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Can Capitalism Save the Environment?

November 26, 2014 • Capitalism in the 21st Century, Climate Change & Society, Governance & Regulation, World Development

By Tabitha M. Benney

Developing economies can provide an invaluable contribution to the effort to prevent further climate change. Below Tabitha M. Benney illustrates how a better understanding of differing market economies is needed before policymakers try to use markets to solve large-scale global problems.

 


Global Capitalist Trends

We currently live in a moment in history where the changing dynamics of the global economy and world politics seem evident. One especially defining characteristic of the global economy today is the rise of emerging market economies (EMEs). This trend first became evident in the 1960s with the rise of the Asian Tigers. Then, beginning in the 1980s and intensifying following the end of the Cold War, a further group of developing states began to initiate economic and political reforms. Others followed suit in the early 2000s.

Today, the rapid economic growth experienced by the EMEs has led to an increasing share of global wealth for many of these states. If this trend persists, we shall witness the most impressive closing of the gap between rich and poor countries in world history. Such dramatic changes are highly relevant because they raise important issues about the distribution of global monetary and fiscal power. As the EMEs have gained importance in the global economy, their influence and significance have grown across a wide range of policy domains. One particularly relevant example is the increasingly critical role of EMEs in addressing climate change.

 
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