September 20th, 2013

The next frontier

Climate Change & Environment

Sustainable Development

 

CLIMATE science tells us unequivocally that we need to “decarbonise” much of the energy system by the middle of this century. Yet advanced techniques for extracting fossil fuels—fracking, new deep-ocean drilling and the like—dominate today’s economic and political discussion. These measures may temporarily boost the economy but they would end up crowding out investments in low-carbon technologies. A boomlet in fossil fuels is bound to be a dead end. Short-term priorities and long-term needs are at odds.

This disconnect also exists in the realm of jobs policy. Youth unemployment is stuck in the stratosphere in part because conventional jobs have succumbed to advances in information technology, robotics and outsourcing, leading to lower employment and a decline in earnings among unskilled youth in particular. In response economists obsess about policies to manage demand. But that will not address these structural changes. New strategies in education and training, and in smoothing the tricky school-to-work transition, are also needed.

Read the full article at The  Economist

 

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