Teach-in on Climate Change, Money and Power

07 December 2011 | Article

Alejandro Nadal (TEMTI Co-Chair) is one of the speakers at a nightly "teach-in" from 8 PM to 11 PM at the University of KwaZulu Natal, under the general coordination of Patrick Bond, Director, Center for Civil Society at the School of Development Studies of UKZN. The 'teach-in' runs from December 2-10 and involves speakers from many backgrounds exchanging experiences about peoples struggles to conserve their livelihoods in many countries.

Nadal has been talking about the importance to redefine economic policy priorities, especially in the case of macroeconomic policies, to attain social and environmental sustainability. The emphasis has been on the importance of fiscal and monetary policies to generate the conditions for adaptation in the face of climate change. Even the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) recognizes that vulnerability is increased with poverty. Thus, macroeconomic policies that have increased inequality and poverty over the past three decades need to be radically retooled. Although mitigation and adaptation costs pose different challenges to macroeconomic policies, both fiscal and monetary policies can be realigned to improve adaptation and to strengthen the process of decarbonization of our economies.

On Durban COP17, Nadal suggests, "it looks like this conference will not see any formal and (legally) binding commitments on the part of the main polluters. What we will see is a series of voluntary pledges that may or not become realized. In any event, the most important objective now seems to save the carbon credit market, which, by the way, has failed as a policy option and finds itself in a very difficult situation. All IPCC reports recognize that adaptation and mitigation depend crucially on development trajectories. The way forward is to redefine policy priorities in such a way that enough resources are generated to address these problems. This will be the only way in which adequate dovetailing with sector-level policies can be part of climate change strategies."