Skip to content

The Neoliberal Economics of Climate Change Primer

Lexi Smith
Date added:

This primer aims to provide an overview of key literature addressing how neoliberal economic analysis currently affects climate policy and how we might move beyond such analyses. After a brief introduction connecting neoliberalism and capitalism to the current climate crisis, the primer covers how neoliberal economists model climate change, with a focus on discount rates, uncertainty and risk, existing inequities, resource fungibility, infinite growth, and the elevation of technocracy over democracy. Next, it outlines work addressing neoliberal “solutions” to the climate crisis, including carbon pricing, lifestyle changes, and climate risk reporting, as well as more speculative proposals, such as direct air capture and solar geoengineering. Finally, it identifies scholars developing alternative strategies for addressing climate change, with an emphasis on systemic change and democratization of the economy.