Event Details

  • Climate Change and Global Development: Net-Zero after Covid-19? – the seventh in the series, "The Yale Development Dialogues: Economic Policy Lessons from History"
  • Hosts: Yale Economic Growth Center, the South Asian Studies Council at Yale MacMillan Center, and the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. This event was part of Yale Climate Day 2021, a full day of virtual events for the Yale community to come together on one of the most pressing environmental problems humanity is facing. 
  • Date and time: Tuesday May 11, 2021, 9:30AM EST 

Event Description

Men carry coal at a port in India.
Day labors carry coal from a ship, Kolkata, India, 2018. StevenK, Shutterstock

In the quest for net-zero global carbon emissions, will advances in technology suffice or must we make hard decisions that affect economic growth? And if the traditional methods of growth must drastically change, what should we ask of rich and poor countries?
In climate negotiations, lower-income countries have long asserted that they are being asked to sacrifice economic development for a problem largely caused by rich, industrialized nations. Today, Western countries set bold emission targets, even as they continue to import goods manufactured in developing countries at a high environmental cost. And countries like India may increase reliance on coal to help mitigate the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic – even as they set targets for renewable energy production. 
How will the economic relationships between developed and developing countries influence the path of climate change? What policies are necessary? And when policy fails, what can citizens do to help reduce carbon emissions? 
Dieter Helm, Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford, explores such questions in his latest book, Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change. Helm discussed these topics in conversation with Sunil Amrith, Rohini Pande, and Rory Stewart, co-hosts of the Yale Development Dialogues. 


Dieter Helm headshotDieter Helm, CBE is Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford and former Independent Chair of the UK’s Natural Capital Committee, providing advice to the government on the sustainable use of natural capital. His most recent book Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change addresses the action we all need to take to tackle the climate emergency. 


Sunil Amrith headshotSunil Amrith is the Renu and Anand Dhawan Professor of History at Yale, and current chair of the South Asian Studies Council. His research focuses on histories of environment, migration, and public health across South and Southeast Asia.



Rohini Pande headshotRohini Pande is the Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Growth Center at Yale. Her research is largely focused on how formal and informal institutions shape power relationships and patterns of economic and political advantage in society, particularly in developing countries.


Rory Stewart headshotRory Stewart is a Senior Fellow at Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, where he focuses on contemporary politics in crisis and on international development and intervention in fragile and conflict affected states. Stewart served as the UK Secretary of State for International Development where he doubled the U.K.’s investment in international climate and environment.



Catherine Cheney HeadshotCatherine Cheney ‘10 is a Senior Reporter for Devex, covering the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


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