The Age of Magic Money
Can Endless Spending Prevent Economic Calamity?
On December 12, 2015, 195 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change pact to date. The document lays out a plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions, among other climate-related initiatives. Participating countries must now find ways to translate those ambitions into policy, and answer important questions about financing, transparency and accountability, national implementation, and accelerated emissions reduction goals, to name but a few. But one issue looms large: coal.
Coal-fired electricity is responsible for producing 40 percent of the world’s power and about 70 percent of its steel. The coal industry employs millions worldwide and provides billions of people with electricity. Analysts estimate that the world has hundreds of years of coal reserves in the ground, at current consumption levels. Its abundance, low price, and global availability make it a difficult fuel source to give up. But despite coal’s advantages, it poses significant environmental and health risks. Ten percent of