Policy is not politics. Policy is a map of how to get from here to there. It is made using sophisticated analytic tools. Politics is the journey that must be made to get there. It uses the much cruder tools of coercion, bribery or persuasion in whatever combination is required to keep everyone moving along.
We rarely recognise that these are two different realms of discourse. Political obstacles to a public policy choice are rarely overcome by the repetition of an ever more precise and detailed policy case.
Climate change is an existential threat to civilisation. The technological and economic means to remove it are well understood. Policies to apply those means are abundant. Politics is what stops us using them.
Our understanding of the major political obstacles to climate policy success are not yet systematically or widely understood enough understood. Simply adding to the vast library of climate policies will not accelerate our response. We must now rapidly improve our understanding of climate politics so that we can deploy the policies that are available.
In this session Tom Burke, co-founder of climate change think tank E3G, shares his insights for how we can address the crisis in climate leadership.