Cameron Hepburn

Thinking through the climate change challenge

VoxEU, January 2011.

Late last year, a group of leading thinkers on environmental policy met at the Sustainable Consumption Institute at the University of Manchester for a conference in honour of Nobel economics Laureate Tom Schelling.1  At the event we formulated guidance for policymakers which draws on work that Schelling (perhaps best known for his pioneering efforts on nuclear deterrence) has done on climate change. The analysis here relies on his concept of identifying “focal points” on which agreements can be based, and his emphasis on designing policies that are credible as well as easily monitored and enforced.