efforts to curb the carbon dioxide emissions behind global warming have gone so wrong, and how it can do better. He is far from being the first to tackle the issue, but he is among the more influential and, as he demonstrates in his new book, The Carbon Crunch, one of the more readable."
– Pilita Clark, Financial Times
"Helm has the ability [...] to tackle a complex topic – and make a political point – in a serious, but accessible, way."
– Keith Richmond, Tribune
"[The Carbon Crunch] is a provocative analysis and well worth the discomfort it will likely engender."
– Steve Yearley, Times Higher Education
"At such a critical moment in the climate change conversation, Dieter Helm's new book [...] could not be more timely. [...] [The Carbon Crunch] serves as a velvet sledgehammer in the global conversation about climate change."
"A lucid, readable volume on a critical issue."
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Dieter Helm CBE is professor of energy policy, University of Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College, Oxford. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee to the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee. He is the author of Natural Capital: Valuing the Planet.