HKS Affiliated Authors

Teresa and John Heinz Professor of the Practice of Environmental Policy


January 25, 2023, Audio: "The most optimistic outlooks on climate change often involve utopian visions of petrostates slowly fading away and locks on the gates of shuttered coal-fired power plants made obsolete by the decentralized growth of solar and wind power and a new generation of electrified vehicles and infrastructure. But utopian visions are just that—utopian. They’re best-case scenarios that invariably fail because they fail to account for the complexities of the real world. And one of possibly the most complex—and one of the most existentially important—problems facing humanity is how to pull out the roots of fossil fuel infrastructure that are so deeply embedded in the global economy, a task that’s been taken on by our guest today, economist and Harvard Kennedy School Professor of the Practice of Public Policy Joe Aldy. The scale of the work is immense; some experts estimate that transitioning the global economy from fossil fuels to sustainable sources will require the largest reallocation of capital in human history. Plus Russia's invasion of Ukraine and its willingness to weaponize oil and natural gas production was a sign to many that the green transition will be bumpy and buffeted by geopolitical crises and the domestic politics of countries around the world. Joe Aldy is here to help us swap our rose-colored glasses for a clear-eyed vision of what the future holds for climate economics." Listen Via the HKS PolicyCast